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13 New Items Now On the Menu

Columns Foodie Fare

May 5, 2013

Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

Fusing local influences and flavors into its sushi dishes, Genki Sushi has been a go-to spot in the Islands for years. Genki, which has 13 locations statewide, serves up kaiten sushi, or sushi served on a revolving conveyor belt. While this has become a popular concept these days, Genki Sushi consistently is providing its customers with new items. Genki is constantly making an effort to see what its customers like ― and changing the menu accordingly.

“For people who come often, of course they are going to have their favorites,” says director of purchasing David Moon, “but we also will provide them with something different to try.

“We try to change the menu at least once or twice a year,” Moon adds. “That way, it keeps things fresh.” He assures, however, that customer favorites are not going anywhere.

One of these menu changes took place May 1, and now Genki has 13 new items to choose from.

To come up with new items, Moon works with a team of store directors to brainstorm changes. They take a look at food trends and observe customers’ tastes. One thing they found, for example, is that diners love fried items. So, to please palates, the new menu includes a variety of fried creations.

These include Chicken Wing ($3.80) and Ahi Kabob ($4.80). Another new one is Fried Tamago ($2.20). According to Moon, children love the regular Tamago, so this one should be a hit with kids.

Another new fried dish is Ika Karaage ($2.80), which features perfectly breaded squid that will please even squid skeptics. It is marinated with ginger and deep-fried for a tender, flavorful result.

And for another ika delight, try Ika Gesso ($1.50), which features two pieces of tender squid.

In a simple tweak on a classic dish, Genki has created California Tempura Roll ($2.80), which takes the California Roll and dips it in tempura batter, covered in a slightly sweet sauce.

And for another crab dish, Spicy Crab ($2.20) packs just the right amount of kick with tender bits of crab.

One thing Genki has been doing recently is trying out different desserts. Its latests addition is Sweet Potato Cinnamon Puffs ($2.80), a bitesize, melt-in-your mouth treat.

All of these new items are available at all of Genki’s locations, including its Neighbor Island establishments.

On the Side

As director of purchasing, David Moon has arguably one of the most exciting jobs: He gets to help select items to go on the menu at Genki Sushi.

“We just try to give variety,” Moon says. “I try to look at local flavors, and, of course, we try to keep the prices reasonable.

“We like to keep it interesting,” he adds. “People who come to Genki are pretty familiar with our main products, so we try to add to that.”

Genki Sushi has been in the Islands since the 1960s. While some of its flavors certainly are distinctly local, it hails originally from Japan.

“The parent company is in Japan,” Moon explaines. “It is international ― they also have stores in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.” Its 13 new items are currently available on the menu.

And speaking of new things for Genki, its Ala Moana location will reopen this summer with impressive renovations that include technology upgrades that enable customers to place their orders with touch pads. The Ala Moana location is currently closed for construction ― and it’s aiming to reopen by June 25.

Genki Sushi

Ward Centre
1200 Ala Moana Blvd. #408
(and various locations)
591-5600
Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Note: Hours may vary by location. Call for details.

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