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Taste of Shirokiya

Maki and Nigiri Sushi Assortment Bento

You can’t help but go into sensory overload and bliss upon walking around the upper level food department at Shirokiya Ala Moana. It’s like being at a Japanese Festival every day of the year! As soon as you get up the escalator, the smell of tempura frying immediately hits you. Just in front of the escalator are Japanese housewares products, such as special knives, kitchen gadgets and utensils. Next to that are Japanese pharmeceuticals and personal care products, followed by a large snack section.

There’s also a Ramen station and self-serve buffet line in a separate room with various local and Japanese favorites.
My favorite area is where the many ready-to-eat bentos are. In the middle of the bento tables are a station where they prepare specials of the day and other freshly-prepared delicacies during the day.

These are just a small sample of the many oishii bentos available at this institution known as Shirokiya!…

Nishime and Okara (Soy Beans Meal)

Nigiri and Maki made with Big Eye Ahi


L-R, Front to back row: Okinawan Yaki Soba, Kimpiri Combo (Gobo & Hasu), Nishime, Seki-Han, Gobo Kimpiri (Burdock), Hasu Kimpiri (Lotus Roots)

Sozai (similar to Andagi)

Assorted Tsukemono (pickled vegetables)

Mixed Bento. this photo is bad, but, at least you can see here how the many ala carte items are assembled together here in an all-in-one meal. There’s many different options to choose.

Fresh-made Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura

Shrimp Tempura being cooked in a wok

Shirokiya’s upper level is one of my favorite places to eat, not only in Ala Moana Shopping Center, but in all of Honolulu! Truly authentic Japanese cuisine (one of my favorite) at very reasonable prices. If you go there after 5pm, they mark down most bento items from about 10 to 50% off.

Shirokiya at Ala Moana Center, upper level entrance

Shirokiya’s Ala Moana location is the last remaining in Hawaii. There used to be one in Pearlridge center in Aiea and on Maui in Kaahumanu Center, but those closed down. Shirokiya is now owned by a group of local investors, who bought the store from it’s parent company in Japan.

6 thoughts on “Taste of Shirokiya

  • August 25, 2006 at 9:30 pm

    Am I seeing things….$15-17.00 for maki and nigiri sushi nowadays? The pickled vegetables are the real deal at Shirokiya, though, imported from factories that have probably been a family business for generations. You know, like having pizza in Italy, itself, as opposed to a generic “Italian” pizza comparison. I haven’t been upstairs at Shirokiya for a while now, so I’m not sure if the dinning area is still there where it once was, but that was one of the best private dinning enclaves, if that’s the correct word, that you could find anywhere. I believe you mentioned that the dinning room is still around.

  • August 25, 2006 at 9:58 pm


    That enclave is no more. In its place is a seating area located near the entrance of the uppermall door (as shown in photo above). It’s more of an open cafeteria type of set-up now, and nowhere near as cozy and solitary as the enclave.

    I wish Shirokiya had preserved that enclave. It was one of my favorite places to enjoy the wonderful food there. It appears the changes made to the shopping center’s architecture in that area called for the removal of it. Shirokiya lost quite a bit square footage after the renovation.

  • August 26, 2006 at 1:56 am

    Nice photos of the bentos! The food looks wonderful and I wish we we ate at this place when we went to Oahu a few months ago. We stopped by the mall to get an outfit for a banquet/event so I only made a beeline to Ann Taylor. Next time we’re there, I know where to go! By the way, I really like your blog! : )

  • August 27, 2006 at 3:08 am

    I enjoy browsing thru your photos and entries… I too like to walk thru the aisles of Shirokiya. I love their tsukemono assortment. That first bento is pricelss .. or should i say pricey!

    btw, is there a way to enlarge the font size for these comments? they are so small for my ‘old’ eyes. Just wondering.

    thanks for sharing … I love my daily dose of your site !

  • September 2, 2006 at 5:08 pm

    Great food site. Especially good for us visitors who need a good place to eat. You have no Italian food on here tho’ :-(. I ate at Assagio and it was quite good.

    Keep the reviews coming.



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