It seems intuitive to use ingredients produced on the island since, well, after all, you are on an island; however, I was told by some chefs that vegetables in Okinawa often have a strong taste (due to high minerality and exposure to sunlight), and their availability depends on the season and the damage of typhoon . As a result, many rely on vegetables imported from mainland Japan, using local ingredients only as a highlight. But this is not the case with Sakanaya Meitei, a casual dining bar known for its skillful rendition of local ingredients.
You may want to start with 3 assortments of appetizers for today (the daily menu is usually written on the chalkboard), for which you can try rare island vegetables such as Shikakumame (winged beans) and Ootaniwatari (birdnest ferns). If you are the adventurous type, try mimigar (thinly sliced pig ears) mixed with rich sesame sauce. They also offer fresh fish arranged in various ways and the portion usually is not as big as some other local izakaya, so even for two people, you can order 4 dishes without exploding your stomach.
My sinful pleasure is one of their most popular menu: Tebasaki karaage (deep-fried chicken wings), which is deep-fried first and then grilled with their mouthwatering BBQ sauce, full of peppery fragrance. Another signature dish is a creative rendition of sweet chili shrimps, with deep-fried island banana and mayonnaise. You’ll be surprised how good island banana tastes when deep-fried, the astringency goes away, while its unique aroma and sweetness remain.
Wash away the greasiness lingered in your mouth with their original cocktails named after all the outlying islands of Yaeyama and see if they fit with your impression. Trust me, Sakanaya Meitei is full of pleasant surprises.
肴屋 迷亭 Sakanaya Meitei
(this is subject to change, please check their Facebook page or call in advance)
1F Yamada Apartment 6-2 Ishigaki, Ishigaki City