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Tantalizing To-Go options

Cover Story

March 22, 2020

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Akira Japanese Restaurant executive head chef and owner Taiki Kawai

Though known for its downright delicious kaiseki menu offerings, the skilled team at Akira Japanese Restaurant is cooking up an array of to-go dishes for those wanting excellent Japanese food to enjoy at home.

Hotaru Ika Sumiso ($7.50)

Right now, Oahu restaurants and bars are able to offer only takeout, drive-thru or delivery food services, and executive head chef and owner Taiki Kawai explains that the restaurant’s new, temporary operating hours are now 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. and that “We’re sorry for the inconvenience and hope to be back to regular operations soon!”

Kawai and his team prepare traditional Japanese cuisine featuring local ingredients made meticulously to order. Kawai specializes in the “kaiseki style” of Japanese cooking that incorporates small course meals infused with the freshest ingredients, which results in exquisite flavor, beautiful presentation and a memorable “spirit.”

Grilled Hotate ($5.50)

Eggplant with Grated Daikon Ponzu ($5.50) is a popular to-go option that gained popularity as a happy hour pupu as eggplant is flash-fried, skinned and re-hydrated in a dashi marinade for 24 hours then served with ponzu sauce, along with green onion and ginger, and bonito flakes. Additional to-go choices include Karaage Chicken ($5.50), Shrimp & Vegetable Tempura ($7.50), Unagi Cucumber Roll ($7.50), Spicy Tuna Roll ($5.50) and California Roll ($7.50).

The aforementioned a la carte items can also be supplemented with rice, miso soup and pickles for an additional $5.50.

Katsuo Tataki ($8.50)

Akira Bento Box ($12) is a great to-go option as guests receive a choice of Miso Butterfish or Miso King Salmon along with eggplant ponzu, chicken karaage, tamagoyaki, rice and pickles all in one set.

“The reason why we continue on is because of the support of our customers — they’ve brought us to this point, and I want to do my best to keep guests coming back again and again through the love for my art and for the diners through each dish we prepare,” Kawai says.

Ankimo Daihon Steak ($12)

Situated conveniently in the Eleven50 Building on King Street (parking entrance on Young Street), Akira Japanese Restaurant is easily accessible for those stopping in to enjoy the tasty to-go items. When the eatery reopens to full service, it serves as the perfect destination for a pau hana get-together, or a delicious dinner with family and friends.

Sea Cucumber ($8.50)

Look Forward to Happy Hour, New Menu Items

When Akira Japanese Restaurant returns to full service in the near future, guests are encouraged to enjoy the happy hour specials available from 4 to 5:30 p.m., and again from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Be sure to check in with the restaurant’s friendly staff as the popular food and beverage specials change as new items and ingredients become available.

Th e restaurant features its own designated sushi chef in sous chef Andy Hideaki Hirahara, who prepares fresh sushi selections and happy hour favorites. Stay tuned as Akira Japanese Restaurant’s team looks forward to serving guests with its full menu!

Some of the new menu items that diners can anticipate when the restaurant offers regular dinner service include Seared Sawara ($12), Hotaru Ika Sumiso ($7.50), Grilled Hotate ($5.50), Katsuo Tataki ($8.50), Ankimo Daikon Steak ($12) and Sea Cucumber ($8.50).

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