Healthy and wholesome vegan food made from fresh and pesticide free Okinawa ingredients, with quick and friendly service at economical prices.
Located a short distance from the Pottery Village in Tsuboya Naha, Vegan Cafe Mana specialises in healthy, wholesome breakfast and lunch sets made with all natural pesticide free and fertiliser free Okinawan produce. It offers an escape from the crowds of tourists that fill up the main streets and serves homemade refreshments using unique pottery from the area.
Stepping in Mana, you will instantly feel a relaxing vibe from the soothing environment and rustic homey space that greets you with wooden tables, mis-matched chairs, decorative greens, and big open windows allowing ample light to shine through.
Like the restaurant, the menu is modest and easy to choose from. Their breakfast menu consists of two items and lunch menu consists of only three options to choose from. Mana also offers a range of homemade vegan desserts such as cheesecake, pudding, and brownie.
Natsuyo, the owner of Mana tells us that the ingredients she uses in her restaurant are all locally sourced and farmed in the purest way possible. Everything is seasoned lightly to bring out the natural sweetness of the vegetables.
One thing we found particularly intriguing on Mana’s menu was the Taco Rice. While the name may sound like a Tex-Mex dish, this dish is a specialty of the Okinawa region. As the name might imply, the traditional dish consists of spicy taco mince, tomatoes, cheese and shredded lettuce on a bed of rice. This Japanese-Mexican hybrid owes its very existence to the longstanding U.S. military presence in Okinawa. To suit Japanese tastes, some recipes add soy sauce and sake, in addition to taco flavorings.
Mana’s vegan interpretation of this classic Okinawan dish is very similar to the traditional version. They used a mix of ground soy mince and beans as the ‘beef’ and a vegan mayo dressing to replace the cheese.
Another dish we really like at Mana was their Bean Curry set. This was a warm and moderately spicy curry with mung beans and some basic Indian spices served with brown rice and Japanese pickles on the side. It was very simple dish but at the same time, jam-packed with flavor. Overall it’s healthy, hearty and comforting.
They also have a nice daily vegan plate on offer that should serve as a good taster for anyone who isn’t sure what to get off the menu. We also got a chance to sample several desserts which included the cheesecake, brownie served with soy cream and coconut pudding. All of the desserts we have tried were tasty, but the soy cream served with brownie was most memorable.
We were happy that we found out about this place through our new friends at Cafe Niffera. We will definitely be back for those filling lunch sets.