After a busy weekend, our last stop in Okinawa was the Makishi Public Market.
So I'll admit my failures on this one - the above picture is the only picture I took of the Market. This market is a really touristy place and actually I don't know how I even managed this shot because not long after this image the Market became far far busier! And well I do have some images of the food we ate on the 2nd floor, which was seafood that we picked fresh from the market on the 1st floor. However, these pictures may just contribute to the fail of a day we had.
Now all the food was good, the seafood was fresh but I had read up on the market and had hoped to try other types of fish and shellfish, and I was achingly reminded of the things I really wanted to try when the family next to us was greeted by a huge sashimi boat with fresh lobster arranged on it and some sort of giant shellfish - it was really big! Then not long after devouring the fresh sashimi, the cook took the lobster head into the kitchen only to come back out with a large bowl of steaming lobster-seafood congee!
So the market is an OVERWHELMING place. I'm sure the main market is a great place to buy souvenirs, although a lot of the shops did sell the same stuff, if you have the time and are money-savy, I'm sure you could find some great deals. We were far too tired for that sort of thing so all my sister and I really did was wander and take note of the popular things that kept popping up.
The fish market was a cramped space with tanks full of fresh seafood, unique seafood that you will never have seen before, all gathered together with many fishmongers trying there best to attract you to it. It was quite rowdy indeed but no rowdier than any other market place.
The main problem that we faced was that, a little back story here, my sister and I are Chinese, however we were born and raised in Scotland, and it turns out, I'm guessing because of the many Chinese tourists combined with the strong Chinese influence on Okinawa, almost all of the fishmongers spoke mandarin but my sister and I don't speak a lick of it! So they kept throwing mandarin at us and eventually one fishmonger got the point and turned to English mode and before you know it, he was recommending what looked like the most 'foreigner-friendly' fish and he kept suggesting grilled or steamed.
It was of course not his fault, we were simply too overwhelmed by it all and should I get the chance to go back, I would definitely make an effort to talk more and find out a bit more about the different Okinawan fish. Also, I will DEFINITELY ask for something sashimi, I'm sure there would be nothing better than sashimi at a fish market! I'd also recommend going to the market with at least 3 or 4 people so you can try more variety!
Dessert we grabbed at the market called Sata andagi サーターアンダーギー, I grabbed the brown sugar flavour and again, this tasted WAY better than it looks. Sata andagi is a deep fried dough, a little denser than doughnuts but not in a gummy, sickening way and the brown sugar flavour tasted like caramel. Probably the best thing of the market that day.