Oahu’s Triple D – Gyotaku Japanese Restaurant

I believe that Vancouver (other than Japan) has some of the best sushi when it comes to quality or in value but when you’re in Hawaii, you can’t help but to eat Japanese style food because you’re surrounded by Japanese cuisine and people.

A Japanese friend that grew up in Oahu recommended this restaurant to me on my last visit and I told Patch that we have to return this time because I miss the Pokechos.

Gyotaku - I'm not so sure how they got the eyeball to look so alive...

Gyotaku means fish printing.  It’s a method for fishermen to record their catches back in the day.  The fish is covered with ink on one side and pressed onto the paper to make its marking. Large framed gyotakus covered the walls in the restaurant. 

I think the smaller fishes are Convict Tangs (saw a lot of those at Hanauma Bay)

One of the larger framed prints on one sheet. Some prints are so big that it's separated into a couple of individual frames placed next to each other.

Pokechos - crispy wonton chips, spicy ahi and onions, avocado, green onions, daikon sprouts, seaweed and sesame seeds.

What each bite of Nattochos consists of...

Pokechos are ahi nachos.  Instead of a tortilla chip, they use fried wonton chips.  It is saltier than a tortilla chip, and doesn’t break as easily when you stock pile fish on top.  There’s another type of nachos which is Nattochos.  Same ingredients with natto beans.  Natto bean are fermented soy beans and it may not be for everyone.  It certainly wasn’t for me.

This is Sashimi Moriawase ($15). The pieces are a bit small but as you bite into it, you can taste the freshness. Tako (octopus, tuna, salmon, and hamachi)

Tako and salmon sashimi.

Hamachi and Tuna

There are 12 types of sushi on the menu that covers all the basic ones offered in Vancouver except for Ahi tuna and the Spam one.  I didn’t order any sushi as there wasn’t anything unique (no tuna belly or tobiko, but they have masago – smaller roe) and their prices were about $1.75 – $2.50 per piece.

Godzilla Roll ($14) - shrimp and green onion tempura, avocado, maguro (tuna) with volcano sauce (whatever that is, someone tell me), topped with teriyaki sauce and bonito flakes.

They don’t have an extensive list of sushi rolls, perhaps around 10?  But these are gourmet rolls and it is huge and very filling.

Another reason why I'm Gyotaku's returning customer. Their misoyaki butterfish (what we call black cod).

There’s a bento menu where you are select 3 items for $20 or 4 items for $23.   Selection includes: misoyaki salmon, misoyaki butterfish, chicken karaage, 5 pieces of sashimi, tempura, tonkatsu, chicken katsu, ahi poke, teriyaki beef, mochiko chicken, and furikake salmon. As you can see, a lot of the items offered are pretty fancy.   There are other pre-set bentos ranging from $16-$20.  Since we were sharing the dishes, we had a full order of the misoyaki butterfish.

The tempura batter is light but nothing spectacular about it.

The restaurant is pretty kid-friendly.  Upstairs seems more like a restaurant and the downstairs is like a cafeteria.  If you show up closer to the closing hour (which we did this time), the upstairs dining area will be closed.  The dining area on the main floor is quite dirty and my hands got sticky from trying to secure Little Patch’s booster seat on the chairs.

A reason you should come if you are travelling with children... especially on Monday or Tuesday!

I think Gyotaku is a solid gem with locals.  It’s not fancy but the options and the quality of the food is there.

Kid friendly?  Yes but clean your hands after handling the bottom of the chairs if you’re securing the booster seat!

Gyotaku Japanese on Urbanspoon


Posted on March 23, 2011, in Oahu's Triple D and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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