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Local dining legacy lives on at Waimalu eatery

A La Carte

September 19, 2021

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Yose Nabe ($18.50)

Nearly two years after taking over Kabuki Restaurant & Delicatessen at Waimalu Shopping Center, owner John Afong and his veteran team are navigating the uncharted waters caused by the pandemic.

The restaurateur explains that “business slowed down, but we have our regular faithful customers, as well as new guests every day, and our hosts and managers are adapting to the new health and safety mandates. You can check in with a vaccine card or QR code through the Safe Travels Hawaii app, so there’s that extra option for dine-in customers. Plexiglass in place for safety and we’re operating at less than 50% capacity, so we’re doing our part to keep everyone safe.”

Nama Chirashi Bowl ($26.95)

Yosa Nabe ($18.50) is one of Afong’s favorites featuring an assortment of seafood, chicken, tofu and fresh vegetables in a tasty broth.

Guests can also build a lunch plate from more than 20 different items (prices vary), including cone sushi, which diners describe as“ginormous, it’s huge!”

Assorted okazu (prices vary)

Deep-fried halibut is another customer favorite, as are marinated chicken and konbu maki — a seaweed wrap with pork, carrots and gobo — that are daily specials rotated throughout the week.

Sushi chef Masa Nagamine prepares an assortment of ono items, including Nama Chirashi Bowl ($26.50) with a slew of seafood, including maguro, fresh hamachi, fresh salmon, saba, hokkigai clams, tobiko and shiitake mushrooms served over sushi rice; based on availability, seared ahi is also included.

Kabuki’s deli and okazuya service is available daily from 5:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and guests can enjoy local favorites the helped the restaurant earn first-place honors for “Best Okazuya” in the 2021 edition of Honolulu Star-Advertiser‘s Hawaii’s Best people’s choice awards.

Ilima Awards
Hawaii's Best