Doraku Sushi Executive Chef Hide Yoshimoto offers a creative, contemporary and delicious menu for lunch and dinner.

One of the fun things about working in hospitality public relations is bringing out of town guests to restaurants they’ve never been to and pushing them to try new things. Yesterday, I was part of a hosted lunch at Doraku Sushi (Royal Hawaiian Center) that had five webbies/bloggies visiting Hawaii for a little cultural exploration around a table with some of my fellow public relations colleagues. After all, we needed nourishment after a morning of great learning with the organizers of Aloha Festivals and before heading to Moanalua Gardens for a Prince Lot Hula Festival preview.

Our visiting guests consisted of a couple pesce-vegetarians (those who eat fish), an “I don’t do raw fish” guy, and a sushi skeptic. The veggies we weren’t so  concerned about, but the other two could have been a challenge. Luckily, Doraku’s menu offers a nice selections of hot entree items, like shrimp tempura which he ordered. But he also gave a few other dishes a shot (and enjoyed them), which immediately earned him “foodie cred” with the group. As for our sushi skeptic. Well, she ended up being quite the trooper and ate (and enjoyed) everything we ordered. She even said “I would have never ordered any of the sushi we did had I not been with you folks.” So “foodie cred” to her as well.

Lunch was nothing short of delicious and satisfying. The fish was super fresh and all of the dishes we tried were packed with flavor. The food was so tasty, I didn’t need to use wasabi to eat my sushi. I’d been to Doraku before for networking events, but this was the first time enjoying regular items off its menu of modern-contemporary-fusion sushi creations…or whatever you want to call it. This definitely isn’t your grandparents traditional sushi joint. Expect the unexpected here and you better like garlic. It was a common ingredient on many of Executive Chef Hide Yoshimoto‘s dishes.

So what exactly did we eat? Here’s my attempt at food porn, Doraku Sushi style!

Ahi Poke: Local Hawaiian Ahi Tuna, Red Onions, and Sea Kelp, marinated in Doraku's Special Poke Sauce and garnished with Crispy Green Onions and Spring Mix

New Style Tuna Tataki: Juilienne Daikon Radish and Sweet Onions with Seasoned Wakame, Kaiware, Ponzu Sauce, Crispy Garlic Chips, and Garlic Aioli

Cuban Beef Roll: Grilled Rib Eye, Asparagus, Cucumber topped with Cuban style Chimichurri Sauce and Crispy Garlic Chips

Japanese Style Snapper Shiso Carpaccio: Thin Slices of Snapper Over Shiso Leaf and Topped with Marinated Cucumber, Sweet Onion, Tomato, Kaiware Sprouts and Finished with Kabayaki Sauce

Double Happiness: Tuna, Salmon, Scallop, Ika, Shrimp, Crab Meat, Shiso Leaf and Kaiware Sprouts wrapped with Nori and thinly sliced Cucumber sheet and topped with Garlic Aioli, Tobiko Eggs and Ponzu Sauce

Doraku Summer Roll: Tuna, Shrimp, Avocado, Spring Mix, Cucumber, Sweet Onion and Tomato Wrapped with Rice Paper and served with Wasabi Yuzu Dressing, Kabayaki Sauce, and Black Tobiko

Doraku Roll: Lobster, Shredded Crab, and Cream Cheese, Tempura fried served with Red and Black Tobiko and Spicy Garlic Aioli

Red Dragon Roll: Spicy Tuna, Shrimp Tempura and Avocado topped with Unagi, Red Tobiko, Unagi Sauce, Ao Nori and Spicy Aioli

Miso Teriyaki Chilean Seabass: Chilean Seabass and Spinach sauteed in Sweet Miso and Teriyaki Sauce

BTW, if you “check in” at Doraku on FourSquare, you get 10 percent off your bill.

Doraku Sushi
Royal Hawaiian Center, 3rd Floor
2233 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815-2573
808-922-3323

[All photos taken by me with my stock Canon EOS Rebel T1i.]

-NGK

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