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Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at your favorite restaurant? Well, much credit goes to the many chefs, owners and managers who work diligently day in and day out to make sure Hawaii’s diners have a top-notch dining experience.
This week, Dining Out got the inside scoops from Hanaki Restaurant’s general manager Mark Mitsuyoshi, who gave us a little taste of Hanaki and shared just what fuels his culinary drive.
Name: Mark K. Mitsuyoshi
Title: General Manager of Hanaki Restaurant
Who or what inspires you as a chef/manager/owner?
Serving guests food that is healthy, but also tastes good. We serve food that I would actually eat myself, on a daily basis, and not get tired of it. We want guests to enjoy the food, enjoy the experience and their time here creating shabu shabu.
What is your favorite dish on the menu? Why?
The shabu shabu is my favorite “dish,” but it’s hard to call it a single dish due to the endless variations you can do with it. I never get tired of it. I usually start with the konbu base, add pork, choi sum, mushrooms, stuffed aburage “pockets,” arabiki sausages, frozen “sponge” tofu, Chinese cabbage and a big bowl of rice on the side. For my dipping sauce, I usually choose house sauce mixed with chili peppers and daikon oroshi. It’s enough to fill me up, and I don’t have to worry because it’s healthy. Plus, it doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare it, so I can get back to my work or whatever else I’m doing that day.
What is your favorite ingredient to work with? Why?
Favorite ingredient? Probably pork — pork loin, pork butt, pork collar (very nice and tender) — we can slice it thin for shabu shabu. We also can grind pork to mix into meatballs or stuff into aburage pockets, even wrap it around vegetables.
Is there a dish that you create that’s not on your menu, but available upon request?
Different types of vegetable tempura are sometimes available.
2756 Woodlawn Drive #6-102, Honolulu
Wednesday-Monday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (lunch), 5-9 p.m. (dinner)
Closed on Tuesdays