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Life is sweeter drizzled with honey and more

Inside Feature

September 15, 2019

Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

In Japan, people hear the word “shokudo” and think immediately of their favorite casual restaurant.

In Honolulu, it is impossible for most people to hear the word “shokudo” without thinking of a delicious dinner, followed by a plate piled high with glorious Honey Toast™.

But you needn’t wait for an excuse for dinner to enjoy this famous treat. Text your office buddies or your favorite teatime pals and tell them to meet you at Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar for lunch!

Half-portions of Honey Toast are available at lunch-time — and they make a perfect ending for a midday meal at this fashionable but friendly restaurant, located in Ala Moana Pacific Center on Kapolani Boulevard.

“We’re focusing on our lunch service,” says general manager Ryan Ko, adding that lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

With a dinner menu stuffed with Japanese fusion comfort food inspired by Chinese, Korean, Italian and French cuisine, Shokudo has become renowned for offerings like sushi pizza, lobster dynamite and sukiyaki bibimbap.

But the restaurant’s lunch menu provides a terrific variety of ramen and udon dishes, donburi and bentos — and a half-sized portion of that legendary Honey Toast ($5) on the dessert menu, for those who simply cannot resist it.

Known as Brick Toast in Japan, Honey Toast originated in Shibuya, Tokyo in the early 2000s and arrived in Hawaii in 2005 with the opening of Shokudo Japanese Restaurant and Bar.

This unique dessert earned the restaurant so much fame that the owners of Shokudo decided to trademark the Honey Toast name in 2009.

The dessert begins with a loaf of white bread, carefully hollowed out and cubed. The cubes are toasted, placed back into the hollowed-out loaf, drizzled with plenty of honey and topped with vanilla ice cream.

Shokudo even offers special rare versions of the dessert — Milk & Cereal Honey Toast, Maple Bacon Honey Toast, Unicorn Honey Toast — each March, to celebrate its anniversary.

This unique, much-loved Honolulu restaurant will mark its 15th year in 2020, and will almost certainly commemorate the occasion in a creative and unforgettable fashion.

Shokudo’s Golden Ticket promotions have caused excitement all over Hawaii each year, with prizes ranging from FitBits to Las Vegas getaways to $1,000 cash.

With an intriguing menu of more than 60 dishes, Shokudo also offers a fully stocked bar.

HONEY TOAST ($5 HALF ORDER)

The half order of this toasty treat is an ideal ending for your midday meal. “If you’re feeling too full or want something just for yourself, the half order is a nice compromise,” says Ryan Ko. “It’s one layer instead of two.” Toppings like hot fudge, salted caramel banana, sweet red bean, and Kona coffee are available for $2 each; upgrade to Maui Roselani ice cream for $4.

SHOKUDO DELUXE BENTO BOX ($19)

For the heartiest of appetites, this bento box is a gorgeous and satisfying lunch consisting of assorted tempura (two shrimp and vegetables — mushroom, pumpkin, carrot, zucchini), a side of teriyaki chicken, a small portion of the restaurant’s own fresh homemade tofu, tuna and salmon sashimi, and your choice of a California or spicy tuna roll. It’s accompanied by a small side salad, rice and miso soup. Filling and delicious!

CHIRASHI BOWL ($18)

Fans of this complex and satisfying bowl at Shokudo appreciate the omakase element of this delicious meal. It begins with sushi rice, and the sushi chef’s choice of whatever sashimi is freshest. Recently, the bowl contained an ono combination of maguro, salmon, hamachi, tamago and hotate. Accompanied by miso soup and side salad, it’s practically perfect.

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