After Hours: Easy-to-miss Kourako is really worth finding
URUMA CITY, Okinawa — Nestled along Highway 8 — almost hidden with just one small sign in English — is a quaint little restaurant with an extensive Chinese menu.
Kouraku is easy to miss but finding it is well worth the effort.
From exotic dishes such as sweet and sour braised eels to the more mundane fried rice, the restaurant has something for everyone’s palate.
The waitresses speak very little English but are very friendly and appreciative of costumers. From the moment you walk in you are greeted with a smile, seated and offered hot green tea.
And the service is quick. Within 10 minutes of ordering, your meal is in front of you.
The menus, printed in Japanese and English, are easy to read but it’s hard to make a choice with so much food offered. Shrimp, fish, pork, chicken, beef, rice, noodles and soup dishes — highlight a menu surprisingly diverse for such a small and intimate restaurant.
To accompany the meal, draft and bottled beer are available, as well as coffee, tea or soda.
With Japanese-style seating and tables with chairs, the restaurant has an inviting, low-key and relaxed atmosphere.
Kouraku is informal, and casual attire fits right in. It is perfect for a quiet meal alone or with a few friends. Though the clientele is mostly local, Americans are definitely made welcome, but bring yen as dollars are not accepted.
This is not the place for a rowdy crowd. It is perfect for those looking for a quiet lunch.
Hours: Daily from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Prices: Meals range from 500 to 1,500 yen.
Specialties: Chinese with some Okinawa dishes.
English menu: Yes, but no pictures.
Clientele: Mostly Japanese.
Directions: From Camp Courtney’s main side gate, turn left on Highway 75. Turn left again on Highway 8. Right after you cross Highway 224, the restaurant will be on the right. The restaurant’s name is not in English on the the building, so look for the white and red sign.