Okonomiyaki, $3.99 A sort of pancake-meets-yakisoba noodle dish, with Japanese-style mayonnaise and a katsu-like dressing. Oishii!
Misoyaki Butterfish, Nishime and Sekihan (mochi rice with Azuki Beans) bento , $6.79.
Ward Farmers Market has transformed over the years from being mostly made up of small vendors offering a variety of local foods and produce to what it stands today with just several larger tenants. On the east end you have Tropic Fish & Vegetable Market. In the center there’s Haili’s Hawaiian Foods, and across them, still in the center there’s Lyn’s Foods, a store that offers an assortment of mostly cracked seeds and local snacks. Finally, on the west end, occupying the most amount of square footage is Marukai Market Place. They recently expanded right up to Haili’s, where as before they were approximately 30′ or more farther down.
This added floor space had them moving the produce section from the far left, to the far right, adjacent to the main entrance, which is only accessible through Farmers Market’ main corridor. This also allowed for a full service Okazuya, which you can see just behind that cashier checkout counter.
While it can be a toss-up on selection between them, Don Quijote and Shirokiya, Marukai often ends up having that special imported Japanese ingredient that the other two doesn’t stock. One such item that comes to mind is the Menma (marinated bamboo shoots) that are a must-have for great ramen. I found that once in Don Quijote, but never again. Marukai always has several brands in stock. Nice.
Keep in mind that we’re talking about their smaller Ward location. I haven’t been to the main Dillingham warehouse location in quite a while, but know that there is much, much more selection there.
They also have some American basics such as eggs, milk, and select canned and frozen foods.
As you’ve seen in the first set of photos, besides groceries, they also have an excellent selection of hot and cold meals to go. Items such as fresh-made salads, sushi, oden, okonomiyaki, fried chicken and a huge assortment of bento lunches.
Marukai also owns and operates the 99 Cent Store, which is located to the left of the Market Place in another building.
The current Marukai annual membership fee is just $10, which you must have in order to enter and shop there, and a must-have if you love Japanese food such as myself.