On the west coast of Awajishima, overlooking the sea, stands a unique barbeque restaurant and buffet – Ocean Terrace.
In both its façade and in the high-quality food it produces, Ocean Terrace is a mixture of cuisines from far and wide. Standing below a grand staircase is an Italian-style fountain, a pair of steel giraffes, some palm trees and a wrought iron gate. Ascending the staircase reveals a set of barbeque slabs ready to cook one of the most prized assets of Awaji-shima – Awaji beef.
The restaurant gives off an exotic vibe. Guests sit at tables imported from Italy and take in a view of the ocean that spans far into the horizon. In a country not known for its ocean view or beach culture, Ocean Terrace takes advantage of the natural beauty of the Awaji coastline. The west coast of Awaji is renowned for its sunsets – known to be among the best in Japan, and sure to take your breath away. Approximately half of Ocean Terrace’s seating is on the deck area, encouraging guests to take in views of the ocean while enjoying their meals in the warm summer months. It’s sure to feel more like a tropical island, or the Amalfi coast, than a small island in Japan.
On the 3rd floor of Ocean Terrace is a do-it-yourself barbeque restaurant, allowing you to cook for yourself award-winning Awaji beef. Indeed, Awaji beef comes from the same cattle as Kobe beef (both of which are raised on Awaji Island), the only difference being that Kobe beef are sent to Kobe while as Awaji beef remain on the island. Aside from the barbeque, Ocean Terrace sports an excellent buffet menu containing varied dishes from all over the world. We ate traditional Japanese beef curry and nikujaga, thick cut potato wedges, Chinese-style cucumber salad, sweet chilli beef and a selection of fruit for dessert – all on the same plate. Sampling everything was a task requiring more than one plate, and most of us went up for seconds (or thirds).
The meat is definitely the selling point of Ocean Terrace. As well as Awaji beef, the restaurant also sells Australian Black Angus beef at a slightly cheaper price. Both are high quality meats that guests can cook to their liking on the barbeques outside the front of the restaurant. Awaji beef, marbled with fat just like Kobe beef, is full of flavour and melts in your mouth. Angus beef is tender and the taste is rich. The smell of both meats cooking on the open barbeques when you first enter Ocean Terrace is sure to make you hungry.
Ocean Terrace also sports a recently-opened café on the 2nd floor, specialising in Japanese curry made from locally produced onions and, of course, Awaji beef. Awaji is famous for its onions, which are mild in taste and full of fibre. The café also boasts drinks and desserts, including shaved ice made using locally produced fruits and honey.
Altogether, Ocean Terrace is a great getaway spot, boasting views found rarely in Japan, and allowing guests to soak in a vibrant tropical culture while enjoying the rich local produce of Awaji Island.