Aloha Tofu Town Grand Opening Celebration

Aloha Tofu celebrated the official grand opening of their new Aloha Tofu Town + Second Factory location in Iwilei (Honolulu) at Dole Cannery with an intimate private party event held this past Tuesday evening, February 25, 2015.

Many well-known folks in the food & beverage, social media and entertainment industry, as well as the “Uchinanchu” Okinawan community were in attendance to well-wish owner and President Paul Uyehara, along with his lovely wife Misa on their new and courageous endeavor.


Aloha Tofu’s Maile Lei ceremony entrance


The Uyehara ohana join together for the cutting of the lei

Yours Truly was so honored to be personally asked by Misa and Paul to do the “Kanpai” toast of good luck at the grand opening event.

This is the transcript of what I said (written by Yours Truly):

“Hai, minasan wa, Kanpai Shimasho!…. Everyone, let’s make a toast!

Here’s to the continued success of Aloha Tofu with their new second factory location here in Iwilei, along with their wonderful new Aloha Tofu Town, where we can now conveniently enjoy all their ono ‘kine tofu dishes, including the oshii Aloha Tofu Mousse and Aloha Tofu Okara Cream Puffs!

Also, here’s to everyone, that you enjoy good health, prosperity, love and Aloha.

“Kanpai” on the count of three… one! two! three!.. KANPAI!!!”

The “Kanpai” drink of choice was supposed to be Okinawan Awamori (Sake), however we had Korean Soju (Korean version of Sake) instead, which was just as smooth, with lots of kick!  Thankfully, everyone said I did well for the Kanpai toast. Which surprises me actually as, I don’t have a lick of Okinawan or Japanese blood in me. Yet I feel I’m Uchinanchu at heart, as the food and the music really gets me PUMPED!

Following are photos I took at the event, using my trusty Canon S100. Videos then follow that. Enjoy! :-)


Grand opening tropical arrangements from friends and business associates of Aloha Tofu


Grand opening tropical arrangements from friends and business associates of Aloha Tofu


Ritz Crackers with Aloha Tofu Dip (this “version 1″ is very smooth)


Aloha Tofu Dip (version 2) with Potato Chips


Aloha Tofu Dip (version 2) with Toasted & Buttered Crostini… dude, I tell ya’, this tofu dip recipe is the BOMB.COM! It tastes sort of like a creamy spinach dip with a slight asian twist. Hopefully I’ll be able to get it from Misa or Paul and share it with you later!


Mochiko Chicken


Aloha Tofu Wontons with Spicy Chili Sauce


Aloha Tofu Wontons “Money Shot”: the filling tasted pretty much like tofu mixed with cream cheese, along with chopped Kamaboko (fish cake) and green onions. Pretty simple, yet she go!


A “Godzilla-sized” bowl of Aloha Tofu’s SUGOI! Oboro Tofu


Shaved Bonito flakes, green onion and grated ginger condiments for the Oboro Tofu (later, after everyone wen’ whack ‘em)


Aloha Tofu Ganmodoki (Tofu Fritters)


Aloha Tofu Maki Sushi


Aloha Tofu Maki Sushi (angle “B”)


A “veggie’r” version of Aloha Tofu’s Maki Sushi (the goodie end pieces of the rolls!)


Aloha Tofu Mame Gohan no Omusubi (Soybean Rice Musubi) samples-o-plenty!


Enough Aloha Tofu Poke (feat. Kawanaka Shoyu) to feed an ARMY! (I’m so backing my truck up for this one!)


Chef Takayuki Watanabe’s Soba making tools of the trade


Soba noodle Master Chef Takayuki Watanabe prepares the Buckwheat Four dough by vigorously combining it with mizu (water) by hand in a large Japanese lacquer mixing bowl; a process that can take as long as 40 minutes


Soba noodle Master Chef Takayuki Watanabe prepares the Buckwheat Four dough by vigorously combining it with mizu (water) by hand in a large Japanese lacquer mixing bowl; a process that can take as long as 40 minutes


Chef Takayuki Watanabe’s fresh-made Soba noodles (just made minute ago!)


Chef Takayuki Watanabe’s Soba Noodle Bowl, with a low level broth made with shoyu, mirin, hondashi and konbu (exhibit A)


Chef Takayuki Watanabe’s Soba Noodle Bowl, with a low level broth made with shoyu, mirin, hondashi and konbu (exhibit B)


Chef Takayuki Watanabe’s Soba Noodle Bowl, exhibit C for me!. Hai, itadakimasu!


Chef Takayuki Watanabe’s fresh-made Soba, mixed with the broth, made of Shoyu, Mirin, hondashi and Konbu, served simply with shaved bonito flakes and green onion. And? Oishikatta desu yo!


Not just one, but TWO commercial Aburage (deep-fried Tofu) fryers at Aloha Tofu’s new second factory location at Dole Cannery in Iwilei


Aloha Tofu Aburage (fried tofu), still pipin’ hot just out of the new factory fryer ‘n still soakin’ out the excess oil doesn’t get any fresher than this, folks!


Pipin’ hot, fresh-made Aloha Tofu Aburage, simply chopped into bite-size pieces, served with a drizzle of Kawanaka Shoyu, Bonito, Green Onion and grated Ginger (not shown in photo above, yet same like how the Oboro Tofu is served)


Aloha Tofu Aburage “Pizza”” Fresh-made Aburage, flattened, then smothered with sliced onion and cheese blend, with a “special secret sauce” (I know what it is, but I’m not tellin’!)


Aloha Tofu’s Aburage “Pizza” is SUGOI OISHII! This is money in the BANK!

 


New Aloha Tofu Roll Cakes


New Aloha Tofu Roll Cakes


An entire tray (make that many of for the night) of Aloha Tofu’s creamy-dreamy Okara Cream Puffs… nom-nom-nom-nom!


Aloha Tofu Mousse samplers in all flavors


Aloha Tofu Pineapple Mousse sample… light-yet-rich ‘n creamy, smooth ‘n silky delicious as ever!


One whole case’ worth of Hwayo Korean Soju Rice Sake were given out to everyone at the celebration for the “Kanpai” toast, given by Yours Truly!


“Kanpai” Sake shooters (Hwayo Korean Soju Rice Sake)


Kawanaka Shoyu… the “lifeblood” of Aloha Tofu’s Oboro Tofu! (Shown with Hwayo Soju)


Japanese Radio KZOO out of Shirokiya, Ala Moana were present to provide the sound system and MC duties at the event


Chef Russell Siu, owner of 3660 on the Rise and Kaka’ako Kitchen with Misa Uyehara


Mr. Takayuki Watanabe of Tokyo, former owner of Komakata in Aina Haina Shopping Center (now Genki Sushi), at the event to do a Soba making demonstration


Pomai-San with Soba Chef Takayuki Watanabe… BANZAI!


Pomai with “Mr. Uchinanchu” himself, Mr. Grant “Sanda” Murata!


Pomai-San with the lovely Joanne Ninomiya of JN Productions, the famous voice of “K.I.K.U…. KIKU Terebi desu”, and matriarch of “Generation Kikaida”


Wahine Keiki Hula performance


Ukulele Performance by Honoka and Ajita


Okinawan “Shisa” prowls at the staging entrance. while nside, the operators are thinking, “it’s so friggin’ HOT in here! Where the heck can we find an ice cold bottle of water or juice?!”


“Yeah, I look like a Zuni Doll. So what’s it to yah?” LOL!


“These dang split-ends!”


“The little hand says it time to rock ‘n roll!”


Pomai-San and singing sensation, the beautiful Carolyn Shimamura (who also happened to be my favorite Mai Tai’s server!) talk story between performances event (candid shot taken by David, owner of KZOO Radio)


Pomai-San with singing sensation, the beautiful Carolyn Shimamura at Japanese Radio KZOO booth


Carolyn Shimamura has such an incredible singing voice!


Cyrus Tamashiro, of the famous Tamashiro Market in Kalihi, a.k.a. “God’s Country, a.k.a., “The Center of Hawaii’s Food Universe”, encourages the crowd to participate in the Kachashi Okinawan dance finale


Paul and Misa Uyehara of Aloha Tofu with Pomai-San

Next are video clips I shot at the event using my trusty Galaxy Note 3. Enjoy! :-)

A short clip of the blessing ceremony…

Keiki Hula performance clip…

Soba making demonstration (the full demo’!)…

Vocal performance by the talented and beautiful Carolyn Shimamura (sans the beginning part)…

Okinawan Shisa Dance (shaky because I had to jump out of the way!)…

Performance by Grant “Sanda” Murata and Ohana (most of it)…

Kachashi Uchinanchu Dance (full clip)…

HUGE domo arigato gozaimasu to Misa and Paul-San, along with Noreen for inviting me to be a part of this very special, ceremonious event. It was truly an honor, not only to be present to enoy the oishii grindz and festivities along with wonderful friends, family and business associates, but also to do the “Kanpai” toast at your grand opening celebration.


Aloha Tofu Town Menu, current as of March 2, 2015. Click here for PDF version ( rasterized).

Once again, here’s to profound success of Aloha Tofu’s awesome new location in Iwilei. Gambarimasu! Kanpai!!!

Related links:
Aloha Tofu Town Celebrates Grand Opening – HawaiiWebBlog.com (Ryan Ozawa)
Aloha-Tofu.com  – Official website
Facebook.com/Aloha-Tofu-Factory-Inc - Get the latest Aloha Tofu scoops on Facebook
Aloha Tofu Town – Yelp user reviews

The Tasty Island related links:
Aloha Tofu Town Opens at Dole Cannery
Okara
Aloha Tofu Mousse
Soft vs. Firm Tofu