A family serving families local-style, Japanese delightsColumns Lite Bites
January 4, 2015
Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
Since its opening almost 80 years ago, generations of families have been dining at Sekiya’s Restaurant & Delicatessen near Kapahulu. Even restaurant operations are spearheaded by the third generation, with the grandchildren of founders Taisuke and Katsuko Sekiya running the popular local eatery.
“We’re still using the same recipes from 80 years ago,” says general manager Lynn Ky, who has been with Sekiya’s for 20 years. “The sushi, we still make from scratch, as well as the dashi or soup.
“I think the restaurant has been successful because of the high quality of food, and it’s family-style and warm (atmosphere). People come to eat, hang out and talk story.”
Serving local-style Japanese food, Sekiya’s is known for its tasty okazu featuring more than 20 items, including hash tempura, shrimp tempura, shoyu chicken, shoyu hot dog, inari sushi, chow funn and much more.
Its regular menu includes a variety of sukiyaki, donburi, saimin, noodles, tempura, seafood, and chicken, steak and beef dishes. There also are some American classics such as hamburgers, sandwiches and french fries.
Among Ky’s recommendations is Chicken Sukiyaki Udon ($16.95), which she says is like hot pot, and has shiitake mushrooms, tofu, watercress, round onion, udon noodles, makina (Chinese cabbage), green onion, gobo, island egg and homemade dashi.
“A lot of people come just for the soup,” she notes. “It takes about five hours to make the dashi, and it has a chicken and shrimp base.”
One of the newer items on the menu is Beef Curry ($11.50), which was added just a few months ago and has been well-received. The homemade curry sauce has a hint of garlic and onion, and is made with carrots, potatoes and pieces of tender beef.
For a healthier option, try Oriental Chicken Salad ($6.50), which features yakitori chicken, Romaine lettuce, cucumber, carrots, and homemade, fried and crispy won ton strips.
There also are party trays, which are especially popular during the holidays. Customers can create their own, or pick one that already is set.
“We also did renovations last year — new tables and chairs, new stoves and kitchen equipment, and our fish pond in the back is nicer now,” adds Ky. “We have a lot of regulars, and everyone knows each other. We have grandmothers who have been coming for years, and now their grandchildren are coming on their own as adults. We treat everybody here like our own family.”
Sekiya’s Restaurant & Delicatessen
2746 Kaimuki Ave., Honolulu
Sunday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.