Nanzan Giro Giro


Honolulu, Hawaii – I’ve been wanting to try this new Japanese Kyoto Kaiseki style restaurant since they opened their doors back in late July.  Since they’ve opened, I’ve heard first hand from many friends who have tried this eatery with nothing but good things to say.  So of course I definitely had to try it….so last night amongt friends…I did.

For those of you who don’t know what the term Kaiseki is, Kaiseki is a traditional Japanese style of multi-course dinner.  The term also refers to the collection of skills and techniques that allow for an artistic preparation of such meals by a master chef.  In this case, Giro is driven by Kyoto born Yoshihiro Matsumoto.

Unfortunately, I cannot put into detail what each dish is composed of…  The menu changes on a monthly basis and each dish has so many thing going on….I didn’t have a notepad to write down word-for-word what was in each dish.  But what I can do for you is give you the basics of each dish and the featured ingredient.

We started off with this appetizer, the main ingredient here is crab, miso, mizuna and carrots. The dish, though small was extremely flavorful. Had to make sure to drink the remaining broth to experience all the flavors.

Ayu with fish liver in a corn infused sauce. Don't be afraid of the liver...I personally hate it but you can't even tell, the flavor is very light. Ayu is a Japanese river fish and it tastes amazing.

This was my favorite dish. Hotate (scallop) flavored with ume & shiso in a lightly flavored stock. I wish I could get a few more of these, definitely a must try. I hope they have it on future menus.

The main dish had so many things going on. All of it worked so well together. The pink you see was unagi and beats belended together and steam around a piece of unagi. The sauce which I can't remember was a thicker barley flavored glaze with myoga. The circular ring you see is steamed squash. Oishikatta.

Beef tataki with a blended tofu & ponzu flavored sauce. The little turtle you see has a radish sprout, miso and myoga sauce pictured below. One thing about this place is not only the creativity in the food but the actual dishes and pottery. All of which are on display at the restuarant like an art gallery. This dish was very interactive. Place a little wasabi on the tataki, put a little of the tofu sauce and radish mixture on the tataki and you're good to go with an explosion of flavors in your mouth.

Here's the raddish sprout, miso & myoga sauce. I hate to keep using the word but this was definitely delicous. The pottery was kawaii don't you think?

Steamed chicken, over a blended chive sauce with pickled tomatoes, gibo chips and lotus root with chicken foie gras. I'll be honest here I didn't eat the fois gras. Not my bag. I tasted it but it was too rich for me so I gave it away. The yellow stuff is a splash of fresh hot mustad and it was hot!! Probably my least favorite dish but was very tasty.

What a way to end the meal. Sushi rice topped with maguro, unni, konbu & konbu glaze. Served with tsukemono and a gourmet-like miso soup with roasted eggplant. Umai!

I thought the dessert could have been better but it was still a nice way to end the night. A french type of dish, the cake tasted like a mixture of a lemon carrot cake with peach whipped cream and a tiny macaroon. I can't remember the flavor of the macaroon, gomen.

Overall this was a great meal. The portions seem tiny but after all of the courses, you leave full.  The meal itself cost $50.  Dessert is an extra $8.  With drinks, tax & tip…expect to at least pay around $70+.  Very pricey but you get what you pay for.  I’d still recommend this place to anyone.

Nanzan Giro Giro
560 Pensacola Street
(808) 524-0141
Open Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday.
Normally with 3 seating times at 5:00, 6:30 and 8:00pm.

Limited parking is available in front of the eatery or on the street.  Try to carpool if you can.  The place can accommodate larger parties (we had a party of 10 that sat comfortably) in the back area but if you want to see how your dishes are artistically put together, you’ll want to sit at the bar.


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