A seat at the tableCover Story
January 1, 2023
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
When Shoji Namatame, chef and owner of Sho’s Kitchen, was asked by his loyal customers to make his famous Herb Panko Crusted Rack of Lamb, the restaurateur decided to kick off the New Year by serving this specialty as part of the restaurant’s latest Chef’s Table Menu ($100 per person).
While it specializes in traditional Japanese bento and international cuisine — including tasty options like Butter Curry, Kalbi and Gapao Rice — Sho’s Kitchen offers monthly Chef’s Table Menu dinners that take the dining experience to a whole new level.
The latest Chef’s Table Menu is being unveiled this month and is available Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. (during the summer, from June through September, the special dinner experience will be available from 7 p.m.) by reservation only at 808-376-8067.
“For the January Chef’s Table Menu, it’s still cold, so I decided to make Clam Chowder as part of the new menu,” explains Namatame, who notes that the Keeaumoku-area eatery is BYOB for guests. “I hope everyone enjoys the experience, from appetizer to entrée. Every month we create a different menu, so guests are invited to enjoy each Chef’s Table Menu.”
The Chef’s Table experience begins with a seafood flair as the savory soup is followed up by Seared Cajun Ahi that is prepared with a spicy ponzu sauce harkening back to one of Namatame’s tried-and-true recipes. Honey Dijon Pistachio King Salmon is up next, and the chef’s favorite dish pairs nicely with a harvest salad.
The showstopping Herb Panko Crusted Rack of Lamb highlights the entrée course; however, Namatame explains that he can substitute New York steak or even a seafood alternative for those who prefer that or have specific dietary needs and restrictions.
The veteran chef is looking forward to sharing his latest creations with guests as 2023 gets underway. Customers routinely comment about how they look forward to returning to Sho’s Kitchen to enjoy the flavorful menu options as well as the “heart and soul” poured into every dining experience by the friendly, dedicated culinary team. “My menu items are very simple, yet delicious — if you’d like the recipes, I can share them with you!” Namatame says. “Come and eat good food with friends and family and bring your own beverages. We have nice glasses with ice and wine glasses at no cost and don’t charge a corkage fee.”