All-Time Favorites For KamaainaInside Feature
August 27, 2017
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Missy Romero
For more than 80 years, Sekiya’s Restaurant & Delicatessen has catered to generations of local residents who have come to appreciate the cuisine initially introduced by Taisuke and Katsuko Sekiya in 1935.
More than eight decades after opening the original restaurant on School Street, Sekiya’s still offers local favorites at its iconic home on Kaimuki Avenue, just mauka of Kaimuki High School. The eatery caters to a wide range of tastes and flavors, making it possible for one to enjoy a hearty bowl of saimin, wonton or udon noodles, beef teriyaki or butterfish — just to name a few.
Under the direction of general manager Faye Hara and her team that includes daughter and manager Deanna Hara, Sekiya’s continues to serve an eclectic menu featuring comfort food classics — everything from burgers and sandwiches to traditional Japanese noodle offerings. Even better, these treats can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack or dinner.
“A lot of people come back from the mainland or neighbor islands and visit us right after getting off the plane,” says Faye. “Our regular customers continue to ask us to keep the restaurant, and its history and memories, going.”
Diners still flock to Sekiya’s for its delicious Saimin ($6.45 small), which features the same recipe and dashi soup base that traces back 80-plus years. Lima Beans ($2.50 medium) are new to the menu, but guests are becoming fans of the sweet dish that resembles the taste and texture of mochi.
“The lima beans are from my great grandmother’s recipe, and while the younger generation gives lima beans a bad rap, they’re very sweet and delicious,” says Deanna, who represents the fourth generation to carry on the Sekiya’s legacy.
Customers may select from full-course meals, including Pork Tofu ($12.95) served with rice, miso soup, tsukemono and green tea. Hash Tempura ($6.75 for six pieces) also have gained popularity, as the large pork hash are lightly breaded and fried to perfection.
Sekiya’s is known for its okazu menu with a la carte items available deli-style — the perfect way to snack or create a unique plate lunch. Okazu items are served daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the counter situated at the front of the store. The menu items are made from scratch at the peak of freshness, and diners also can look forward to discounted bentos available for just $3.99 after 3 p.m. daily, for as long as items are available.
Monday is “Senior Day” at Sekiya’s, as diners ages 65 and older receive 10 percent off their dine-in check for themselves and those at the table. Sekiya’s also offers bentos and party platters for all sorts of events, from family celebrations to business functions. Call 732-1656 to inquire about prices and large orders (please provide at least two days’ notice), including the Big Bento ($7.25) with fried noodles, musubi, nori maki slice, shoyu chicken, barbecue meat, shoyu hot dog, tsukemono and namasu.