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Seasonal special full of Japanese charm

A La Carte Columns

April 10, 2016

Story By: Caitlin Basilio |

Hanami Gozen Special, available during April. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARILYN CARIAGA

Hanami Gozen Special, available during April. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARILYN CARIAGA

Located on South King Street, Sakura Terrace Japanese Cafe is a hidden gem of casual and elegant dining. Front of house manager Jaron Takumi says first timers often are pleasantly surprised by the cozy dining space when they stumble upon it.

“The food presentations are consistent and simply beautiful, the quality of ingredients used are of good quality,” he adds.

In celebration of its fourth anniversary, Sakura Terrace invites guests to celebrate with a delicious Hanami Gozen Special ($30). Beautifully presented in a boxed set, the special features various appetizers, chirashi, sashimi, sunomono, nimono, tempura, miso soup, salad and tsukemono.

The appetizers include Misoyaki Duck, Rolled Omelet, Boiled Abalone, Pickled Lotus Root, Tako Karaage, Teriyaki Butter-fish, Kuromame, Salmon Sushi, Kamaboko and Lobster with mayonnaise. As for the chirashi, one can indulge in Sushi Rice, Egg, Ikura, Shrimp, Ginger and Radish Sprouts. The sashimi consists of Red Shrimp, Ahi, Hamachi and Ika. Bamboo Shoot, Seaweed, Tarako and green onion make up nimono; and last but not least, the selection offers shrimp, eggplant, pumpkin and asparagus tempura.

Reservations are recommended when ordering this anniversary special, as only 10 are available for lunch and dinner, respectively.

“It takes time to make this dish due to its intricacies,” says Takumi. “It’s made with mindfulness, thoughtfulness, keeping our valued guests in mind.”

The restaurant is located on South King Street. A. CONSILLIO PHOTO

The restaurant is located on South King Street. A. CONSILLIO PHOTO

Executive chef Takayuki Sekine’s childhood memories inspired this meal. “During my sakura viewing over the years, it brought many beautiful memories that you can see in our Hanami Gozen April special,” he says.

Sakura Terrace first opened in November 2011, but officially celebrated its debut in April 2012. The eatery started out serving Donburis and later evolved into a restaurant with a full menu.

The kitchen team is proud to serve appealing dishes, each offering distinct Japanese flavors that are fresh and made to order. “We bring Japan into Hawaii by keeping traditions infused with slightly different interpretations of Japan’s cuisine,” explains Takumi.

With a new special every month, don’t miss out on this month’s Hanami Gozen Special — it already has mouths watering!

Sakura Terrace Japanese Cafe

1240 S. King St., Honolulu
Tuesday-Sunday, lunch: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. dinner: 5-9:30 p.m.

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