Looking for top-quality sushi at an incredibly low price in the capital of Okinawa? This hidden gem will tick all your boxes. 

Recently, our reporters have been visiting some of the country’s top tourist destinations and asking taxi drivers to take them to their top recommended restaurants. However, on a recent trip to Okinawa, our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma was minding his own business in a taxi when the driver casually mentioned a place to eat without him having to ask at all.

The driver had graduated from Naha Junior High School, so he was a longtime local in the capital who knew about all the secret places visitors didn’t. According to him, there was a popular restaurant in the city that did an amazing sushi deal at lunchtime, called the Mega Nigiri 20 Piece.

The restaurant was directly managed by a fishmonger, making the sushi top-quality and super cheap, which is like the sought-after unicorn in the sushi world. Masanuki is always hungry for nigiri sushi, as hand-moulded sushi is known, so the prospect of feasting on Mega Nigiri was an offer he couldn’t turn down.

▼ So he asked the driver to drop him off at the restaurant.

The restaurant, called Uomaru, is about a seven-to-eight minute walk from Miebashi Station on the Yui Rail monorail line. It’s on a back street in a pretty run-down looking building, making it one of those little-known places that gets by on word-of-mouth recommendations rather than fancy writeups in travel guides.

While the building facade might look run-down, the restaurant itself is not, and unlike a lot of places, they serve lunch well past the usual cut-off time of around 2 p.m..

Diners here can order the lunch specials from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., which was convenient for Masanuki, who arrived here at around three. The driver told him this was a good time to grab a late lunch/early dinner here, as the restaurant is usually crowded around noon, and when he arrived, Masanuki didn’t have to wait at all, as he was guided to a seat at the counter immediately.

▼ Checking the menu, Masanuki found what he had come for — the Mega Nigiri 20 Piece, priced at…1,298 yen?!?

This works out to US$9.72, which is cheap even with the current crazy conversion rates, and a remarkable deal for 20 pieces of hand-moulded sushi. Still, Masanuki decided not to get too excited about the lunch deal until he’d seen it in person, but as soon as the platter arrived in front of him, his eyes opened in surprise and his sushi-loving heart skipped a beat, because this is what he saw:

▼ This was a mega deal, alright!

The cost of eating 20 pieces of sushi at a conveyor belt chain restaurant would probably work out to around the same price as this meal, but because conveyor belt restaurants serve their sushi two at a time, you’d only get to eat 10 different types of sushi.

▼ Here, though, you receive 20 different types of top-quality nigiri, hand-moulded by a sushi chef behind the counter. 

The lineup includes standard favourites like tuna and salmon, and more specialty offerings like surf clams, scallops, octopus, steamed shrimp, and eel.

Every single piece on this platter was utterly delicious — both the sushi rice and the neta toppings were served at just the right temperature, allowing the textures and flavours to shine.

▼ Look at the quality of this sushi! It’s like something you’d eat at an expensive sushi restaurant.

Masanuki was absolutely blown away by this sushi deal, and when he told a friend in Okinawa about it later on, they told him the restaurant also has a branch near the airport, and he always takes friends there when they visit.

Where else in the world can you get a sushi meal this fresh and professionally made by a fishmonger for less than 10 bucks? These places are like unicorns, so be sure to stop by if you’re ever in the area, and don’t forget to try this other cab-driver-recommended restaurant while you’re there!

Restaurant Information

Uomaru / 魚屋直営すし食堂 魚まる
Address: Okinawa-ken, Naha-shi, Maejima 2-19-10
Hours: 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (lunch) / 4:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. (dinner); hours are subject to change
Closed Sundays

Photos © SoraNews24
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