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Getsuen Restaurant

70 years of memories, 70 years of joy


Yasuhide Gibo

When Getsuen Restaurant opened alongside Plaza House in 1954, the first head chef was invited from Hong Kong. Since then, I am the sixth head chef in our restaurant’s hallowed history. Up to the fourth generation, all the head chefs were Hong Kongers, and since the fifth generation, an Okinawan has been the chef. The reason we have been able to preserve the taste of Getsuen Restaurant is because our predecessors have unwaveringly preserved our pride in Cantonese cuisine. The secret sauce, passed down from generation to generation for 70 years, is the lifeblood of the “Cantonese Fried Chicken”, which has been on the grand menu since the restaurant’s inception. This magical sauce, which is a combination of 70 years of flavors, is prepared every day, so no matter what happens, whether it is a typhoon or a power cut, we will always protect it first and foremost. 

Until 1972, we had a cocktail bar near the entrance, where officers would gather and sip cigars, just like in an American film. The staff who knew those days are still working here, and they all speak English fluently. It’s probably unique to Koza that so many older folks can speak English. I feel very fortunate to be in a place where history is so alive. 

Okinawa does not have a machi-chuka culture*, but for celebrations and anniversaries, Getsuen Restaurant is a place where families and relatives gather around a round table. As a chef, there is no greater joy than hearing from regular customers who have been coming to our restaurant for two or three generations, or folks telling me stories from their childhood. 

I originally studied Japanese cuisine, but switched to Chinese because I remember the warmth of sharing a plate with my family in a Chinese restaurant when I was a child. For me, Chinese food is a symbol of family happiness. 

As a student of traditional Chinese medicine, I have always attached great importance to the concept of “medicine and food as one and the same source” in Chinese medicine. In Okinawa, there is a saying that food is nuchigusui (medicine for life). Ryukyu Yakuzen is a culinary style in which Cantonese dishes are made from Okinawan ingredients such as sponge gourd (skin moisturizing), wolfberry (eye fatigue, beauty) and Chinese long bean (immunity boosting). I created it in the hopes that people would become aware of the nutritional properties of these vegetables and make them easily available at home.
Recently, Okinawan miibai (grouper) has been attracting a lot of attention from high-end restaurants outside the prefecture. As a Chinese restaurant in Okinawa, we would like to make more conscious efforts to use of fish from the prefecture in the future.
*Machi-chuka culture: The prevalence of local, family-owned Chinese restaurants in Japanese cities.

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Getsuen Restaurant

Plaza House 1F
TEL: 098-933-3111
Closed days: Tuesdays (Open for lunch only)
We serve authentic Cantonese cuisine including our signature fresh vegetable spring roll.

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