Katsu by way of KyotoA La Carte
January 5, 2020
Story By: Brandon Bosworth | Photos by: FILE PHOTOS
Located on the second floor of Ala Moana Center, Rokkaku Hamakatsu offers modernized, Kyoto-style cuisine, specializing in tonkatsu as well as various seasonal dishes. Rokkaku Hamakatsu is owned by Ringer Hut, a Japanese corporation with more than 900 restaurants in Japan and Southeast Asia.
“Our concept is taking seasonal ingredients from Japan to create unique dishes that express the quality and integrity of Japanese cuisine,” says manager Takuma Suga.
True to the name, the restaurant excels at katsu. The Rokkaku Original Katsu ($30) features tender Berkshire pork loin with homemade miso sauce, yamaimo with mentaiko, pork tenderloin with ume and shiso leaf, and shrimp shinjo.
Of course, there is more than just tonkatsu at Rokkaku Hamakatsu. The Assorted Sashimi Platter (market price) is a mixed delight from the sea. The sashimi is always prepared fresh and most of the fish is directly flown in from Japan. Only the best seasonal fish are used.
The platter is adjustable upon customer request, and Rokkaku Hamakatsu offers Omakase style sashimi as well as ala carte options.
12uga says the Grilled Miso Butterfish ($28) is “hands down” one of the most popular items on the menu.
“It is rich in miso flavor yet not too overpowering, so that diners are still able to grasp the taste of the butterfish,” he says. “It is served with a root called hajikami, pickled ginger and garnishes — we sell about anywhere from 30 to 50 of these a day.”
Meat lovers who are in the mood to splurge might want to consider the Miyazaki A5 Wagyu Shabu Shabu ($240).
“A5 Wagyu is considered to be the king of beef throughout the world,” Suga says. “At Rokkaku Hamakatsu we offer that as a shabu shabu style or as grilled steak and eaten with wasabi.” He adds that Rokkaku Hamakatsu actually serves two types of Wagyu. “We offer Miyazaki A5 Wagyu and Mishima Wagyu so people can enjoy by trying different types of top quality beef.”
A key element setting Rokkaku Hamakatsu apart from other eateries is its use of a special charcoal imported from Japan called binchotan to grill meat and fish. Suga says binchotan is ideal in Japanese cooking because of the incredibly high heat it emits, preserving the flavorful juices and adding a beautiful sear without leaving any unwanted tastes and smells to the dishes.
Rokkaku Hamakatsu also has a large selection of unique sakes that many other 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,” Suga says. “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.”