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Coming Up

  • Next on 'Ono Kine Grindz:

    The Wedding Cafe, Manoa

    Recently Consumed:

    Zaney's, Downtown Honolulu
    Bob's Bar-B-Que, Kalihi
    Restaurant Yamagen, Moili'ili

    Below you will find a never ending list of restaurants that I want to visit or re-visit:

    Young's Fish Market
    Alan Wong's Pineapple Room
    Cafe Sistina
    Indigo Eurasian Cuisine
    Yakiniku Toraji
    Sushi Masa
    Ono Hawaiian Foods
    Tsukuneya Robata Grill

    If you would like to give me a tip on a new restaurant that is opening up, or give me a recommendation on some of your favorite restaurants, please send an e-mail to:

    onokinegrindz (at) yahoo (dot) com

    The following posts should be completed someday (!):

    New Diner's Drive In
    Border Grill
    Penang Malaysian
    Chez Panisse
    Zuni Cafe
    Indonesia Restaurant
    Boston's North End Pizza
    Happy Inn
    Kat's Sushi
    Fritz's European Bakery
    Makino Chaya
    Singapore/Bangkok Posts
    Chin's Kahala
    Hata Restaurant
    Ebisu Catering Service
    Bubba Burgers
    The Eggberts
    Blossoming Lotus
    Hamura Saimin Stand
    Bob's Big Boy

    WHEW! I hope to have them done by year's end!

    Upcoming adventures

    San Francisco, CA

    Sydney, NSW, Australia

    London, UK
    Paris, France
    Chicago, IL
    Seoul, South Korea
    I won't be able to visit Korea this year.
    San Francisco, CA
    New Orleans, LA
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Shanghai, China

    Hopefully, some of you can provide me with recommendations for some good eats!

Blogs I Read

'Onolicious Archives


« The Daily Grindz | Main | Random Photo #23 »

January 12, 2006


Mama BoK

Very interesting .. Reid..! i can't wait for your review.. :)


Hi Reid,
Everything looks SO GOOD. This is a definite departure from our usual local Japanese spots, which means I gotta get there before I leave!

Easily Pleased

MMM! I can't wait to hear about these dishes. Looks delicious. I like your blog and your Aloha spirit. keep it up.


love the ambience and love your blog.

Mama BoK




An excellent post, and a most beautiful meal! :) Those udon noodles look so good. For some reason I have the hankering for udon noodles, but I can't get myself to buy those small packages of them. *sigh*

clare eats

Oh Wow!!!!


I think the tiny bits covering the pureed kabocha are "arare." To me the price of oden ingredients looks a bit expensive, but I'm sure they use high-quality ingredients that are worth the price.


It looks lilke they're off to a great start. This is an excellent first look. I'm quite hopeful that they'll be successful. Nice job, Reid!


Great food at Hakkei, my vote for the best and most delicios washoku in the island. Great JOB!!


It sounds like a really refined and authentic dining experience and that the chef has put lots of effort into it. Great pics ... now I am craving a nabe :)


Hi Mama BoK,

It was definitely interesting. I'm glad I was able to stop by and will be dropping by again soon!

Hi Kathy,

Everything that I did try was quite good and I would hesitate to drop by again. Please make sure you stop by before you leave. It will be worth it.

Hi Easily Pleased,

Thank you for leaving me a comment. I'm glad you enjoy the blog and I must say that the food here was enjoyable.

Hi Sherry,

Welcome to the blog!

The ambiance was quite relaxed. In fact, even though it was crowded, I didn't really notice all of the people there.

I'm glad you enjoy the blog!

Hi Mama BoK,

Me too! =)

Hi Milgwimper,

I love udon, especially if it's freshly made. I'll have to ask next time. The meal definitely was special.

Hi Clare,

I know. It was more than I expected, to tell you the truth. I can't wait to go back. I have a reservation for next weekend! =)

Hi Obachan,

I think so too, but the waitress told me about them and I can't seem to remember what she said. They were speaking to me so quickly in Japanese that I didn't have time to digest all of the information (I'm not that good in understanding it anymore!) =(

It was a bit pricey, but I'm sure that they do use very high quality ingredients.

Hi Gail,

They most definitely are off to a good start. The service and the food here are excellent and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this place to anyone.

Hi Paul,

Thank you for stopping by my blog!

I would definitely have to agree with you. Have you eaten here too?

Hi Rachel,

It was a unique dining experience for sure. Everything combined to make this one of the more pleasant meals that I've had in a long time.


Hi Reid - reading through your great review, I can't help feeling that you are a Japanese food expert by now! I'm glad you enjoyed the meal (and I'm trying not to say again 'you've made me homesick'...) Have you tried hot springs in Japan? I'm really looking forward to it next time I go back there.


The Honolulu Advertiser had an short blurb about the opening:


The long-anticipated Hakkei opened on Sunday. The Young Street restaurant is an offshoot of the onsen ryokan, or hot-spring inn, by the same name in Japan's Okayama Prefecture. That country retreat is known for its food — chef Seiya Masahara beat Masaharu Morimoto in an "Iron Chef" cook-off using angler fish. Masahara trained Kouji Kuwa, who heads the kitchen at the Hakkei in Honolulu. Here, the specialty is oden, a ceramic hot-pot of broth with kabocha, daikon, kamaboko and other tasty ingredients.


Hi Keiko,

I'm no Japanese food expert, but I do love Japanese food. I could eat it everyday. I'm sorry for making you homesick. =(

I did visit an onsen ryokan once quite a number of years ago and hope to have the opportunity to visit again.

Hi Steven,

Thanks for stopping by and for providing the link to the blurb in the Advertiser.

I find it interesting that so many Japanese restaurants are now opening outposts in Hawaii.


Hi Reid!

-I'm just presenting an alternative view to Hakkei~ I hope you don't mind! -

After reading your review and the HonAd's review as well, my family and I decided to visit Hakkei for my parent's birthday.

We all have to admit, the food was absolutely delicious. My mom and I both had the Course A while my seafood-intolerant brother and seafood-allergic bf decided to order side dishes instead. My dad couldn't decide what to eat, and chose to sample the side dishes as well. Just about everything we partook in was absolutely delicious. (Nikujyaga, Yaki Onigiri, Tori no shioyaki, unagi, buta kakuni, and shabu shabu beef salad.)

However, I have to say, we had ridiculously horrible service. We arrived before our reservation time and were seating quickly, but had to wait a good 20 minutes before we called a waitress to make our order. Tea came for 2 and none for the rest, water was refilled only once and half-cup a person. Even the zosui was half-prepared. We were waiting for someone to come by and stir at the right moment. The owner didn't stop by our table until we had to flag down the bill.

It was relatively busy, but we felt the service was particularly bad for our party. Other groups who had come in after us were served before us, etc. Unfortunately, the whole experience left a very bitter taste in our mouths.



Hi Kitsy,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I'm glad you enjoyed the food, but poor service shouldn't be tolerated. Maybe it was busy and they felt overwhelmed. In any case, that's no reason to be treated poorly. I'm really sorry that you had such a bad experience.



it's been a while since i've been able to visit here but now that my beau is a regular reader, i guess it evens out. =P

we went to hakkei two weekends ago, thrilled by the idea of eating creations by someone who defeated an iron chef. we went the ala carte route and found everything blissful, esp the kabocha surrounded by the tiny arare and the custard-like eggplant. i feel badly that kitsy had such a bad time, service-wise, because bad service can override even the most wonderful food, and hakkei serves nothing but wonderful food.


Hi Nai,

I'm glad you enjoyed the food at Hakkei as much as I did. I did find it a bit pricey for what's normally eaten as comfort food in Japan, but in any case, I have to agree that poor service can ruin an otherwise spectacular meal.

Eating Princess

I went to Hakkei this past weekend due to the number of excellent reviews I've read which created a hype for me to go and experience the food. I was surprised to see how small the restaurant is. I was disappointed at the start on the lack of service. I was expecting the waitress/waiter to provide a description of the food and to assist in the selection. Nevertheless, we went through the menu and order by reading and instinctiveness. I enjoyed the poke and that's about it. The service was really poor that we had to ask for everything tea, water, the bill, etc. The food came in the order the it was literally ordered. I will not recommend this restaurant to anyone and will not go back again.


Food was good, had a great conversation with the mangager, he explained about the kamado rice cooke from Japan weighing 2000 pound and took four Samoans to get it through the door. However, I was shocked to receive the bill for second bowl of okoge rice. that single bowl cost $9.00!!

Can you imagine?

Wasasup wi' dat?


I came across your blog on Hakkei when looking for information on Japanese restaurants in Honolulu. Since moving here almost 4 years ago from the gastronomers' paradise, Vancouver, BC, it has been quite an enjoyable experience in sourcing out the local dining scene. The ultra-busy Vancouver eGullet site kept everyone up to date and we had many social gatherings en masse but it appears to be quite different here in Hawaii for some reason or another that I have not quite figured out yet. At the top of my Japanese list are the usual suspects: Wasabi-Nadaman, Rokkaku, Gaku and of course Hakkei. I have been to each of these restaurants on several occasions but there has always been at least one visit marred by poor service of some sort. Being in the hospitality industry myself, I find it hard to comprehend sometimes as to why service could "slide" so much but there must be reasons amongst the front and back of house staff.

Back to your excellent blog, I was at one point a devoted reader just before and when I just moved here from Canada. I thank you for all the recommendations and commentary you have provided over the years as it has helped me to sift through the eateries around town. I look forward to your recommedations again!

Cheers! Mike

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