Nanzan Giro Giro
There are several Kaiseki (Traditional Japanese multi-course dinner) restaurants in Honolulu and Nanzan Giro Giro is one of the newest newcomers. Their original restaurant is in Kyoto, Japan and there is another branch in Paris, France. The cooking style of Nanzan Giro Giro is called "Kuzushi Kaiseki" and it is a modern version (or fusion) of traditional Japanese cooking with a creative, artistic flair.
Many Japanese restaurants overseas tend to rely on imports from Japan but the chef of Nanzan Giro Giro explained that using local ingredients offers better quality and flavors, so he draws from local Hawaiian products as well as japanese staples.
The menu changes every month so if you are one of the lucky people who lives in Honolulu, you can enjoy the new menu each month. Because they only serve this fixed course menu, the chefs prepare the dish super efficiently. They even chat with the customers in a very friendly manner without stopping their hands. I don't know how they can do that.
Here are the seven courses that we had.
They offer wine parings but we decided to go with a bottle of Japanese Shochu.
cured ahi, uni, mizuna, simmered yuba, braised eggplant with wasabi soy sauce
Grilled Scallop and asparagus with tofu sauce, green onion and daikon ponzu sauce, yuzu zest
grilled onaga, shungiku and pine nuts dumpling in onaga broth
top right : cabbage puree with salmon roe and Nara style pickles
bottom right : lotus root dengaku, grilled fried tofu and wasabi
bottom left : Japanese tuna omlet (dashimaki) with seaweed (nori) soy sauce
top left : cauliflower in sweet vinaigrette
shirako (fish milt) and king mushroom tempura in an sauce and wasabi
roast duck with chestnut and kuwai (three-leaf arrowhead) sauce
snow crab tempura udon in white miso & crab miso broth
raspberry macaron, tiramisu ice cream and fried mochi with azuki (red bean) custard
served with macha
kitchen staff cleaning up for the night.
The kitchen is very organized and you don't hear any noise other than the voice of the staff or chefs talking to the customers. The dirty dishes were never in your sight. Very impressive.
What I like about this place is you get to experience a multi course kaiseki dinner with such a reasonable price in very casual, unique environment. I am looking forward to going back there.
Seven-course kaiseki dinner is $50 ($8 extra charge for dessert).
Nanzan Giro Giro
560 Pensacola St
Honolulu, HI 96814