What to Eat During September’s Okinawan Feastival in Honolulu
Nineteen eateries continue the celebration of all foods Okinawan with special dishes from now until Sept. 19.
Calling all Okinawans and Okinawans at heart! The 3rd Okinawan Feastival is featuring Uchinanchu-licious specials at 19 restaurants and food businesses around Honolulu from Sept. 5 to 19. Not to be confused with this past weekend’s two-day Okinawan Festival, FEASTival is a delicious way to celebrate eateries owned by Okinawans and Okinawans at heart, discover new eateries and revisit old favorites (go here to check out when each special is available and which you’ll need to pre-order). Most importantly, Feastival helps to boost interest in a cuisine that’s becoming harder to find on this island.
On a side note, people always tell me they don’t know where to get Okinawan dishes or what to order. Problem solved! I broke down where to find Okinawan dishes on regular menus, year round, and what they are. Here’s my full list of Okinawan dishes on O‘ahu.
At the end of Feastival, the hope is that you can continue to support all these restaurants throughout the year! Here’s all the Feastival specials being offered this month:
Jimami Dofu, Aloha Tofu
From Sept. 5 to 11, Aloha Tofu’s Paul Uyehara is offering discounts on his popular Yudofu (soft, milky tofu with a custardy texture) and Ohana Soy Sauce (a dashi shoyu that pairs well with tofu). You can get a quarter-scoop of yudofu for $4, a half-scoop for $6.75, and Ohana Soy Sauce for $7.
From Sept. 12 to 19, Uyehara will make and sell Jimami Dofu (Okinawan peanut tofu) with sauce. He rarely makes this iconic but hard-t-find Okinawan dish, so this is exciting! Limit 5 per customer, $4.75 per pack. Pre-order and set your pickup time at Aloha Tofu Factory.
Sept. 5 to 19, Aloha Tofu Factory, 961 Akepo Lane, (808) 845-2669, aloha-tofu.com
Anda-ghee, Kapa Hale
Chef-owner Keaka Lee’s Okinawan doughnuts fried in ghee (clarified butter) are a Feastival exclusive that will be made to order from Sept. 14 to 19. Order online or call the restaurant. Note: Kapa Hale is closed Sept. 6 to 13.
Taco Rice Bakudan & Fishcake, Okuhara Foods
The third-generation family-owned factory is running one-day specials on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Miso Butterfish (2-lb tub) will be discounted to $35; and special orders of Popcorn Tempura, bite-size nuggets of fishcake with fillings like gobo and carrot, edamame and garlic, and onion will be $8. Both must be pre-ordered by Sept. 8 online at their website, okuharafoods.com, or by calling their office at (808) 848-0581 weekdays between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Okuhara is also debuting an Taco Rice Bakudan of Okinawan taco rice coated in fishcake and crusted with Doritos, served hot, $4.50. First come, first served. No pre-orders.
Saffron Pineapple Andagi & Kaffir Lime Andagi, Voyage by Chef Amin (pop-up has ended)
Chef Amin will pop up in the Sunrise Restaurant parking lot (525 Kapahulu Ave.) on Monday, Sept. 5 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. with his takes on andagi: Braised Saffron Pineapple Andagi with a pineapple caramel sauce, and Kaffir Lime Andagi with a yuzu caramel sauce. Both are 3 for $5, 6 for $8, 9 for $15, 12 for $20. Also on offer will be Arabian spiced iced coffee and Persian rose water cardamom tea infused with yuzu. Pre-orders recommended. Emailing email@example.com or DM in IG or FB. Andagi is made to order, so there may be a wait.
Check Facebook or Instagram @voyagechefamin for locations and hours.
Various Okinawan Dishes & Drinks, Zigu
The izakaya’s assistant manager, Mariko Higa, is originally from Okinawa City, so Zigu is bringing tastes of Okinawa to Hawai‘i using local ingredients. They are featuring Orion Beer, It’s Uchina Time IPA from Beer Lab, and Aloha Awamori cocktails (Bloody Mariko, Awamori Espresso Martini, Shikuwasa Sour).
On special are Mozuku Seaweed & Okinawan Sweet Potato Tempura with Miyakojima yuki shio (salt); Rafute (Okinawan braised pork belly) made with Aloha Awamori & Kokuto with boiled egg and daikon; Goya Champuru with local bitter melon, Aloha Tofu, local egg and pork; and Okinawa Soba (Sun Noodle) with rafute. Four-hour validated parking is available across the street at Hyatt Centric.
Sept. 2-19, 413 Seaside Ave., (808) 212-9252, @zigu.hi
Andagi, Aloha Andagi
Junko Bise and her crew will pop up in the covered parking lot of Marukai Dillingham serving regular andagi and Okinawan sweet potato andagi. Hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until sold out.
Sept. 16-18, Aloha Andagi, 2310 Kamehameha Highway, @alohaandagi_llc
It’s Uchina Time & Soki Soba, Beer Lab HI
At 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 8, you can start pre-ordering It’s Uchina Time Shikuwasa IPA (6.2% ABV), a hazy IPA with strong fruity hop notes of citrus, pineapple, mango with a moderate addition of Shikuwasa Citrus to round out the flavor, at beerlabhi.com. This Okinawan take on Corona and lime comes with a new bingata pattern. It’s Uchina Time will be available to drink at Beer Lab locations from Sept. 9.
Beer Lab Pearlridge will be serving Soki Soba (featuring Okuhara kamaboko) from Sept. 9 to 11 while supplies last. Tip: Pair the soba with Aloha Awamori’s Awamori Chili Pepper Awamori!
Okinawan Flavor Cookies, Chibi Confectionery
Shortbread made from scratch with Okinawan glazes (shikuwasa, Okinawan sweet potato, kinako, kokuto Okinawan brown sugar, and sea salt); and Kinako, Shikuwasa, and Matcha Marshmallows will be available. Place your order at chibiconfectionery.com and inquire about pickup locations.
Spam Andagi Pop, Hank’s Haute Dogs
Picture a thick slice of seared Spam dipped in andagi batter and fried up, and you get Hank’s Haute Dogs’ back-by-popular-demand pops. Comes with a honey mustard mayo dipping sauce. Hank’s is not taking pre-orders, so you will need to walk in. Go early! Orders are limited to two pops per person.
Hibachi Grilled Burger Combo, Hibachi Honolulu
Get a Hibachi Grilled Burger and Fries Combo for $11.50, a $2 discount off the regular price. Must mention Okinawan Feastival to get the discount. Choice of Basic Burger, Teri Burger, Jalapeno Burger, and Blue Cheese Burger.
Also available will be Orion Beer and Okinawan Sweet Potato Haupia Squares.
Aunty Kay’s Sweet Potato Manju & Feastival Sale, Ige’s Halawa
Aunty Kay’s Sweet Potato Manju will be available to pre-order at igeshalawa.com for pickup Sept. 6 to 9 and Sept. 13 to 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Six manju are $8.50. There will also be andagi on all those days on a first-come, first-served basis.
Ige’s official Okinawan Feastival sale will be on Saturday, Sept. 17. Pre-order Okinawan mixed plate, sweet potato haupia squares, Okinawan mochi and more. There will be a bake sale as well.
Goya Juice & Goya Shots, ‘Olena Cafe
Indulged in too much andagi and rafute at last weekend’s Okinawan Festival? Balance it out with some healthy (and tasty) bittermelon concoctions! ‘Olena Cafe’s Feastival exclusive Goya Juice has seasonal fruits (goya, starfruit, watermelon and mint); Goya Shots have goya, ukon (wild turmeric), starfruit, watermelon and mint. Also available will be Okinawan sweet potato salad.
Juices are made in small batches for maximum freshness. Call ahead to pre-order.
$5 Breakfast, Pagoda Restaurant
Pagoda Restaurant’s $5 breakfast offers your choice of Island Muesli, Pancake Sandwich, French Toast Combo, Chinatown Style Fried Rice, or Waffle Combo plus a beverage! For dine-in and takeout when you mention “Okinawan Feastival.” Available weekdays from 7 11 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to noon. Pagoda Restaurant is now located in the Pagoda Hotel’s International West Ballroom.
Crispy Pork Belly & Carrot Shirishiri, Roy’s Hawai‘i Kai
Roy Yamaguchi is cooking the carrot shiri shiri dish his mother made for him when he was a kid! Yamaguchi’s Feastival special is a Crispy 24-Hour Sous-Vide Pork Belly with Carrot Shiri Shiri, Garlic Rice Pilaf and Miso Seaweed Dip. Available for dine-in and takeout. Limited amounts will be made each day, so order the FEASTival special when making your reservation on OpenTable or call Roy’s Hawai‘i Kai.
Shoyu Pork & Nasubi Champuru, Sakana Grill
On Mondays and Saturdays only, get a $2 discount on Shoyu Pork and Nasubi Champuru.
Kinako Sherbet with Okinawan Sweet Potato, Scoop Scoops
Scoop Scoops is bringing back their popular Feastival special, Kinako Sherbet with Okinawan Sweet Potato! Must pre-order (this determines how much they’ll make, so call to make sure you can get some). Call and provide name, quantity and date of pickup for town location. If you want to pick up in Mililani, inquire about how that works.
5 Okinawan Soups, Sunrise Restaurant
Chokatsu and Tomoko Tamayose will offer takeout orders of Pig Feet Soup, Nakami Soup, Spare Rib Soup, Okinawan Miso Soup, and Okinawa Soba on weekdays. There will be 30 each a day. Pre-orders are a must. Call (808) 737-4118.
Feastival Special: You can buy a small bottle of Aloha Awamori’s Chili Pepper Awamori to go with your soup purchase. A $3 bottle will equal about five uses.
Special Okinawan Bento, Teruya’s Andagi
Teruya’s Andagi’s special Okinawan Bento (Spam Roll, Okinawan Yakisoba, Shoyu Pork, Bitter melon, Sweet Potato Mochi) is $10 and available in limited quantities. Andagi are $1 apiece and Sweet Potato Mochi are $.80. Regular bentos will also be available. Get them Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. while supplies last.
Masa’s Cafeteria, Mapunapuna
Masa’s Cafeteria will be offering Okinawan dishes on weekdays during Feastival. Details will be posted on their Instagram or call for more information.