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Keeping New Year’s Customs Alive

Inside Feature

November 26, 2017

Story By: Kyle Galdeira |

General manager and head chef Daisuke Arai PHOTO BY ANTHONY CONSILLIO

As many local families of Japanese ancestry can attest, the “good fortune food” featured within Sakura Terrace Japanese Cafe’s Osechi Ryori sets is both visually stunning and delicious — not to mention perfect for celebrating the New Year with.

The restaurant offers Japanese and locally influenced cuisine within a clean, inviting atmosphere and tranquil setting, as it transports guests to a dining oasis just steps away from the bustling “Gourmet Street” of South King Street. And, just in time for 2018, Sakura Terrace is creating special Petite Osechi Sets (to-go) and an Omakase Osechi Course Menu (dine-in) to help ring in the New Year.

Manager and head chef Daisuke Arai explains that he has built connections with the world-renowned Tsukiji Fish Market in Japan, and that Sakura Terrace is able to import top-quality ingredients that are incorporated with fresh, local produce throughout the menu.

Omakase Ossechi Course Menu ($60 per person) PHOTOS COURTESY SAKURA TERRACE JAPANESE CAFE

The Petite Osechi Set ($160, feeds two) can be preordered now through Dec. 25, and will be available for pickup Dec. 31 from 1 to 6 p.m. The special sets will be designed by Arai and his team, and will potentially include (based on available fresh, seasonal ingredients) abalone steak from Big Island, sauteed lobster, roasted duck, grilled yellowtail, salmon roe, baby shrimp in sweetened soy sauce, fresh vegetables and many more.

Sakura Terrace will serve the Omakase Osechi Course Menu ($60 per person) from Jan. 1 to 3, and the restaurant’s full a la carte menu will be available again from Jan. 2 onward.

The multi-course, dine-in menu will include more than 15 osechi offerings, including ozoni (a clear soup with special mochi that is a must-have

Signature Combination Platter ($45)

Japanese New Year’s item), three varieties of sashimi, grilled Japanese Amberjack, assorted tempura, sushi selections and ice cream.

“Our osechi has been carefully selected and prepared (to show) gratitude towards all of our customers (for) their patronage this year,” says Arai, who notes that the osechi are arranged and presented in boxes like “beautiful jewelry.”

As a reminder, the dine-in course menu is available while supplies last, and is not guaranteed to be available through Jan. 3, so guests are encouraged to make reservations now to enjoy the special dining experience.

Sakura Terrace Sushi Roll Platter ($58)

Just in time for holiday get-togethers, Sakura Terrace offers Party Takeout Platters, which are available year-round (even on Thanksgiving and Christmas) with just one-to-two hours’ notice. The Signature Combination Platter ($45) includes two pieces of Grilled Miso Butterfish, three pieces of Jumbo Black Tiger Prawn, four pieces of Chicken Karaage and a half Cobb Salad. The Sakura Terrace Sushi Roll Platter ($58) includes two each of Shrimp Tempura Roll, California Roll, Cucumber Roll and Ume Shiso Roll, as well as one Dragon Roll. A Combination Set also is available for $95.

Diners can enjoy nightly happy hour specials available from 7:30 to 9 p.m., including appetizers such as Mac Nut Tofu, Chicken Karaage, Squid Tempura, Tako Wasabi and Special Poke, all for just $5 apiece. And, beverages are discounted as well during happy hour, including Asahi Draft, Kirin Ichiban, Budweiser and Bud Light for $3 each; House Shochu, glass of wine or glass of sake for $4 apiece; and 300 ml bottles of Sake (Mio Sparkling, Kikusui, Tengumai and Dassai 50) for $12.

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