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Tradition meets convenience

Cover Story

September 1, 2019

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Chef Noriaki Nakano with a Salmon Nori Bento

At Obento Rinka, customers can look forward to high-quality traditional Japanese cuisine coupled with the convenience of a grab-and-go bento.

The bento boxes available from Obento Rinka’s eloquent display showcase the beauty and refined flavors that come through in every dish. Diners may recognize the restaurant’s name as this is the bento outlet of gourmet restaurant Rinka, the popular eatery in Kakaako, with convenient take-out options in its welcoming storefront location on Beretania Street. In the larger restaurant near Ward, just a few bento are sold, so Obento Rinka is the place to go for a robust variety of delicious bento choices.

Packed with plenty Shokado Bento ($15)

“It’s so easy to come here, find your favorite meal, grab and go,” says Aki Nakajima, the Obento Rinka general manager. “We offer high-quality, healthy bento selections for the entire family to enjoy! Our guests enjoy the signature Japanese tastes along with friendly service.”

Shokado Bento ($15) is a popular combination with shrimp shirashi sushi, three kinds of sashimi, shrimp arare, snow crab tempura, white fish tempura, vegetable tempura, assorted simmered vegetables with tofu, grilled salmon and dashi maki omelet.

A closer look at Salmon Nori Bento ($13)

Healthy Bento ($12) packs plenty of flavor, and provides ample energy with: three types of rice (white, 12-grain and rice infused with snow crab and mountain vegetables); a patty made with beef, pork and tofu that is topped with teriyaki sauce; shrimp and lotus root katsu; grilled mackerel; grilled salmon; dashi maki omelet; simmered vegetables with tofu; and dehydrated daikon and carrots that are rehydrated with a special house sauce.

“Our menu items are traditional Japanese cuisine with fresh ingredients and flavors,” says Noriaki Nakano, Obento Rinka executive chef.

Healthy Bento ($12)

Diners rave about Hana Bento ($16), which includes seafood shirashi with sushi rice, simmered mushrooms, shrimp, freshwater eel, salmon eggs, tobiko, sushi egg and sliced snow peas as a garnish. The second compartment of this bento includes dashi maki omelet, grilled salmon, fish cake, yuba tofu, shrimp arare, simmered Kona abalone and a salad composed of dried tofu, burdock root and spinach in a special house sauce, and a fried chicken meatball. This set is also accompanied by savory egg custard pudding with shrimp, freshwater eel and fishcake.

Seafood enthusiasts will enjoy Salmon Nori Bento ($13), which is composed of red salmon from Japan — offering a distinct taste as the fish is packed and aged in salt to enhance the flavor — atop a bed of rice with nori, Japanese kombu and bonito flakes along with Japanese fish cake that is lightly fried with nori, fried white fish, takuwan, simmered burdock roots and carrots that are shredded and enhanced with spices, as well as dashi maki omelet.

Steak Bento ($12) features perfectly grilled steak with a light teriyaki sauce, fresh wasabi with Japanese kelp, dashi maki omelet, grilled salmon, picked cucumber and tomato accompanied by a bed of white rice.

During September, customers who order 10 or more bento boxes will receive 20 percent off their order. This special offer is good through Sept. 30, and includes free delivery near Waikiki (delivery price negotiable in other areas, available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), and the orders must be made with at least one day’s advance notice.

Beef Steak Bento ($12)

Grab-and-go is also on-the-go

Guests may take advantage of Obento Rinka’s delivery service near Waikiki with orders over $50. This option is available anytime during regular business hours, and selections must be pre-ordered with at least one day’s advance notice. The team can also assist with large parties and events in Honolulu, including a recent order for 1,500 bento! Diners are encouraged to call the friendly staff at 597-8069 to customize an order today.

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