Early Birds Get the Great DealsColumns Foodie Fare
August 18, 2013
Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Rachel Breit
Tucked away off of Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki, Restaurant Ko is a tranquil little hideaway with an elegant, yet cozy dining room. The restaurant specializes in Japanese kaiseki, or course menus.
“We serve small portions with a multi-course menu,” assistant manager Aiko Miyamoto says, adding that the restaurant currently offers an 8-course menu and a 9-course menu.
Current course menus are comprised of items such as sashimi, lotus root manju, mountain yam and prosciutto spring roll, along with a choice between items including local fish, beef and more. Ko changes its course menu every month based on the season and a la carte menu items are available any time.
Early diners can take advantage of the Early Bird Set ($20) available from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The set features an appetizer, sashimi and a selection of one of four main dishes ― all served with rice and miso soup.
The appetizers are pre-set and vary based on what the chef prepares each day. Selections may include Simmered Pumpkin, Simmered Eggplant, Japanese Omelette and Cream Cheese, Shrimp Cucumber and Roast Beef Wrap.
The sashimi is comprised of ahi, salmon and hamachi. Main dish selections offer entrees such as Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura, Beef Yakiniku and Pork Belly with Sweet Shoyu, to name a few.
“This one cooks for eight hours — it is very tender,” Miyamoto explains of the pork belly.
The final main dish option is Grilled Salmon, which features sauteed salmon topped with dashi and cheese.
“All of these items are really popular,” she says.
On the Side
Restaurant Ko opened early this year, and it’s already been wowing diners with its creative cuisine, which assistant manager Aiko Miyamoto describes as a fusion of sorts. Rooted in traditional Japanese fare ― the head chef is from Japan ― the restaurant also combines Italian and French influences.
“In Japan, a lot of the younger people like to eat different types of food, such as Italian mixed with Japanese food,” she says. “We wanted to introduce this type of food to Hawaii.”
Examples of fusion fare include Ahi Carpaccio and Foie Gras Donburi.
The restaurant is a popular dinner spot, and also has a dedicated late-night following. Open until 2 a.m. five nights a week, Restaurant Ko provides a relaxing way to end a night out.
Contact Christina O’Connor at email@example.com
Restaurant & Bar Ko
3196 Waialae Ave., Honolulu
Sunday, 5 p.m.-midnight
Monday and Wednesday-Saturday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.