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Japanese eats made with heart

By Jaimie Kim Photos By Nathalie Walker
May 4, 2014

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Indulgent eating isn’t about scarfing down everything in sight; sometimes, it means taking the time to savor the flavors and slowly satisfy your palate without over-doing it.

Located in Pearl Kai Shopping Center, Mamaya offers an assortment of familiar okazu options and perfectly portioned meals that showcase Japanese favorites, all for very affordable prices.

“We take a lot of pride (in our food),” says store manager Dan Kobayashi.

Before the cuisine becomes available to customers, various flavors and recipes are taste-tested and agreed upon by management to ensure top quality in every dish.

A Mamaya best-seller is Miso Butterfish Combo Bento ($7.95). A generous portion of fish is marinated in a miso-based sauce before it is baked in the oven to achieve tenderness. The fish is served with one piece of mochiko chicken, along with kinpira gobo, Japanese pickles, yakisoba, seasoned broccoli and tamago.

The popular eatery also is known for its Special Poke Bowl ($7.50), which is made with fresh ahi that Mamaya receives daily. Customers may choose two different types of poke, and either white, multigrain or sushi rice. The bowl is accompanied with either seaweed salad or kimchi.

And for those looking for some turf rather than surf, Mamaya also has a variety of donburi bowls, as well as other items such as Wagyu Sukiyaki Beef Bowl ($6.95). Available four days a week, the beef bowl consists of Wagyu beef doused in a shoyu-based sauce, tofu and long rice noodles served over white rice (customers can request multigrain rice if desired).

Mamaya also boasts an impressive okazu selection at its “build your own bento station,” full of delicious eats such as fried rice, nishime, mochiko chicken and more, priced at $7.75 per pound.

Mamaya

Pearl Kai Shopping Center
98-199 Kamehameha Hwy., Aiea
492-1863
Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 pm.
Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Made-to-order bentos served from 8 to 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to closing. Deli is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.