YogurStory in the MakingColumns Lite Bites
March 30, 2014
Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
It’s always a good sign when another restaurateur frequents your restaurant.
Sean Saiki, who owns several local businesses including Tsunami’s on South King Street, Blazin’ Steaks in Windward Mall and Raging Crab, was a longtime regular at YogurStory on Keeaumoku Street. So when he heard the owner was thinking of selling the popular eatery, he decided to purchase it, and officially took over the restaurant last November.
“I’m keeping it basically the same, but we’re planning to add some menu items, and we’ve been working on providing better service,” says Saiki, a 1994 graduate of Mid-Pacific Institute. “We specialize in breakfast foods, but with an Asian and local twist.”
YogurStory opened four years ago as a yogurt and coffee shop, but eventually evolved into a breakfast cafe and Asian bistro. Among the customer favorites are Hurricane Rice Bowl, Prime Rib Loco Moco and Oinker, which is fat pig fried rice with Portuguese sausage and two eggs (any style).
Another must-try is Pope Benedict ($13), which features two toasted English muffins with pesto sauce stacked with roasted vegetables including zucchini, peppers and mushrooms, all under a poached egg drizzled with balsamic vinegar and topped with a basil hollandaise sauce, served with asparagus and finger-ling potatoes.
Some of the newly revealed menu items include Rotisserie Chicken and Asparagus Pasta ($15) with a mouthwatering macadamia nut pesto cream sauce over angel hair, and Ube Pancakes ($11), which was introduced as a special a couple of months ago. Ube Pancakes consist of five pancakes with ube (a Filipino sweet potato similar to Okinawan sweet potato) mixed in the pancake batter and implemented into the purple sauce doused atop the pancakes.
“The response (for the Ube Pancakes) has been really, really good,” notes Saiki. “It’s not as sweet as it looks. It’s an original dish that has that ube taste like sweet yam, and the sauce has coconut milk.”
YogurStory usually attracts a lunch crowd of workers from neighboring businesses, but also features a cute, modern interior that has made it a hot spot for social gatherings including baby showers and special occasions. The restaurant seats about 100 people and the upstairs section (which can seat 50 people) can be reserved on weekdays for business meetings and private functions. There also are tables outside and plenty of free parking in the front and back of the restaurant, as well as metered street parking.
Currently, YogurStory is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, but Saiki says there are plans to include dinner hours in about a month. “We’re constantly evolving, so be on the lookout for new specials and new food items,” adds Saiki, noting that there is a half-off second entree coupon in Dining Out. And while the restaurant is still called YogurStory, the previous owner actually stopped serving yogurt awhile ago. However, Saiki says he plans to bring it back as a dessert item. As the saying goes, there’s always a story to everything.
815 Keeaumoku St.
8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily (Dinner hours coming soon)