Making It Just Like Mom

A La Carte Columns

October 25, 2015

Story By: Dining Out Team | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

Mochiko Chicken Bento ($5.99)

Mochiko Chicken Bento ($5.99)

Mama knows best, especially when it comes to food.

In Pearl Kai Shopping Center, the Japanese bento and musubi shop Mamaya literally translates to “Mama’s house.” The title is fitting, as the eatery’s recipes, flavors and cooking styles are reminiscent of the comfort of Mom’s cooking.

Enjoy the combination of fresh protein, pickled vegetables and varieties of musubis, as the traditional tastes of Japanese cuisine and local cravings mix for one tasty meal after another. Part of what makes Ma-maya’s food so yummy is that its rice is supplied from the Warabeya USA facility, which is home to a machine that is capable of producing unimaginable quantities of cooked rice at one time.

Bentos, poke and other dishes are made fresh daily, and offered on display tables for quick pickings, but you always can order directly from the counter, too. Mamaya’s delicatessen-style fare also can be found on Bishop Street, as well as in Shirokiya at Ala Moana Center.


One of Mamaya’s beloved menu items is Mochiko Chicken Bento ($5.99). Don’t let the price fool you, for this meal is packed with marinated and fried chicken, multi-grain rice (white rice available), nishime (simmered vegetables) and yellow pillows of tamago, enough to satisfy any appetite. The chicken is unlike any other, after having been soaked in an original sauce before being coated with a light batter and deep fried to golden brown perfection.


Pearl Kai Shopping Center,
98-199 Kamehameha Hwy., A-7B, Aiea
Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Aiea, HI 96701

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best