Father-Son Chefs Bring Japanese-French Fusion to Life
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At first attempt, Them Dining may be difficult to find, but like most hidden gems, once found, diners never again have trouble getting there. Carefully tucked away within the walls of Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel, the Japanese-French fusion restaurant may very well be Waikiki’s best-kept secret.
Since the restaurant first opened almost two years ago, Them Dining has masterfully combined Japanese and French-inspired cuisine under the culinary direction of father-son chefs Kazuo and Yushi Shimada, respectively.
“The two worlds complement each other well,” explains Kazuo. “These days, as diners become more adventurous and accustomed to eating many kinds of food, our customers enjoy being able to dine on meals that incorporate both Asian and European flavors.”
Having recently launched a revised menu, the restaurant utilizes innovative cooking techniques to ensure every dish possesses a deep, multi-layered type of flavor. The much-beloved Beef Curry (starting at $9) remains a public favorite.
“We braise the beef for four hours until it is the perfect level of tenderness,” Kazuo adds. “The meat comes in a rich, slightly spicy demi-glace sauce with cooked onions, apples and tomatoes.”
While many of the entree meals come with a salad as well as rice, diners frequently opt to try the refreshing “Them Dining” Special Salad ($9.50), an appetizing symphony of mixed greens, red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and prosciutto with a savory soy sauce-based dressing. All produce, along with the restaurant’s meat and seafood, is never frozen.
True to Japanese custom, the restaurant also offers the Chef’s Course ($40), an omakase meal of five to six courses chosen by the chef specifically for that night. Those interested in the Chef’s Course must reserve it at least 24 hours prior. Aside from the regular menu, the restaurant also features a rotating special menu, which varies from day to day. Diners may choose from a number of dishes such as Spicy Cod Roe Pasta ($10.50), as well as a slew of others.
The quaint, cozy restaurant, which comfortably seats 20 to 25 customers, also may be reserved for private parties. Complimentary valet parking as well as meter parking are available.
Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel
2375 Ala Wai Blvd., Honolulu
Open for lunch Monday–Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; dinner Tuesday–Sunday, 6-9:30 p.m.; and bar Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.