Aki Amazes With Modern FareColumns Lite Bites
March 24, 2013
Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
Japanese Restaurant Aki, located on the mauka side of the block between Ala Moana Center and Walmart, opened its doors last month offering delicious, modern Japanese cuisine in a welcoming, contemporary setting.
As you walk in to the restaurant, to the right there’s a colorful floor-to-ceiling painting by Mirori Imai that brings a cheerful vibe to the place. The furniture is all brand-new from Japan, and at the front of the restaurant is a semi-private partitioned area for a table of four.
The menu features a nice assortment of original yakitori, nabe and teppanyaki dishes, similar to what you would find in Japan today. In fact, the restaurant’s owner has 17 other eateries in Japan.
A great dish for someone who wants to try a little bit of everything is the Yakitori Assortment ($21) consisting of cow tongue, sausage, bacon asparagus, chicken thigh, chicken liver, chicken meatball, quail egg, chicken wing, pork belly, shiitake mushroom, king mushroom and chicken gizzard; all served grilled on separate skewers.
Also popular is Tan Tan Nabe ($18, minimum of two orders required), which is a hot pot cooked at your table with pork belly, ground pork, mushroom, tofu, cabbage and green onion, along with a sauce made from sesame seeds, Korean hot sauce and secret spices resulting in a tasty flavor that is sweet and medium spicy.
For dessert, New York Cheesecake ($9) is truly amazing. Made with fresh, local lemons, and served with strawberries, blueberries and vanilla ice cream; it has just the perfect amount of sweetness to end your meal.
There’s also a full bar, along with bar seating toward the back of the restaurant. Happy Hour is from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. to midnight with $3 pupu specials, and drink specials, including $3 for a shot of vodka or tequila; Kirin draft at $10 per pitcher or $3 per glass; and Bud Light, Longboard or Heineken at $3 each.
There also is an early bird dinner special from 4:30-6 p.m. with dinner plates for $12 and nabe for $15 (minimum two orders, choice of Spicy, Chicken Meatball or Tan Tan Nabe).
The restaurant seats about 60 people and parking is available at the front of the eatery. Whether you’re dining with family, friends or just wanting to unwind with some good food and drinks alone, Japanese Restaurant Aki is sure to leave you happy.
Aki Japanese Restaurant
1427 Makaloa St.
Lunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday
Dinner: 4:30 p.m. to midnight daily