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Veg'n Out

Tempura Temptation

Story By Terri Hefner Photos By Nathalie Walker
June 10 - 16, 2012

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Hopefully regular readers know that the mission of Veg’nOut is to visit Island restaurants to find meatand fish-free fare. If you’ve just started reading Dining Out (and we’re so glad you did), then now you know. It’s a service to both the reader and our supporting restaurants, as there are times when you would like to join friends and/or family for lunch or dinner, but are hesitant because the eatery isn’t “vegetarian.” So we do the digging and you feast on the bounty — the perfect win-win scenario.

It’s typically not easy to find something vegetarian on a Japanese restaurant menu, since fish is such a big part of the Japanese diet. But we don’t give up easily here.

When perusing the menu at Hinone Mizunone, your eyes are met with numerous fish, shrimp, chicken and pork variations — all very popular in Japanese cuisine. But there’s one dish that stands out for veggie lovers, although we had to be a bit creative to find it, and you’ll have to speak up and request it. Hey, we never said this doesn’t require a little effort on your part!

On the Teishoku menu is Tempura with Shrimp, Squid and Vegetables ($13). The great thing about Hinone Mizunone (besides its melodious name and contemporary Asian ambiance) is that, according to operations manager Eiki Tamaki, guests only need to ask and the chef will add more pieces of the taste-tempting vegetables — which include tender pumpkin, string beans, eggplant and sweet potato in a light, crisp coating — and omit the fish.

You know the drill with teishoku, but if you don’t, this popular eatery is the perfect place to learn. It’s a Japanese set meal, which means it comes with rice (kamadaki gohan-style, prepared the old-fashioned way), miso soup (which traditionally is made with bonito, so non-fish eaters should inquire), two side dishes and pickles. Add the vegetable tempura to the set and you’ve got a full traditional Japanese feast.

Not after a full meal? If you’d prefer the vegetable tempura a la carte, it costs $10 for a plateful of the crisp vegetable goodness.

Contact Terri Hefner at diningout@staradvertiser.com

Hinone Mizunone

  • Where
    • 1345 South King Street
    • Honolulu, HI 96814
  • Call
    • (808) 942-4848
  • Hours
    • Open Daily
    • 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.