Uncle’s Fish Market & GrillDigest Step Up to the Plate
December 11, 2016
Story By: Lynsey Beth Futa | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: Garlic Ahi ($25)
Everyone in Hawaii has “uncles” — the ones who aren’t blood-related but might as well be. They taught you valuable life lessons, as well as some not-so-valuable ones. Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill was founded by longtime commercial fisherman, Bruce Johnson, as a tribute to these exact types of uncles.
“I learned a lot from all my mentors, who were all old captains — mostly (of) aku boats and bottom-fish boats,” Johnson shares. And he’s not just talking about fishing. Although, his fishing expertise would inspire the opening of Island Fish Market 40 years ago, and then, eventually, Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill, which has been in operation for 10 years now.
At the Fishing Village restaurant off Nimitz Highway, diners can expect the freshest seafood possible. “We literally bring our fish over (from the morning auction next door), we cut it in the restaurant, our chef cooks it at lunch and you’re eating it by noon,” explains Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill’s CEO, Tim Campbell — also Johnson’s nephew.
Having expanded in July, the establishment now accommodates private parties of up to 75 people.
A new side room is equipped with TVs and upgraded tech capabilities, perfect for any occasion and/ or celebration.
As for the food, patrons can expect to leave more than satisfied, as the portions are huge and always available at reasonable prices. “There really are not too many places on the island that are focusing solely on seafood, and that’s our niche,” says Campbell. And he’s right — the menu is decked out in amazing sea fare, including crowd-favorite Garlic Ahi.
Aside from indulging in the ocean’s best, enjoy the nautical decor and look back on Hawaii’s rich history of fishing, as the restaurant’s TVs play slideshows of pictures from way back when. Johnson shares that these photos are actual images of his fishing experiences, and features the very uncles that the restaurant was named after.
With one look at the black and white images of Johnson and other fisherman dressed in traditional kimono and standing atop boats, diners are transported to a simpler time, when the sea was the ultimate playground and the site for nostalgic family memories — a feeling most locals can relate to fondly.
Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill
Fishing Village at Pier 38
1135 N. Nimitz Hwy., Honolulu
Daily, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; closed Christmas Day