Restaurant brings same great taste to new location

A La Carte

April 15, 2018

Story By: Phoebe Neel | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Soymilk Szechuan Sesame hot pot ($20, two order minimum) with pork belly, vegetables and tofu

Izakaya lovers rejoice: Japanese Restaurant Aki has moved from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki into a new, serene open-air location in Kaimuki. It’s perfect for foodies looking for a low-key, well-appointed restaurant to try classic Japanese pub favorites done right.

The Kyoto-trained chef has brought in high-quality Japanese sashimi, as well as a good selection of yakitori and other grilled items using traditional binchotan (Japanese charcoal). Nothing goes better with the eatery’s choice list of shochu, however, than its signature hot pot.

Aki Original Salad ($10.50)

The Soymilk Szechuan Sesame hot pot ($20, two order minimum) has a tooth-some, savory soup broth with tons of umami action.

An array of goodies, including pork belly, tofu, Chinese cabbage and three kinds of mushrooms are served raw atop the soup and cooked to taste at the table (prices for additions vary). An alternate hot pot option takes a Korean interpretation, including beef intestine and a spicier broth.

Agedashi Tofu ($8.50)

The Aki Original Salad ($10.50) is the perfect fresh counterpart to the richness of the hot pot. A tangy, carrot-based dressing adds zing to mixed greens, while fried wonton chips provide extra crunch.

The eatery also provides a whole host of shareable small bites that are familiar and yet, far above average, like Agedashi Tofu (deep fried tofu served in dashi or broth) for $8.50. Restaurant Aki makes the classics — only better than you remember.

Honolulu, HI 96816

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Hawaii's Best