Schooling Dad About Salmon on Father’s Day
To all you dads out there, Happy Father’s Day! Let me take this opportunity to say mahalo to all the fathers and father figures who have inspired us to dream big. Most especially, I’d like to thank my own father for his eternal support, encouragement and ability to see the humor in just about everything. My corny jokes and quirky phrases you stumble upon in this column each week are, in part, thanks to my dad, who’s always had a very unique sense of humor. Now, Dad has taught me many things throughout the years — how to tie my shoe laces, ride a bike and pump gas. But maybe most importantly, he’s taught me how to welcome food with open arms!
And when it comes to making Dad’s stomach happy, I know fish — salmon, to be precise — is the way to go. So, just as my father has provided me with many lifelong lessons, this week I’ve decided to school him and all of you lovely readers on this fish of all fishes, which not only tastes great, but is one of the most health-supportive foods out there, thanks to being loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.
So, without further ado, come along with me and soak in salmon glory at the following Ono, You Know establishments this Father’s Day!
Sakura Terrace Japanese Cafe
As spring is winding down and summer is just days away, Sakura Terrace Japanese Cafe is in full bloom with its ever-expanding selection of authentic Japanese cuisine, which spans from the freshest seafood, savory donburi, refreshing sushi samplings and so much more.
Located on South King Street, Sakura Terrace is your peaceful oasis amid a bustling street filled with eclectic shops and restaurants. On my most recent visit to the eatery, I was impressed with its diverse array of salmon specialties. Take, for example, Sakura Terrace’s Salmon Poke ($8.75, available for lunch and dinner), which presents diners with succulent pieces of salmon served “poke-style” with a kick of wasabi, tobikko, white onions and habanero peppers. This zesty dish is perfect for summer! Another classic favorite of mine is Grilled Atlantic King Salmon ($12.75), which features 7 ounces of this flavorful fish accompanied by a bowl of hot miso soup, rice, a side salad with ginger dressing and tsukemono. This entree is only offered during dinner hours and makes for a complete, healthy meal without the guilt.
So, go on and experience a taste of Sakura Terrace Japanese Cafe. This restaurant embodies contemporary flair and boasts a school of salmon delicacies to satisfy all appetites!
1240 S. King St.
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Keo’s Thai Cuisine
Continuing my search for superlative salmon masterpieces, I decided to venture off into Waikiki and pay a visit to Keo’s Thai Cuisine on Kuhio Avenue. You can’t miss this premier establishment as it greets you with an open-air atmosphere and garden setting, showcasing a lush array of fresh floral arrangements, exquisite Thai statues and decor.
The man behind the scenes at this popular hot spot is none other than owner Keo Sananikone, who takes pride in serving the best in genuine Thai cuisine, including entrees that sometimes can bring on the heat with signature Thai spice, such as Evil Jungle Prince (Keo’s signature dish) and Sa-Teh Chicken. Yet, if a simple salmon creation is what you crave, then I recommend Keo’s Fresh Grilled Salmon ($19.95).
“It’s basically fresh Atlantic salmon grilled to perfection and topped with your choices of Thai red curry sauce or shiitake mushroom sauce,” says Sananikone, adding that both entrees are equally divine and it’s just a matter of personal preference.
This onolicious entree also is served with a helping of steamed vegetables. And what many don’t know about Keo is that he also operates a farm in the Mokuleia area, where he grows the majority of the vegetables found in his cuisine. So, expect nothing but the freshest of ingredients here as everything grown on the farm is organic and free of pesticides.
2028 Kuhio Ave.
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Shabu Shabu King
Your appetite reigns at Shabu Shabu King, where diners delight in hot pot heaven! Owned and operated by Michael Shi, this most-frequented Moiliili restaurant offers a seemingly endless supply of hot pot options. In fact, with the many shabu shabu ingredients available at your convenience, it’s safe to say that you’ll never have the same meal twice.
“We have so many items to choose from – meats, fresh vegetables, seafood,” Shi says. “There also are 15 broths, and a lot of customers really like the spicy broths.”
Chicken, Miso and Shoyu are just some of the sensational soup options, while Mixed Mushroom, Curry and Kimchee top my list of favorites. Indecisive? No worries, as you also can mix two broths together for an even heartier taste. Shi says that the Rib Eye ($4.80) is the most popular meat choice, followed by Pork and Chicken ($3.70 each), as well as Beef Tendon, Beef Tongue and Lamb ($4.80 each). However, since we’re dishing on salmon, Shabu Shabu King also features a plate of tantalizing morsels of salmon priced at $4.80. (All plates are color-coded by price.)
“Everything here is very fresh and healthy,” Shi says. “You just pick what you like and cook it on our ceramic hot plates at each table.”
While every shabu shabu option is delightful, I can’t help but marvel at the tender pieces of salmon as they soak up the abundant flavors of the shabu shabu broth. Add some fresh veggies and it’s a meal worth raving about.
Shabu Shabu King’s late-night hours are an additional bonus. The restaurant is open from 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, and 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday through Sunday.
2700 S. King St.
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