The Free Range Gourmet Free range thoughts on the finest ingredients, cuisine, and fine dining in Hawaii.
Free 

Range Gourmet

  Local Hawaii ingredients used with an international flair



                   Email: nanette@freerangegourmet.com

Saturday, March 11, 2006

 

Tsukuneya: an authentic experience of Japan in Manoa


Attractive, tasty, tech-savvy. What more could one want in a restaurant. No, not cheap, but priced in the mainstream of Oahu restaurants of this type.

After reading the review in the Honolulu Weekly this week, we couldn't put off visiting Tsukuneya any longer.

First impression: fantastic makeover of what has been a drab, bad-luck location, at the corner of Dole and University. The interior provides a range of seating from counter overlooking the grill (the robata), through a glass panel to tables to Japanese-style seating.

Tsukune (つくね) (pronounced ts'-ku-ne with level accent), a kind of meatball, are among our favorite Japanese delicacies. A picture of the varieties available at Tsukuneya is on their website where a popup (if you're not blocking them) announces Honolulu in 2005.

When we lived in Japan we frequently visited a small neighborhood restaurant in Nishiogikubo that served tsukune. Their style was different (Tsukuneya claims their own secret recipe) but we've been imprinted. Also, those were served with the raw yolk of a chicken egg, which we loved to grab with the chopsticks and drop over the tsukune so that it spread evenly over each morsel (don't try this at home). Tsukuneya in Manoa doesn't serve that raw egg yolk, but otherwise, the tsukune compared favorably with our memories.

The menu is thermographed, illustrated and slick, with info on the food, the city of Nagoya and more, and is a tasty read all by itself. It has the mandatory spelling error (do restaurants hire consultants to put those in?). There is also a Japanese menu if you'd like one without spelling errors.

Waitpersons take orders on PDAs. The restaurant advertises for help on Craigslist. Their Japanese website has a form to make reservations (not yet for Manoa, though). These folks are tech savvy. Gives one confidence.

They also make their own tofu from imported beans. That's a more important technology perhaps. The proof is in the dengaku. We also ordered tofu stuffed with nattō. The taste was not assertive, the filling went well with the homemade tofu.

The white Bincho charcoal made in Wakayama Prefecture is probably part of what makes the grilled dishes so special.

They also have a variety of sake, beer and shōchū and are open quite late, so this should be a popular drinking spot (they have valet parking but you need to bring your own designated driver if you plan to indulge).

We'll be back.

Tsukuneya Robata Grill
1422 University Ave.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
4:30 - 1 a.m. daily
(808) 943-0390




Comments:

Post a Comment



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home


  

Follow Free Range Nan on Twitter

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Email: nanette@freerangegourmet.com
Twitter: @freerangenan


Search this site


Do you want to receive an email whenever this page changes?



Powered by FeedBlitz



RSS News Feed


Receive Free Range Gourmet news via our news feed

How do you read news feeds? Click here for some information.





Market News

Official web pages and Tip Sheets for Saturday morning KCC Farmers' Market, Wednesday night Honolulu Market, Sunday morning Mililani Market, and Thursday Night Kailua Market


Resources

Slow Food

You've read about the world-wide slow food movement. Hawaii has an active Slow Food group. Learn about or join Slow Food USA at the Slow Food USA website.

Where we're Eating

Town
Olive Tree Cafe



More Links




Archive




Image: 

powered by Blogger


[Valid RSS]


 
 

   Contact the webmaster: webmaster@freerangegourmet.com