Oldie But GoodieFeatures Inside Feature
March 5, 2017
Story By: Maria Kanai |
It’s the humble beginnings of Sekiya Restaurant Delicatessen that make it iconic.
The eatery began in 1935, when two Japanese sisters, Taisuke and Katsuko Sekiya, opened their restaurant on School Street. The menu was simple: okazu, shave ice and ice cream. The restaurant may have moved around a bit since then — from School Street to Kaimuki Avenue — and its menu has grown, but the simple, alluring charm of its dishes hasn’t changed. From plate lunches to salads, Sekiya’s is known for satisfying, delicious food that doesn’t need any frills.
Customers can dine in the restaurant for lunch or dinner, or choose to pick up food at the okazuya, which is open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The okazuya, located at the front of the restaurant, is a big draw for customers. There are various sushi items such as norimaki, inari sushi, tekka maki and teppo maki — the restaurant makes its own sushi vinegar and dashi stock. There also are local favorites like chow fun noodles, potato macaroni salad, shoyu chicken and char siu.
“We’re very fortunate to have loyal customers who come from all over the island and support us,” says general manager Faye Hara. “A lot of times, we’ve even had repeat customers who live on the mainland or outer islands, visit Oahu and choose to eat at our restaurant before they leave.”
Hara and her husband are the third generation of the Sekiya family, and their son also carrying on the family business as the fourth generation.
Hara says there is something for everyone at Sekiya’s, and for people who may be observing Lent this season, there are many alternatives to meat.
Tuna Salad ($9.25) with romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumber and tomatoes, is a new menu item introduced this year. For something more filling, however, try Fisherman’s Breakfast ($8.50), which comes with three pieces of ahi or mahimahi tempura, white rice and miso soup. Or, opt for Fried Butterfish ($18.95), which is a full meal with rice, miso soup, tsukemono (pickled vegetables) and green tea.
For something more traditional, try Shake Chazuke ($10.95). White rice is accompanied by flaky pieces of salmon and an assortment of tsukemono, such as ume, daikon, takuwan, cucumber and ginger. Then, hot green tea with special chazuke seasonings can be poured all over the rice, creating a dish that is light and easy on the stomach, while still bursting with good umami flavor.
Sekiya Restaurant Delicatessen
2746 Kaimuki Ave., Kaimuki
Sunday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.