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Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Rocky Japanese Steak Teppan Restaurant

Restaurant Insider

November 17, 2019

Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Owner and CEO Keiko Ono Aoki, left, chef Tom Toth, Anne Lee and Adrian De Silva fire up the grill at Rocky Japanese Steak Teppan Restaurant, which sits right in the middle of diners’ tables for a fiery show.

ANNE LEE speaks with corporate manager ADRIAN DE SILVA and CEO KEIKO AOKI

Rocky Japanese Steak Teppan Restaurant at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, might be better known to many as Benihana. However, after the founder Rocky Aoki passed away in 2008, his wife Keiko Aoki rebranded and upgraded the restaurant to what it is known as today.

The restaurant’s official name also got a fun nickname, which is more commonly used among folks, Rocky’s Teppanyaki. People flock to this hip and fun eatery as it presents fiery cooking shows by a personal chef right at diners’ tables.

Banquet Combination: Seafood Harmony ($58.75) includes sweet Maine lobster tail, jumbo shrimp and scallops

“This is the Benihana that you remember, nothing has really changed, we rebranded it as Rocky’s. We have never changed the concept — my husband started this concept 55 years ago,” says Aoki. “We want to make sure we are able to offer what the diners would expect at a Hawaii location — local fish options, delicious craft cocktails and a happy hour at 50 percent off all drinks from 5 to 7 p.m. on the lanai. We do have a lot of tourists at the Hilton Hawaiian Village location but we rebranded to Rocky’s from the chain, so we could allow that freedom and give the visitors what they want as well as cater to the local clientele.”

Whether you’ve paid a visit to Rocky’s before, or it will be your first time, here is more of what Aoki and corporate manager Adrian De Silva had to share about the eatery:

AL: What are some things here guests can look forward to?

KA & AD: We recommend trying some of our most popular picks like pad Thai noodle, Wagyu beef, Hawaiian Tuna Steak, Seafood Harmony and both Keiko’s special and Rocky’s special are popular.

Banquet Combination: Keiko’s Special ($74) includes Chateaubriand tender (center cut) and sweet Maine lobster tail

Additionally, we are celebrating our first anniversary and have a lot of giveaways. Between now and Nov. 30, visit Rocky’s for lunch, dinner or happy hour and enter to win a $300 gift certificate for your next dinner (entrants must be 21 or over, and only one entry per check, per visit is permitted; we will announce the winners on Dec. 1).

Lastly, each Saturday for the reminder of the month, the first 30 people seated for lunch at Rocky’s will be invited to enjoy the New York Cut Steak for $11.09, regularly priced at $25.75. The Angus strip loin is served with salad, your choice of shrimp appetizer or three pieces of California Roll, grilled veggies and rice.

AL: What are the future plans for the restaurant?

KA & AD: We are possibly looking at expanding the Rocky’s brand to the outer islands and Japan.

AL: Thanksgiving is just around the corner, is Rocky’s Teppanyaki doing anything to celebrate?

KA & AD: We will be offering a turkey meatball yakitori style for the Thanksgiving holiday, please call for more details and to make reservations.

*Note: Banquet combinations are served with soup, salad, shrimp appetizer, grilled vegetables, steamed rice, hot green tea and choice of ice cream or sherbet.

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