A Move in the Right DirectionCover Story
October 6, 2019
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
Rinka symbolizes a “flower” in Japanese culture, and like its namesake, the restaurant continues to bloom at its sparkling new location.
Rinka opened its doors earlier this year on Aeo tower’s ground level within bustling Ward Village after relocating from its original location near Ala Moana.
Rinka serves up an assortment of authentic Japanese cuisine, including sushi, tempura, soba and sashimi.
The spacious locale was constructed with an open concept, sushi bar, sleek interior complete with warm tones and a high ceiling accented by modern lighting elements. Rinka has a private dining room, which is ideal for large parties, family gatherings or special events.
The restaurant also features a full bar at which guests can enjoy their favorite food and spirits.
After building a loyal following throughout its soft opening, Rinka is celebrating its grand opening this week, and Dining Out readers are in luck as the restaurant hours will extend from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch, and from 4 p.m. to closing at 10 p.m. for dinner service. From 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 7 (and through the rest of the month), selected beers, like Maui Brewing’s Pueo Pale Ale and Honolulu Beerworks’ Hop Island American IPA, glasses of house wine and soft drinks are just $1 apiece! As a reminder, this special deal is valid with the purchase of an item from Rinka’s menu.
“We really want to thank our customers,” says Rinka general manager Aki Nakajima. “We were at the previous location from 2013 until earlier this year and relocated six months ago. I really hope our diners appreciate the new location, which is twice as large as before.”
During lunch, guests can enjoy a series of popular set meals including Seafood Chirashi ($27.75) that includes fresh ahi, chutoro, salmon, whelks, herring roe, yellowtail, three pieces of shrimp and egg, along with a hearty bowl of udon in a savory broth, as well as two side dishes, such as fried tofu and pickled vegetables. This set is also accompanied by chawanmushi, a savory egg custard pudding with shrimp, fishcake and mushrooms.
Beef Sukiyaki ($21.75) includes tofu, vegetables like Chinese cabbage; enoki, shiitake and eringi mushrooms; onion and watercress on a bed of yam noodles and thinly sliced beef cooked to perfection in a sweet soy sauce. The set is accompanied by rice, miso soup, two small sides and a savory egg custard pudding.
Tempura ($21.75) features golden-fried jumbo shrimp, pumpkin, sweet potato, lotus, Japanese green pepper and sillago, a flaky white fish. This lunch set also includes rice, miso soup, two small sides and the savory egg custard pudding.
Cold Soba ($18.75) features Japanese cold noodles along with chef’s selection of three pieces of nigiri sushi and a piece of inari sushi wrapped in tofu skin. This lunch set is accompanied by miso soup, two small sides and the savory egg custard pudding.
Those looking for a lighter yet filling option can enjoy Healthy Gozen ($19.75), which includes green salad and a bento composed of saba, grilled chicken breast, shrimp with sweet vinegar, pickled vegetables, Japanese omelet with watercress sesame sauce, as well as simmered mushrooms. This set also comes with rice, miso soup, two small sides and the savory egg custard pudding.
“You get great value, and these lunch sets offer a perfect balance of taste and quality,” says Nakajima.
Take in the cool outdoors
As part of grand-opening festivities, Rinka will open up outdoor seating on its patio, which is the perfect setting, especially at night, for diners to enjoy their favorite beverage and meal as the cooling breezes roll through.