Uptown Cafe

Digest Step Up to the Plate

April 3, 2016

Story By: Abby Sadoy | Photos by: NATHALIE WALKER


A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: Wasabi Salmon ($14.95, April special)

In the middle of bustling Chinatown, Uptown Cafe is a cozy family-operated restaurant with a heart made up of three generations. Going on nearly 18 years at its River Street location, the eatery happily serves up appetizing dishes that won’t disappoint.

Say hello to the go-to place for “good, authentic Okinawan food,” says mother-and-daughter duo Helene and Jackie Toya, who serve as the restaurant’s owner and manager, respectively.

Diners can look forward to local favorites such as Kalbi and Loco Moco, but Okinawan entrees like Pork or Chicken Tofu and Beef Bitter Melon steal the show. Customers will spot a few Japanese and American specialties on the menu as well.

Right now, take a bite out of one of Uptown Cafe’s signature dishes, Wasabi Salmon, which comes with rice and a choice of tossed or mac salad or miso soup. Made with fresh and local ingredients, diners can expect succulent, savory flavors to emerge from this entree.

As an added plus, the dish is available at a discounted price during April (before returning to its regular price).

SAVORY SALMON After marinating, the fresh fish is fried and topped with furikake and a mouthwatering mixture of wasabi and mayo.

OH MY, WHAT A MARINADE! Made from Grandma’s recipe, the marinade gives the salmon the perfect tangy-teriyaki barbecue base.

MORE POTATOES, PLEASE Like shoestring potatoes, these starchy strands are deep-fried and add a crunchy complement to the tender salmon.

FRESH VEGGIES Along with the potatoes, a bed of raw carrots and cucumber is arranged beneath the salmon for an extra healthy heap.

Uptown Cafe

1333 River St., Chinatown
Monday-Saturday, lunch and dinner: 11 a.m.-9 p.m., pupus offered until closing (2 a.m.); Saturday, breakfast: 7-11 a.m.; closed Sunday

Honolulu, HI 96817

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Hawaii's Best