The Many Flavors of Plate Lunch
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Local comfort food can come in many different flavors, but the one form we all know and love is the simple white container that signifies one thing: plate lunch. Yoshoku, located in Stadium Marketplace, only has been serving up hot entrees since January, but its food is timeless and consistently delicious.
“Yoshoku means Western cuisine with a Japanese influence,” explains general manager Michael Inouye. “But, while we primarily focus on Asian flavors, we have so much more than that — Korean, Indian, you name it. Our main staple is chicken, and chef Tomoya Ito has figured out countless tasty ways to marinate, fry, bake and cook it up.”
Served plate-lunch style, customers can choose from twoor three-entree plates ($8.25; $9.50), which come with your choice of side — steamed rice, yakisoba or steamed vegetables. The most popular entree is Nanban Chicken, marinated overnight in shoyu, sugar, rice wine vinegar and sake. Crispy on the outside, the chicken is tender and juicy, with the sticky, sweet sauce coating every bite. Chef Ito recommends eating it with his house-made tartar sauce, made with pickles, homemade mayo and boiled egg. Pair Nanban with a side of Yakisoba — fried noodles with bacon, seasoned snow cabbage, sesame seeds, shoyu, green onion and red ginger. For your second entree choice, try Steamed Fish, which is cooked in a citrusy yuzu sauce.
“Chef Ito makes everything from scratch, and he came up with all of the recipes,” says Inouye. “He used to work at a five-star restaurant in Japan, so he took his favorite dishes and re-created them here.”
If you prefer a healthier plate, opt for a side of steamed vegetables. The crisp and lightly salted broccoli, cabbage, bell peppers and onion pair well with Shrimp Squid and Broccoli ($1 extra). The chewy squid, peel-as-you-eat shrimp and broccoli florets are seasoned with garlic, butter and shoyu. For your second choice, enjoy Garlic Chicken. The crispy chicken is topped with a luscious garlic sauce made from butter, minced garlic, garlic paste, salt and lemon juice.
If you select a side of rice, try it with crunchy Tonkatsu, which is topped with Yoshoku’s house-made tonkatsu sauce. Make the plate complete with Hamburger Steak garnished with a broccoli floret.
And wait no longer. Come to the restaurant and order Kalua Chicken, this week’s special.
“Our food is home-cooking away from home,” says Inouye. “Taste, quality and customer satisfaction are the most important to us. Come and enjoy our food! Once you try it, I know you’ll love our variety and our consistently good entrees.”
4561 SALT LAKE BLVD., HONOLULU
DAILY, 10 A.M.–8:30 P.M.