Start a Meal With Sekiya StaplesColumns Pupu Picks
June 9, 2013
Story By: Steve Murray | Photos by: Tony Grillo
Seventy eight years is a long time, and in the restaurant business it’s an eternity, if not a virtual impossibility. Yet through war, recession and changing food tastes, Sekiya’s has survived to serve the grandchildren of the diners who first made this Kaimuki eatery an island staple of Hawaii-style comfort food.
Somewhere, enjoying either the in-house service or on-the-go okazuya, is the fourth generation of customers who may be bringing in the fifth. It’s amazing, really.
There is nothing fancy about the food at Sekiya’s, and that’s just how the customers like it. Plus, appetizers can — and are — just about anything you like.
One of the most popular starters is Hash Tempura ($6.30 for six pieces). Made from corn beef and potatoes, this mixture is coated in tempura batter and deep-fried until crispy. How many of these dishes are ordered each day? No one seems to know, except to say, a lot!
Another best-selling item is Fried Chicken. Starting at $1.65 per piece, the homestyle chicken is simply prepared with salt, pepper, dredged in flour and pan-fried. Pan-frying adds a dark, crispy exterior that just isn’t possible with a deep frier.
Inari Sushi ($1.35), with moist vinegar rice, carrots and string beans, is another good way to begin a meal or to take with you to be enjoyed later. No surprise: The okazuya is a big draw — it always has been.
It’s not possible to make a mistake ordering at this family-friendly diner, but if there is a way to look like a newbie, ordering a main dish without Namasu ($3.95) just might be it. It may be a simple dish of pickled cucumber and carrots, but a Japanese meal without this standard side is just … well, weird.
2476 Kaimuki Ave., Honolulu
Sunday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.
Okazuya open daily, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.