Simply Satisfying Cuisine

Columns Surf and Turf

March 16, 2014

Story By: Steve Murray | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

At first glance, Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto may seem like a strange moniker. What, after all, does the Japanese city of Kyoto have to do with Southern European cuisine. A lot, actually.

Japanese and Italian food share a basic culinary philosophy. Each is based on the belief that good food comes from great ingredients that are simply prepared. With that in mind, the menu created by executive chef Toshiya Umeda makes sense. He has successfully combined seemingly contradictory flavors to build consistently good food.

A good way to begin this international journey is with the Catch of the Day (market price), which pairs Japanese fish cooked in a traditional Italian way. For our visit, the dish featured Japanese Madai (white snapper) served aqua passa style. The tender white fish is sauteed in a white wine sauce with butter and capers. Served with a fresh vegetable medley, the fish swims in the delicate sauce that provides an aromatic indicator of what’s to come. Just as impressive as the food being presented, all dishes come to the table in handmade ceramic bowls and plates shipped directly from Japan.

Another light menu item is Veal Milanese ($26). Tender veal cutlet is panko-coated and sauteed in extra virgin olive oil and a lemon butter sauce. The golden brown veal is served with Island-grown vegetables, a drizzle of pesto and a marinara dipping sauce.

Shifting gears, Diablo Chicken ($24) offers half of a free range chicken that is sauteed in a sansyo pepper sauce and oven-finished until caramelized. Served with local potatoes and other island-grown vegetables, it’s both filling and fulfilling, which is what you want.

Not to forget about beef, the Kyoto-style Ribeye Steak ($30) with a red wine teriyaki sauce is a meat lover’s favorite. A juicy and succulent 8-ounce steak is grilled and served with garlic mashed potatoes and a selection of Hawaii-grown veggies.

Chef Umeda is in the process of working on a simplified menu, which will debut next month. In the meantime, check out the Chef Pre-fixe Menu ($50). The six-course meal features an appetizer, salad, soup, a vegetable/pasta course, a protein-based entree and dessert. There is also a new bar menu on the way, along with signature cocktails, so stay tuned.

Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto

1341 Kapiolani Blvd. Ste. 101
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30-10 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays.
Note: The restaurant houses a full bar. Free parking is located just past the eatery at the Kapiolani side entrance of the Uraku Tower, in the basement level.

Honolulu, HI 96814

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