“Mix and Match” a Healthy Meal

Columns Veg'n Out

September 15, 2013

Story By: Terri Hefner |

Mamaya, which also has a thriving wholesale business (including those ubiquitous 7-Eleven bentos), started with a kiosk selling fresh, grab-and-go bentos in Shirokiya’s food court at Ala Moana Center, and less than a year ago decided to test the waters in Pearl Kai Shopping Center. The venture has been quite successful and, according to retail manager Dan Kobayashi, it plans to open more bento shops and eventually a restaurant here, then take the show on the road to the Mainland beginning sometime next year.

There are many good things in store at Mamaya in Aiea — donburi, poke bowls, more than a dozen varieties of musubi, plus deli items and side orders all ready to go, so it’s no wonder it’s become so popular in this hustle-bustle world we live in.

And, of course, there are the traditional Japanese bentos with all your local faves. (Advance phone orders for bentos and musubi are welcome.)

Speaking of bentos, what stands out for those of us who don’t eat meat or fish is Mamaya’s deli mix and match feature: Just choose your favorites from approximately 10 hot and eight to 10 cold items from the self-serve deli for $7.75 a pound, and you’re good to go.

Meat-free options include Yakisoba. “We don’t put meat in our yakisoba,” confirms Kobayashi — so there’s one for the vegetarians! The deli also offers Eggplant with Teriyaki Glaze, Tofu Steak with Vegetable Gravy, Namasu (seaweed and cucumber with vinaigrette), green salad and more, along with white or multigrain rice.

Mamaya came up with the unique multigrain mix, and has it specially made.

“It’s 14 types of grains,” explains Kobayashi of the multigrain rice, which consists of whole oats, red rice, rye berries, short grain brown rice, barley, black rice, Arborio rice, beluga lentils and more whole grains. It tastes incredible and is so healthy that you probably could thrive on this alone! But you’ll want to diversify your diet a bit, so pile on the vegetables for one quick, complete, nutritious meal.

Contact Terri Hefner at diningout@staradvertiser.com


Pearl Kai Shopping Center
98-199 Kamehameha Hwy., Aiea
Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-7:30 pm.
Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Note: Made to order bentos served from 8-10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to closing Deli is available 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Aiea, HI 96701

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