Kahai Street Kitchen
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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 gets the inside scoops from Kahai Street Kitchen’s chef David Yamamoto, who gives us a little taste of Kahai Street Kitchen and shares just what fuels his culinary drive.
NAME David Yamamoto
TITLE Chef at Kahai Street Kitchen
TRAINING/ EDUCATION Honolulu Community
Who or what inspires you as a chef? Roy Yamaguchi inspired me 15 years ago. I was working at Roy’s in Kahana and then transferred to the Hawaii Kai location that same year and was able to meet him twice. It was the way that he blended so many cuisines and flavors together so successfully that made me begin to think about what I was capable of creating.
What is your favorite dish on the menu? Why? I’d have to say my favorite dish on the menu is Ahi Rolls, because I like to use fresh ahi in many different ways. Ahi is such a good vehicle for any variation of flavors — it’s very versatile and allows me to be extremely creative with the types of rolls we can make, which is the fun part of my job.
What is your favorite ingredient to work with? Why? I don’t have a single favorite. I like to work with a mixture of Japanese and local ingredients. The mixture always gives our dishes really unique tastes. I also enjoy working with all types of shoyu.
Is there a dish that you create that’s not on your menu, but available upon request? Because our specials change daily, everything I come up with ends up on the menu. Our daily specials menu is kind of like our “off the menu” listing, because our specials are always whatever we dream up that day or week. Customers can always come in and get something different and feel like they’ve got away with a special order! However, if someone requests something not on the menu, I will gladly make it if we have all the ingredients.
Kahai Street Kitchen
237 Kalihi St., Honolulu
Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Friday, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Catering available daily