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Foodie Fare

Fresh, Healthy Food is Always in Bloom

Story By Christina O'Connor Photos By Nathalie Walker
February 12 - 18, 2012

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Sakura Terrace Japanese Cafe serves up fresh, quality Japanese cuisine in a chic yet welcoming environment.

Located on South King Street, this restaurant is a tranquil getaway from its busy surroundings, offering diners an idyllic setting to enjoy contemporary Japanese eats for a casual lunch or an intimate dinner.

  • Shrimp Salad ($9.75)
  • Spicy Ahi Roll ($10.50)
  • February special: Sakura steak ($15)
  • Sakura Chirashi Sushi Don ($18)
  • Ahi Poke ($11.50)
  • Marilyn Cariaga with Spicy Ahi Roll
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“Our concept for the restaurant is to have healthy food and a family-oriented, nice dining experience,” says marketing director Marilyn Cariaga.

Although the restaurant just opened in November, it already has drawn in a number of regular customers. While Cariaga says that the menu is simple, it’s complete with tasty appetizers, salads and entrees, including fresh seafood and an array of Donburi.

“Our No. 1 seller is Sakura Chirashi Sushi Don ($18),” Cariaga says. “It’s our all-time customer favorite.” This delightful dish includes ahi, yellow-tail, salmon, king crab legs, ikura, uni and sushi rice with grilled salmon flakes.

Other popular dishes are Ahi Sashimi Don ($9.75), Salmon Sashimi & Ikura Don ($14) and Chicken Don ($8.50).

While the restaurant’s focus is primarily on Japanese dishes, Sakura Terrace also has added a bit of local fusion. For some fusion flavor, try Spicy Ahi Roll ($10.50) or Ahi Poke ($11.50).

Sakura Terrace prides itself on serving fresh, healthy food. Cariaga says that it’s important to the restaurant to promote healthy eating to their customers. At Sakura, it’s easy to eat healthy with tasty salads such as Shrimp Salad ($9.75) and Sashimi Salad ($10.75).

Soon, Sakura Terrace will unveil a number of new dishes for its grand opening.

“In accordance with the sakura blossoms in Japan, we are going to have our grand opening that will begin at the end of March or early April,”

Cariaga says. “We will showcase a whole extensive menu.”

On the Side

Sakura Terrace gets its name from the sakura, or cherry blossom, flowers that bloom in Japan in the spring. During the time of the sakura blossoms in Japan, which usually occurs in late March or early April, Sakura Terrace will honor its namesake with its grand opening.

Making an appearance during the grand opening will be extensive new menu items, which will become permanent additions to Sakura Terrace.

“We wanted to coordinate the grand opening with the blossoms,” Cariaga says. “And some of the things we add to the menu will include little touches of the sakura flower.” For example, the restaurant currently serves hot drinks that include a small sakura for flavor.

Sakura Terrace is currently in the process of creating dishes for the new menu, and they’ve got a lot of ideas in the works. They are looking to incorporate more healthy ingredients like vegetables and tofu. The chefs are busy thinking up innovative dishes, and have been working with their regular customers to get feedback and suggestions.

The new menu will be out soon, but customers don’t have to wait until the sakura is in bloom to try some new dishes. During the month of February, Sakura Terrace offers Sakura Steak ($15). The restaurant offers one or two rotating specials each month.

And for those who are still looking for Valentine’s Day plans, Sakura Terrace is a perfect place to take your date. The restaurant is chic, and the patio seating in particular has an intimate feel.

“It’s a casual elegance,” Cariaga says, adding that Sakura Terrace is an ideal Valentine’s Day location. “It has such a nice feel, and it’s very romantic.”

Sakura Terrace

  • Where
    • 1240 South King Street
    • Honolulu, HI 96814
  • Call
    • (808) 591-1181
  • Hours
    • 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
    • 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Monday – Saturday
    • 4:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
    • Sundays
  • Website