Maguro-Ya Restaurant in Kaimuki, for fresh fish teishoku

The folks in Hawaii love to eat raw fish, especially tuna. The most common ways of eating it is sashimi and poke style. For those of you who would like to read more about “poke,” please refer to the “Let’s Talk Story” section of the Honolulu Festival website. “Ahi” is yellowfin tuna, commonly used in Hawaii for poke and sashimi.

I would like to introduce a Japanese restaurant in Kaimuki, right on Waialae Avenue, called Maguro-Ya. “Maguro” is a Japanese term for “bluefin tuna.” “Ya” means “shop.” This restaurant is famous for serving the freshest fish, seafood and sushi. They have specials each week featuring the freshest catch. There is also a very nice sushi counter where the master sushi chefs serve their very best. And for those that can’t eat fish, there are a few meat dishes.

As we all know maguro has been a staple in Japan for many years. With the popularity of sushi spreading worldwide, maguro has become difficult to find. The bluefin tuna has been severely overfished. It has become a delicacy especially the fatty belly part called toro. In Hawaii it is a common fact that the price of maguro goes sky high for New Years. This is also the trend in Japan. Did you know that back in the samurai days of Japan that maguro was a fish that was considered unclean, therefore not eaten? Maguro has come a long way. It is one of the most popular fish in Japan and also all over the world.

There are so many items on the Maguro-Ya menu to choose from, very mind boggling. Their fish teishoku menu includes salmon, butterfish, aji, sanma, saba, hamachi, karei and moi. Some are seasonal. You can also request it to be grilled, cooked in a shoyu sauce or deep fried. What is great about these teishoku is that they come as a complete meal including rice, miso shiru, salad, pickles and kobachi (small dish of something tasty, usually a veggie). I decided to eat their well-known Magurozukushi Teishoku. It’s very popular because the maguro is served in every which way possible-sashimi style, yakimono (grilled) and agemono (deep fried). I am assuming that the term “zukushi” comes from the word “tsukusu” which means to “exhaust or serve.” For example, if you tsukusu a person, it means to “dedicate yourself completely to the person.” I realize that I went off on a tangent but that is the nice part of writing a blog, that I can write about anything I think about, including a Japanese language lesson.

Please look at the pictures of the Magurozukushi Teishoku at Maguro-Ya. The pictures look appetizing. The taste was even better, so delicious. It’s a good teishoku to start with on your first visit. And once you think you’ve gotten enough of the maguro, your maguro fix, then I insist that you be bold and try the other delicacies on their menu. The deep fried moi which was a special the day that I went looked so good. I hope to try something like that on my next visit. Oishii!

Appetizer includes edamame, tamagoyaki (egg dish) and maguro on mini skewers.

Sashimi. Deep fried maguro with shredded cabbage and potato salad (use mustard and tonkatsu sauce for condiments). Pickles. Kobachi (mountain yams). Lettuce and tomato salad. Miso shiru. Rice.

Grilled maguro with grated daikon.

Honolulu Festival

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