I’m a fan of food that is served sizzling hot with steam rising and oil sputtering dangerously in all directions. It’s even better if the server warns that it is very hot, or atsui des as it is said in Japan. Surprisingly the culinary danger I’ve come to crave the most isn’t from a steakhouse or a yakiniku restaurant but from one of Japan’s largest noodle shop chains – Ramen Kagetsu Arashi.
The dish is teppan itameshi, fried rice heavily laden with garlic served in an iron skillet sizzling hot. When served the dish is hardly recognizable as fried rice as a generous portion of raw egg that was poured into the skillet just before its arrival at the table is still cooking on top of the rice. Stir and serve immediately. The rice is a bit greasy due to the garlic, butter and cooking oil used in preparation but that along with the percussion-sound of the dish still cooking is why it is so delicious.
Teppan Itameshi is reason enough to visit Ramen Kagetsu Arashi but the restaurant does have a wide selection of ramen and gyoza to choose from. My wife and I usually get the arashi genkotsu ramen which is served in a pork bone base soup, or the shoyu base ramen. Each has pork, seaweed, a fish cake and vegetables served on top of the ramen. Our kids each get the children’s shoyu ramen set that comes with apple juice, rice, a corn snack, and gelatin. Two full orders of ramen, two children’s sets, one order of five gyoza and one teppan itameshi comes out to 2,700 yen. We drink the free water and wheat tea. Beer starts at 300 yen a serving and soft drinks are only 100 yen each. On the way out each of my children had a frozen popsicle for 30 yen each. The restaurant is very affordable by any measure for savory servings of ramen, gyoza and fried rice.
There are eight Ramen Kagetsu Arashi locations in Okinawa. I’ve visited the Chatan location on Route 58 next door to the Obligato Mexican food restaurant and the Okinawa City location in Misato Village just south of the western most intersection of Routes 85 and 224. Kagetsu is open 11:00 ~ 01:00 daily; the Chatan location closes an hour later on Fridays and Saturdays.