Okinawa winters are generally rainy and grey, almost resembling the “soft days” of English autumns. You know, the sort of day that makes you want to curl up like a cat in a warm duvet and watch Hitchcock films and drink tea. Yet every week or two you get blessed with a beautiful, sunny, “Indian summer-esque” weekend and the first impulse I have is to run down to the seaside and sit in some beach-shack cafe. Someplace I can get simple, local, delicious food, a glass of wine and luxuriate in the sun while listening to the waves. Lucky for me I have the perfect spot! Hearth Cafe on the Sunabe sea wall!
The shabby-chic, shack-like Hearth sits on a corner at the very end of the sea wall road, with a lovely outer deck, an inside patio area and a small interior seating area. The menu is pretty simple, but offers everything from Breakfast to Dinner. Pancakes, chorizo, eggs and bacon grace the breakfast menu while the lunch and dinner menu offers beautiful, creative dishes. Sandwiches like the Aloha Sandwich which consists of avocado, shrimp, cream cheese and lettuce all brought together with a luscious nut cream dressing, scrumptious.
The California Surfer’s bowl is chock full of healthy tuna, egg, daikon, sprouts and seaweed, and of course their quality, delicious take on the usual Okinawan suspects like Loco Moco, Taco Rice, and other rice bowls. There is an entire page of specialty coffee drinks, like the chocolate cream latte Jason procured, and another page of teas, and yet ANOTHER page of smoothies.
And not to be missed, along with their desserts, is the famed “Hearth Toast” which is essentially a riff on french toast served as a stack with your choice of fruits and toppings including whipped cream, caramel and ice cream. It’s a diabetic nightmare!
I mainly hang at Hearth for a late lunch and have tried many of their great lunch sets, which…heh heh heh…include a free glass of wine or beer if you so desire! Yesterday my husband and I had a wonderful lunch. I tried the B.L.T.C Sandwich that was stuffed with thick cut, local bacon and drizzled in cream cheese and mayo.
Jason dove head first into their unbelievably decadent teriyaki chicken bowl. The meals came with onion consomme and a shredded cabbage salad.
As we sat in the sunshine, enjoying our slowly filling bellies, we were greeted by two of the local stray kitties that wander the sea wall. This area, full of restaurants and bars, with access to the tide pools make Sunabe a feral cat paradise. If you know my husband and I, you would think that this would result in a new adoption every time we ventured to the area, but the cats are remarkably healthy, little fat and happy kitties, and are considered essentially part of the neighborhood. The mama and her little one that came to have lunch with us I had already been acquainted with on my last visit, and it was amazing to see how big the baby had grown….stuffed with Hearth scraps, no doubt. And with food like this, I imagine we all are fat, happy cats when we leave.
Check out their website for phone number and directions at http://www.hearth-cafe.com/