Escape to Japan with tasty bentos

A La Carte

September 25, 2022

Story By: Stephanie Lopes | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Cold Soba with Yuzu Grated Daikon ($8.75)

Step off Beretania Street to find dozens of delicious, colorful bentos neatly organized at Obento Rinka.

“We aim to provide an authentic Japanese bento — like what is sold in Japan — to the people in Hawaii,” says assistant manager Yasue Okumoto.

When wondering which beautiful bento to select, the Daily Bento ($12.50) is a great place to start, offering an economical option with popular Japanese dishes, such as udon, mochiko chicken, beef sukiyaki, grilled saba and other mouthwatering options.

Hana Bento ($20)

The Miso-yaki Butterfish Bento ($20) is one of the most popular, with each bento being carefully crafted by the chef, including marinating the fish in a special miso sauce.

The Cold Soba with Yuzu Grated Daikon ($8.75) is refreshing on hot summer days with the sweet scent of yuzu alongside buckwheat noodles.

Are you looking for a pretty bento that’s good for special occasions, such as lunch parties or funerals? The Hana Bento ($20) is recommended. Each of its 12 spaces is purposefully filled with meat, fish or vegetables, and the bento also comes with a dessert cup — warabi mochi.

On Saturdays, the shop offers a special — and very popular — Kawaii Bento (contact for price) for children under the age of 10 that is “just like those made by some Japanese mothers,” explains Okumoto.

“We feel rewarded when people from Japan say they are very happy to buy Japanese bentos in Hawaii at Obento Rinka, and also when local people who have been to Japan say that our restaurant looks like an ekiben shop at a Japanese train station,” concludes Okumoto.

Honolulu, HI 96814

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