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Mamma Mia, it’s time to dine at Mimasuya!

Ali Carte Columns

August 10, 2014

Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

A visit to Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto on Kapiolani Boulevard is a chance to experience exquisitely prepared Italian cuisine, unveiled with the refined aesthetics of Japanese food presentation. Open since December 2012, this east-meets-west eatery is the first of Japanese restauranteur Masaki Hibi’s eight dining establishments to open outside of Kyoto, Japan.

Acting as a link to the culinary environment it hails from, Mimasuya Italiano allows diners to experience a taste of popular food culture in Japan. Itameshi, or “Italian fare” has been widely enjoyed in the Land of the Rising Sun for decades, with a multitude of Italian restaurants spotted throughout the streets of Kyoto and other cities in the country. Spaghetti was even known to be a popular menu item in Japanese cafes as early as the 1920s.

Assorted Appetizer Tray ($28, dinner only)

Assorted Appetizer Tray ($28, dinner only)

While some Japanese chefs have aimed to preserve the authenticity of Italian dishes, others have adapted the recipes to reflect a hint of their own heritage. Here in the Islands, Mimasuya Italiano’s executive chef Toshiya Umeda is able to touch on both techniques excellently.

In traditional seafood dishes like Pescatore pasta ($18 lunch, $27 dinner), Umeda uses rich house-made tomato sauce to accent Manila clams, squid, shrimp and scallop, all swimming in a sea of spaghetti. Meanwhile, he brings Japanese flair to items such as Assorted Appetizer Tray ($28, dinner only), which showcases 10 fusion-filled bites in a bento-style platter.

“The ingredients vary depending on the season,” explains general manager Michael Lopez, noting that vegetable frittata is a staple in the platter, while a range of fish and meat preparations are switched out regularly.

The perfect time to try Mimasuya Italiano’s unique Italian cuisine is during the restaurant’s happy hour, offered daily from 5 to 7 p.m. Patrons may snack on $4 to $6 pupus from the bar menu, while enjoying beer specials and house wines priced at $4 per glass. Some of the unforgettable happy hour bites are Flat Breads — Gorgonzola ($5.50), Parma Prosciutto ($6.50) and Margherita ($5.50) — as well as fresh Smoked Salmon with Onions ($6).

Mimasuya Italiano of Kyoto

1341 Kapiolani Blvd. Ste. 101, Honolulu
Daily, Lunch:11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30-10 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays
Happy hour 5-7 p.m.

Note: Free parking is located just past the eatery at the Kapiolani side entrance of Uraku Tower, on the basement level.

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