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Hawi’i: Kabuki

September 22, 2006

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About to go to sleep soon, but here’s a nightcap for you :)
Kabuki is one of those restaurants you drive by all the time but never think twice to stop in. However, one of my father’s friends made a recommendation and we decided to drop by on a recent Friday evening.
The restaurant was surprisingly full when we arrived at 7pm – we soon found that we just missed the early bird special, shucks! Nonetheless, all of us were quite hungry and eager to eat. All entrees begin with a bowl of fairly bland miso soup and picked veggies. Nothing was bad, it was just blaaah. The bowl on the top right is for the tempura (which my entire family had a hankering for that evening).

The tempura udon came in a seriously massive bowl! It was a bit salty for my sister’s liking but it must have been decent as she finished it all along with the tempura. The batter used for the tempura is similar to that of Sushi King – thicker, more substantial local style. It left a fair amount oil stains on the paper, but didn’t leave that horrible, heavy heart grease feel afterwards.

My mom’s oden tempura set also came with an order of sashimi which the waitress forgot to bring till we almost finished eating. She sat the dish at our table, “oh. guess you have sashimi with your order.” The fish was still partially frozen…hmmm. Not so fresh, eh?

My misoyaki butterfish & tempura set fared much better. There’s nothing like nicely cooked butterfish and a hot bowl of rice. It’s really deserving of its name – butterfish. Like how fish would taste if it were savory, meaty butter! Flaky and cooked just so moist and tender, I wish I had another piece in place of the tempura.

The chicken katsu in my dad’s combo was just alright. Sensing a trend here? I felt the food overall was boring. (Or maybe it’s because I’m in a rotten mood now). You can only eat so many “this and that combo sets” before everything becomes repetitive and starts to taste the same. The restaurant itself is very tired feeling – old walls, yellowed cups, a very drone, quiet setting. For about $17/dinner set, you could take your money elsewhere and have a better time. Hell, you could go on a sweet and savory carb fest at Saint Germain or Ginza Kimuraya.

I don’t want to put down this place as it is family owned. Though if they plan to bring in a new generation of diners, it would be wise to refurnish the restaurant, or at the very least, attempt to liven it up with lighting or decor. I think my tastebuds are just bored. Nothing exciting is going on. I miss my indian food in nyc.

Kabuki
600 Kapiolani Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 545-5995



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