For one of the last nights of my winter vacation, I met with my cousin, and his best friend at the Asahi Grill in the Kaakako neighborhood.
This is very much a no-frills place, producing simple “local” cuisine. To be clear, “local cuisine” in hawaii is a fusion of polynesian, chinese, japanese, korean, philipino and portuguese influences, often with large portions and subdued flavors.
We started with a basket of french fries.
These french fries were hot and crispy, and lightly salted.
We also ordered some chicken gyoza. These are wheat flour wrappers stuffed with minced chicken and napa cabbage, seasoned with ginger, salt and white pepper. It’s flash fried in hot oil, and served with a soy & mirin based dipping sauce. These were pretty good gyoza. They were hot and crisp and well seasoned.
I ordered the curried tonkatsu with salad and brown rice.
The side salad is a pretty simple chopped salad of iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, purple cabbage and slivered carrots. It came with a cup of italian seasoning. This was an okay salad. The greens were crisp and fresh. The salad dressing was a little goopy and thick.
The tonkatsu curry is two large pork loin chops dipped in a flour-eggwash-breading combination, and deep fried to a light crunch. Once fried, it was chopped into thick strips and covered with a thick mild curry sauce, and accompanied by a large serving of rice.
This was just okay. The pork seemed a little over cooked, and slightly dry. The curry sauce had decent flavor, but lacked heat, and was a little thick and gloopy. But it’s a huge portion and was a decent value.
The room is pretty minimalist. It’s basically a pub, and it feels like it. The decor is probably in need of a refresh.
The service was pretty decent enough, but rather minimalist as well.