This is the second post of our trip to Honolulu, Hawaii. The first one included Teddy’s Bigger Burgers.
Now, if it was up to me we would be consuming some sort of raw fish for every meal but hubby can only eat so much fish before he’s had enough. Total bummer, right? I was dying to try Yoshitsune ever since I read that they serve traditional Japanese food so we headed here for dinner. Luckily, it wasn’t too difficult convincing hubby to go here since he’s never had traditional Japanese food either so it was a new experience for the both of us.
Yoshitsune is a hidden gem located inside of the Park Shore Waikiki hotel. Upon arriving in the restaurant we were directed to a back room which revealed a traditional dining room where you’re seated on the floor with low dining tables. It was a neat experience although a bit difficult dining with a baby since everything was practically within arms reach for him.
Hubby went with the Full Combination Dinner ($36) and I had their Sushi Dinner ($34). You get a massive amount of food in these dinner sets so if you planning on trying that make sure you’re hungry.
Both of the combination dinners started off with a homemade tofu in a light soy sauce. This is the first time that the both of us has had homemade tofu and we were both impressed with the quality of it. It was very fresh and had a silky and firm texture. We were actually able to taste a soy bean flavor.
Take a look at how perfect the tofu is sliced. Each strand is cut to the same width and with such precision. Now that definitely takes skill.
The cold appetizers arrived after for the both of us. From left to right we have steamed kabocha squash, grilled shrimp with miso paste, cucumber with soybean paste (aka natto) and a pork terrine. The kabocha squash was just steamed with no seasoning but still had a nice firm texture to it. The grilled shrimp tasted quite good with the miso paste although I wished it was served hot. I know many people do not enjoy natto because its an acquired taste and I personally have never tasted it before until now. I was quite leery of it since many complain about it’s strong and powerful flavor and slimy texture. Yet surprisingly, I quite enjoyed it and didn’t find it offsetting at all. It is quite salty but really worked well with the cucumber to balance it out. The pork terrine was typical of other terrines that I’ve had and didn’t seem Japanese in any way.
The miso soup was light, slightly salty and had a good amount of tofu and seaweed. Even hubby enjoyed it and he doesn’t usually like miso soup.
I was delighted to try chawanmushi for the first time and immediately fell in love with it. It brought back memories of when my mom used to make Chinese steamed eggs for my brother and I. This savory steamed egg custard may seem like it’s easy to make but it’s not. Perfect technique and timing is required to get the eggs steamed perfectly and have that silky smooth texture. I’ve had bad ones before where the texture is rough and unappealing. Indeed, the chawanmushi was done perfectly – the egg custard was well seasoned and silky smooth. The mushrooms were tender and the piece of fatty pork at the bottom put it over the top. I savored every single bite and honestly could’ve eaten hubby’s portion as well. The funny thing is hubby said this dish reminded him of balut eggs. I’ve had balut eggs before and I just don’t see the similarities.
Hubby’s combination dinner included sashimi and it was a thing of beauty. He could not stop raving about the freshness of the chutoro and that’s saying a lot for a guy who doesn’t love fish.
My sushi started to arrive as well. The shrimp had a nice tender crunch to it and all of the tuna was super fresh and had a creamy mouth feel. The rice was also well seasoned and I could taste the subtle hint of vinegar with every bite. Needless to say, I enjoyed every single bite.
All of the sushi on this plate was spectacular and of course really fresh. The star however was the tamago. I personally really love tamago but I’ve stopped ordering it because I haven’t tasted one that met my standards. They’re usually soggy and much too dense. It’s one was lightly seasoned and had a wonderful spongy texture. I was really tempted to order another one.
My sushi meal ended with a tekka maki roll. I was absolutely stuffed by this point but still savored each piece as I knew it would a while before I would be able to enjoy such fresh fish again.
The tempura in hubby’s meal was deletable. Hubby claims that he’s never tasted better tempura before and especially enjoyed the lotus root. The tempura pieces were light, crispy and not the the least bit greasy.
Hubby’s combination dinner included a broiled fish dish and he chose salmon as it was the safest choice for him considering he’s not a huge fish fan. The salmon was simply seasoned with salt and broiled and served with a bowl of rice.
The dinners included dessert and we had a choice between red bean or green tea ice cream. I couldn’t help wishing they had served a more traditional dessert given the meal we just had. I opted for the green tea ice cream and felt it was mediocre. It wasn’t the best green tea ice cream I’ve had as the green tea flavor was a bit light and the ice cream was overall a bit too sweet.
Hubby tried the red bean ice cream and quite enjoyed it as it wasn’t too sweet.
We had an absolutely fantastic meal here and wished that we were staying longer so we could come back for a second meal. The service was attentive but most of the staff spoke broken English so it was a bit difficult to understand them at times especially when they were describing the menu items. This hidden gem is not to be missed.
2586 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815