Strictly speaking they don’t actually have “fish ‘n’ chips on the menu, but what you do is; you order the ぐるくんのスイートチリソース (That’s gurukun, a kind of Okinawan whitefish, with sweet chili sauce) and a portion of fried potatoes and you’re away! Bob’s your ojisan; the best fish ‘n’ chips in town!
Basically I order this and a few glasses of Orion on draft every time. However, the last time I went there it was with my poetic pal Jeffrey Angles. Jeffrey is more adventurous than I am; he also likes to share. So on this occasion we also enjoyed umi budo; literally sea grapes but actually a kind of sea-weed with a unique and not unpleasantly crunchy texture.
We also had a big bowl of soba noodles with vegetables (vegetarians beware! contains pork!) and I have to say those noodles were smashing! For a place that doesn’t specialize in noodles to make noodles that good is really quite impressive.
Finally we had a bowl of naabera which the menu told us was a kind of hechima. And hechima if you don’t know is a kind of gourd commonly known in it’s non-edible form as a loofah. However, what we ate mostly resembled mabo-tofu, a big bowl of stuff in a dark meaty-looking sauce.
The interior decor of this place is itself a piece of entertainment; lots of color, bright and shiny objects, and snakes in jars of liquor. Everything spells sunshine, sea and sky in an Okinawan style!
Here’s Jeffrey and a wall of spam.
After filling our bellies at this marvellous establishment we retired to Philippe’s bar where Jeffrey was keen to try the hookah. So we did.
To smoke a hookah at Philippe’s place costs 700 yen (not so much if you share it) and you get a variety of flavored tobaccos to choose from. We chose orange and it was nice. You get a much milder buzz and a subtler taste from smoking a water pipe than you do from cigarettes.
To read more about Philippe’s bar, click here.
Umi to Sora’s “Champuru Shokudo” is on the south side of Shijo between Kiyamachi and Pontocho on the 3rd floor of the アイブリ屋 building. Here is a map.
Open everyday without fail from 17:30-24:00.
There is also an Umi to Sora “Okinawa Shokudo” near Shichijo/Senbon Doori which opens for lunch between 12 and 14:00, and in the evening from 18:00 till midnight. And here is a map to that one. Tel: 075-322-4122. I haven’t been there though so I shall say no more about it.