Every Day Brings Something SpecialColumns Foodie Fare
October 6, 2013
Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Leah Friel
As the inaugural Heijouen location outside of Japan, Heijouen on Kapahulu offers an authentic taste of Japanese yakiniku.
“We have a Japanese chef here, and he has worked in the Heijouen in Tokyo, so he has a lot of experience with traditional Japanese yakiniku,” explains general manager Masataka Takeshita, who moved to the Islands about a year ago to open the restaurant.
“Plus, everything is made by the cooks ― the dressings and the dipping sauces.”
The chefs also cut all the meat by hand, rather than with a machine, ensuring delicately sliced meats.
An offshoot of a restaurant chain in Japan, Heijouen offers a similar menu to its restaurants there. It is comprised of a range of beef, fish and vegetables for grilling and also includes items like udon and ramen.
Heijouen’s weekly specials happy hour menu is a great way to sample some of the restaurant’s most popular items at a discounted rate. During happy hour, which runs from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, there are different specials every day.
On Monday, diners can get Beef Rib Finger meat or Nakaochi for $5 ($7.80 regularly). On Tuesday, Kalbi is $5 ($7.80 regularly), and Wednesday brings a discount for Jo Rosu or Prime Beef Loin ($5, happy hour; $8.80, regular).
On Thursday and Friday, take advantage of a deal on two sets. Thursday offers the Horumon/Mino Set for $10. The set features the Horumon or small intestine (normally $6.80) and the Mino or stomach (normally $7.80) together. On Friday, the Pork Ribs/Tontoro set is $10 for a combination of the Pork Ribs (normally $6.80) and the Tontoro or pork neck (normally $6.80).
In addition to these eats, the Happy Hour also features $3 house wines, beers and umeshu, $4 chuhai drinks, house sake and nigori as well as $5 shots. Friday also is Ladies’ Night, featuring happy hour prices all night.
At Heijouen. there’s no shortage of happiness.
On the Side
With the mission of bringing traditional Japanese yakiniku to Hawaii, Heijouen opened last December, marking the restaurant chain’s first location outside of Japan. In Japan, there are 20 Heijouen restaurants.
“The local Japanese people wanted a Japanese yakiniku place in Hawaii that features good quality meats,” explains general manager Masataka Takeshita.
Takeshita grew up in the restaurant industry; his parents owned a yakiniku place in Japan, and he often helped out there. Plus, he says, he loves eating yakiniku.
“What separates this restaurant from the other yakiniku restaurants is that we have good quality meats and they are all for an affordable price,” he says. “This is all prime-grade beef.”
In the future, Heijouen hopes to get even closer to its Japanese roots by importing meat from Japan.
Contact Christina O’Connor at email@example.com
949 Kapahulu Ave., Honolulu
Open daily, 5-10:30 p.m.
Note: A parking lot is located behind the restaurant