Dinner and a ShowCover Story
September 3, 2023
Story By: Dining Out Team | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
For 45 years, Tanaka of Tokyo has brought new meaning to the phrase “dinner and a show” with its teppanyaki mastery. Talented chefs skillfully prepare your meal right before your eyes on a tabletop grill. It’s no wonder why the eatery has been voted the Best Teppanyaki Steakhouse by Honolulu Star-Advertiser readers for 11 consecutive years.
Here, we chat with executive vice president and chief financial officer Bo Tanaka about her family’s restaurants.
DO: How did the concept come about?
BT: The concept originated here in Honolulu in 1978 with my father! He wanted to combine quality ingredients, traditional Japanese teppanyaki with an exciting show, and the local culture to create an experience truly unique to Honolulu.We have three locations on Oahu now, and over the past 45 years, we have grown to be a destination spot for visitors from all around the world, and a go-to spot for the local community!
DO: How would you describe the cuisine?
BT: I would describe the cuisine as a unique experience using quality ingredients prepared with flair. We use Certified Angus Beef exclusively and specialize in performance teppanyaki. Our chefs are amazing at what they do. We promise you will leave our restaurants dazzled, full and with a big smile!
DO: What are your bestselling dishes?
BT: Our Filet and Shrimp combination has recently been officially added to our menu due to popular demand. It features a certified Angus beef filet paired with our butter-lemon sautéed shrimp for $48.75. A perfect surf-and-turf option.
The Kotobuki is our head chef Christian Punzalan’s favorite, and the ultimate set course to order if you want to try the best we have to offer! Priced at $127.50, it features our ahi poke appetizer, certified Angus beef tenderloin, two Tristan South African lobster tails and deep-sea Scallops. As a bonus, you can upgrade the beef tenderloin to an 8-ounce wagyu sirloin for $30.
The Seafood Combination is what I usually get when I come in. For $61.50, you get an 8-ounce portion of salmon, cold water lobster tail and scallops. Our salmon is fantastic when it is prepared on the teppanyaki grill.
Of course, any meal at Tanaka of Tokyo is not complete without our famous Fried Rice. This option can be added on to any meal for $5.75. As a bonus, you get to see the chefs perform amazing bowl and egg juggling tricks as they prepare it for you!
All of our complete meals come with house salad, shrimp appetizer, grilled teppan vegetables, tsukemono (pickled vegetables), rice, miso soup, green tea and dessert.
DO: Anything else you want to add?
BT:We are incredibly grateful for the support of all our loyal patrons, our business partners, the local community, and our hard-working, dedicated management and staff. We really do have the very best team!