This past Tuesday evening, November 29, 2016, VIP guests and members of the media, including Yours Truly, were invited to attend a Grand Opening Gala for the new Waikiki YOKOCHO Gourmet Alley, scheduled to open to the public today, Thursday, December 1, 2016.
Located in the lower level (basement) of the Waikiki Shopping Plaza on Kalakaua Avenue, YOKOCHO is billed as “A dynamic, themed dining destination that will transport you to the alleys of Kyoto, replete with culinary discoveries, direct from Japan. As you navigate your way through Noren Street, Engawa Terrace, and Ramen Road, you will find authentic sushi, tempura, ramen, desserts, and even a Japanese whiskey bar.” The full press release is included at the end of this post.
Upon an initial walk through the place, what will immediately come to mind if you’ve already been there, is Shirokiya’s massively epic and still new Japan Village Walk in Ala Moana Center. Where YOKOCHO is a sort of transported — or perhaps more aptly described “finely honed” version of that.
Following is The Tasty Island’s coverage in photos, including captions and commentary from this past Tuesday’s grand opening event of Waikiki YOKOCHO. Enjoy. ;-)
KUSHIKATSU TANAKA Kushikatsu Beef, Zucchini & Cookie & Cream sampler; the meat and vegetable sticks are served with their house sauce, which tastes sort of like a “Ponzuyaki” if you will, having sort of sweet ‘n tangy dashi and shoyu-based flavor that’s thickened just a little
YOKOCHO grand opening revelers
Pomai savors the fine moment then devours in ecstasy a serving of exquisite “fit for the Emperor” Maguro Otoro Sashimi, personally offered to only a few there by the Sushi Chef at BENIYA Sushi & Washoku
The one-of-a-kind gourmet dining experience is scheduled to open December 1, 2016
HONOLULU – Waikiki Yokocho announced today the 11 remaining concepts scheduled to
open at Waikiki’s highly anticipated new dining experience. Among the list are the popular
Tsujita ramen shop, which is known for its out-the-door lines in Tokyo and Los Angeles and
Kaneko Hannosuke, which has attracted crowds in Tokyo with their quality tempura dishes.
Based off the concept of “yokocho” or alleyway dining in Japan, Waikiki Yokocho is
scheduled to open Thursday, December 1, 2016. The 23,000 square-foot space in the
basement of Waikiki Shopping Plaza will feature 16 authentic Japanese eateries.
“The yokocho concept is perfect for Waikiki given that the area is known to promote
exploring and experiencing new sights, sounds and tastes,” said Frank Clark, Waikiki
Yokocho LLC. CEO. “These 11 new additions will transport our guests to Japan with every
bite. Whether you’re craving tempura, ramen, sushi or something sweet, Waikiki Yokocho
will offer a selection of authentic flavors.”
- Listed in the 2012 Michelin Guide Hokkaido as one of the city’s best ramen
restaurants, Baikohken will open its first restaurant in the United States right here
in Waikiki. Its specialty soup originated in Asahikawa in Hokkaido, is known as W
soup and combines seafood and other meats to create a rich flavor.
- Kyoto-style Beniya brings traditional sushi to Waikiki with its authentic style nigiri,
using fresh seafood from Tsukiji and all over the world. Enjoy authentic, modern
kaiseki dishes prepared by one of Japan’s top chef. Their extensive sake selection
will appeal to sake lovers who enjoy pairing sushi and other specialty dishes.
- Since it opened in 1976 in Harajuku, Tokyo, Marion Crepes has been the originators
of Japanese-style crepes, creating exquisite flavor with its original dough. Combining
ingredients like Chantilly cream, ice cream, and various fruits, each crepe is a sweet
combination. The company currently operates 80 restaurants in Japan and six
- Nin Nin Curry brings nostalgic Japanese flavors, augmented with a French sense of
style to a contemporary curry shop. The approachable flavor will help put Japanese
curry rice on the map.
- Pour Lounge by Nomu is a modern bar that prides itself on serving whiskey and
other uniquely crafted cocktails incorporating this well-known whiskey popular in
Japan and around the world.
- RAMEN Bario’s ramen experience consists of creamy Tonkotsu pork broth, a
unique, chewy noodle texture, and house-made char siu roast pork. Waikiki
Yokocho will be the first international location for the Tokyo-based ramen
- Sizzle will offer Japanese yakiniku-style barbecue and hot pot including sake shabu
shabu using the finest Japanese Wagyu beef and U.S. beef. Shoppers will want to
pop in during the day to take advantage of their great lunch specials.
- From Sapporo, Hokkaido, Sobaya Maruki has been around since 1889, thanks to the
love of its customers for the past 128 years. Relish their specially formulated
buckwheat noodle made in-house and the flavors that are still used today.
- In historic Nihonbashi in Tokyo, Kaneko Hannosuke has cooked up a reputation for
high quality with crowds frequently lining up in Tokyo for their delicious tempura
- At its Tokyo and Los Angeles locations, long lines of guests await the taste of the
finest ingredients boiled down to craft Tsujita’s pork and seafood based broth.
Served tsukemen style – with the noodles separated from the broth – the hearty
noodles accompany a thick broth that is as authentic as it is amazing. The restaurant
has been recognized with accolades by the LA Times, LA Weekly, and Zagat for six
- At Umami Teppan Kingyo food looks like a work of art. Using a flat iron grill, dishes
are created to both taste and look amazing. Guests will also be able to enjoy fresh
ingredients thoughtfully placed on okonomiyaki (Japanese style pancake), and
Waikiki Yokocho previously announced the openings of Kushikatsu Tanaka, Nana’s Green
Tea, Nomu, ShichiMusubi and Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen.
Traditionally, Japan’s yokocho are side streets considered a popular place for those wishing to experience everything from bar hopping to grocery shopping. Each eatery will be situated within one of three areas – Ramen Road, Noren Street, and Engawa Terrace – all designed to resemble the alleyways of a yokocho. Ramen Road will feature four ramen options, while Noren Street will offer more savory selections such as tempura and sushi vendors. For those looking for something sweet to cap off their dining experience, Engawa Terrace will showcase dessert-type dishes.
For more information, visit Waikiki Yokocho online at www.waikiki-yokocho.com. Also
follow Waikiki Yokocho on Facebook at www.facebook.com/waikikiyokocho, on Instagram
at www.instagram.com/waikikiyokocho and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/waikikiyokocho.
Press release and event promotion courtesy of Crystal Yamasaki @ CrystalClearHI.com
Waikiki YOKOCHO Gourmet Alley
Waikiki Shopping Plaza
2250 Kalakaua Avenue
Lower Level 100
Honolulu, HI 96815
See website above for parking information
• Waikiki Yokocho Gourmet Alley Opens December 1st – HawaiiMomBlog.com
• Upcoming Eats in Waikiki – Waikiki Japanese Food Alley – FrolicHawaii.com