Mamma Mia, it’s time to dine at Mimasuya!Ali Carte Columns
August 10, 2014
Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
A visit to Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto on Kapiolani Boulevard is a chance to experience exquisitely prepared Italian cuisine, unveiled with the refined aesthetics of Japanese food presentation. Open since December 2012, this east-meets-west eatery is the first of Japanese restauranteur Masaki Hibi’s eight dining establishments to open outside of Kyoto, Japan.
Acting as a link to the culinary environment it hails from, Mimasuya Italiano allows diners to experience a taste of popular food culture in Japan. Itameshi, or “Italian fare” has been widely enjoyed in the Land of the Rising Sun for decades, with a multitude of Italian restaurants spotted throughout the streets of Kyoto and other cities in the country. Spaghetti was even known to be a popular menu item in Japanese cafes as early as the 1920s.
While some Japanese chefs have aimed to preserve the authenticity of Italian dishes, others have adapted the recipes to reflect a hint of their own heritage. Here in the Islands, Mimasuya Italiano’s executive chef Toshiya Umeda is able to touch on both techniques excellently.
In traditional seafood dishes like Pescatore pasta ($18 lunch, $27 dinner), Umeda uses rich house-made tomato sauce to accent Manila clams, squid, shrimp and scallop, all swimming in a sea of spaghetti. Meanwhile, he brings Japanese flair to items such as Assorted Appetizer Tray ($28, dinner only), which showcases 10 fusion-filled bites in a bento-style platter.
“The ingredients vary depending on the season,” explains general manager Michael Lopez, noting that vegetable frittata is a staple in the platter, while a range of fish and meat preparations are switched out regularly.
The perfect time to try Mimasuya Italiano’s unique Italian cuisine is during the restaurant’s happy hour, offered daily from 5 to 7 p.m. Patrons may snack on $4 to $6 pupus from the bar menu, while enjoying beer specials and house wines priced at $4 per glass. Some of the unforgettable happy hour bites are Flat Breads — Gorgonzola ($5.50), Parma Prosciutto ($6.50) and Margherita ($5.50) — as well as fresh Smoked Salmon with Onions ($6).
Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto
1341 Kapiolani Blvd. Ste. 101, Honolulu
Daily, Lunch:11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30-10 p.m.
Happy hour 5-7 p.m.
Note: Free parking is located just past the eatery at the Kapiolani side entrance of Uraku Tower, on the basement level.