Rijo’s new ‘ahi-mazing’ buffet makes a splash

Columns What's Cooking?

September 6, 2015

Story By: Caitlin Basilio |

Something fishy is going on at Rijo Restaurant, but in this case that’s a good thing, because seafood-lovers absolutely are loving it! New to the eatery this summer is the Fresh Island Ahi Lunch Buffet, serving up to 20-30 pounds of ahi daily, and it’s here to stay through the month of September.

The lunch buffet features six ahi dishes: Ahi Molokai, Blackened Ahi, Ahi Katsu, Ahi Sashimi, Ahi Poke and Spicy Ahi. The buffet also offers brown or white rice, chicken karaage, koji teriyaki chicken, tossed green salad, miso pork rib, ebi fry, somen salad, tofu quinoa salad and desserts. All of these delicious options are all-you-can-eat for only $24.95 ($15.95 for children 4-12 years old).

One customer favorite so far is Ahi Molokai, which Rijo Restaurant president John Hayashi describes as a family recipe.

“It’s actually from my uncle who went fishing in Molokai and was introduced to the Ahi Molokai,” says Hayashi.

Ahi Katsu (Part of Fresh Island Ahi Lunch Buffet, $24.95 per person)  BODIE COLLINS PHOTO

Ahi Katsu (Part of Fresh Island Ahi Lunch Buffet, $24.95 per person)

To prepare this special recipe, the fish is pan-seared with peanut oil and soy sauce before it is topped with ginger and green onions.

The Blackened Ahi is another popular item from the buffet, made with a special Louisiana-style seasoning called Tokadashi. Be sure to grab some of the Blackened Ahi if you want to add a little spice to your life!

Guests can’t leave the buffet without trying Ahi Katsu, which is dipped into flour and panko, deep fried and wrapped with nori.

Hayashi explains that the buffet caters to patrons looking for a convenient lunch with plenty of tasty choices.

“Being downtown, customers don’t have too much time for lunch; they keep it to pretty much an hour or (an) hour-and-a-half at most,” explains Hayashi. “Menu service makes it really hard — sometimes we have 10-15 people come in and we just want to give them choices so that they can enjoy (lunch) without rushing.”

Rijo takes pride in serving a fusion of American, Japanese, French and Italian foods.

“For our buffet, we are adding some kind of Japanese taste to all of the plates,” says Hayashi.

The Fresh Island Ahi Lunch Buffet is offered Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Harbor Court, Third Floor
66 Queen St., Downtown
Monday-Friday, Fresh Island
Ahi Lunch Buffet: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.;
Tuesday-Friday, dinner: 5-10 p.m.;
happy hour (Rijo Lounge): 4-8 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96813

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