Japanese haven will offer both dine-in, catering options for the new year

A La Carte

December 24, 2017

Story By: Dining Out Team | Photos by: SAKURA TERRACE JAPANESE CAFE

Sakura Terrace is in the process of expanding its sushi catering options. Pictured here is the Yaezakura Set from the restaurant’s menu.


Hidden behind a hedge of hibiscus and palms on South King Street is an unmissable oasis of Japanese food and refreshment: Sakura Terrace Japanese Cafe.

The restaurant blends together the inside and the outside with a seamless lanai for a refreshingly open and Hawaiian take on the traditional Japanese restaurant. Its bamboo interior, delineated by modern, geometrical accents, is like the food itself: ancient and current all at once.

Signature Combination Platter ($45)

While Sakura Terrace is about 5 years old, the new head chef and general manager, Daisuke Arai, hired only months ago, is steering the restaurant in a bold new direction. Among Arai’s training is a four-year, intensive program for kaiseki, or traditional multi-course Japanese dinner, in Kyoto, Japan, where he was fully immersed in the venerated art of high-end, traditional and seasonal cuisine. By way of explanation, one could say that kaiseki is to Japanese food as couture designer dresses are to fashion.

Here in Honolulu, Arai drew upon his tradition-steeped training to create a line of intricately crafted osechi boxes for the new year. In response to the unprecedented popularity of the preordered osechi offerings this year, Arai is expanding Sakura Terrace’s catering offerings and developing a new line of sushi platters.

Sushi Roll Platter ($58)

“It’s not just a bento; it’s not just any old platter,” Arai says with a smile, of the sushi offerings. “They have the true essence of Japan.”

Sakura Terrace has already been making customers happy with its other catering options, such as its Takeout Party Platters. The Signature Combination Platter ($45) offers fresh seafood, chicken karaage and cobb salad, while the Sushi Roll Platter ($58) is sure to delight your palate. (Order both for $95.)

In the coming year, Sakura Terrace also will begin offering more infinitely customizable catering options. Whether you’re looking for buffet-style or plated food for hundreds or only your immediate family, Arai says his staff can make it happen for an affordable price.

The restaurant even will offer “sushi on the spot” services, where sushi chefs bring the bar to you. Keep your eyes peeled for special discounts to be offered the week after New Year’s. In the meantime, though, go to the eatery for a chic escape.

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