Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Rokkaku HamakatsuRestaurant Insider
October 6, 2019
Story By: Dining Out Team | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
ANNE LEE speaks with chef LANCE MORISHIMA and general manager TAKUMA SUGA
Specializing in genuine Japanese cuisine, Rokkaku Hamakatsu sources the freshest fish Japan has to offer, which is used in an array of menu items. This includes nimono (simmered dishes), grilled items and sashimi.
In addition to its fresh components, the restaurant utilizes a special cooking technique using binchotan.
“(It’s) a special type of charcoal from Japan we use to grill our fish and meat,” shares chef Lance Morishima. “The binchotan allows us to grill items without leaving a gassy, oily residue — it produces a refined smoke to give the items a nice finishing aroma.”
Rokkaku Hamakatsu will be debuting new lunch and dinner menus later this month. “We will be adding our customer favorites back on the menu so stay tuned for more info,” adds Morishima.
The restaurant’s attention to detail and commitment to customers makes Rokkaku Hamakatsu a favored choice among local and visiting diners. Morishima and general manager Takuma Suga explain what to expect when enjoying a meal at this Ala Moana Center eatery.
AL: What does Rokkaku Hamakatsu bring to the Hawaii food scene? LM AND TS: The most critical thing, is that we are simple. We want guests to enjoy the quality of the products without overpowering sauces. We grill with just salt. The freshness speaks for itself. Most times people see simple things as basic and easy, but those are the elements most people cut corners or make their own shortcuts. We follow things that we have been taught to every detail so we can make simple taste amazing.
AL: What is the goal to diners? LM AND TS: Customer satisfaction is top priority. We always want customers to enjoy the ambiance, food and service. We get a lot of repeat customers because they comment our service is really great.
AL: What are some popular dishes? LM AND TS: Our Grilled Miso Butterfish, hands down. It is rich in miso flavor yet not too overpowering, so that diners are still able to grasp the taste of the butterfish. It is served with a root called hajikami, pickled ginger and garnishes — we sell about anywhere from 30 to 50 of these a day.
Tonkatsu is another popular one because we use fresh bread crumbs that is exclusive to our restaurant. It’s a signature bread crumb and the dish runs from $18-$38, based on whether a lunch or dinner portion is ordered.
AL: Anything else you’d like to share? LM AND TS: We have a large selection of unique sakes that many other Japanese restaurants do not carry. Our sakes are unique in the sense that all of our front of the house staff has a chance to try them, and we as a team decide whether or not our customers will appreciate it. Additionally, we have a private dining area in the back called the Tatami Room. It sits about 16 people and can be reserved for private parties.
Simmering Sauce Recipe
• 3 ounces water
• 3 ounces cooking sake
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1.5 ounces Mirin
• 2 ounces Usukuchi shoyu (light shoyu)
• 1-ounce Yamasa shoyu (dark shoyu)
• 1-ounce ginger
• Madai snapper (sea bream)
• Myoga (Japanese ginger)
• Boiled spinach
• Gobo (burdock)
Bring the nitsuke sauce ingredients to a boil separate from the fish. After bringing the sauce to a boil, in a separate pot combine the sauce and fish. Let it simmer on medium heat for about 720 minutes depending on the size of the fillet. Transfer the fish to a serving plate or bowl. Pour any remaining sauce over the fish. Serve spinach and gobo on the side. Finally, slice the myoga and place on top of the simmered fish. Then it’s ready to be served!