Newly renovated, Restaurant Suntory offers an exclusive smorgasbord of Japanese cuisine.
PHOTO COURTESY OF RESTAURANT SUNTORY
Following a massive $2 million transformation, Restaurant Suntory (suntory.com) has been reborn. “The renovation was born from the shift in focus to offer only the highest level of cuisine and the best sushi in America served with omotenashi (Japanese hospitality),” says Restaurant Suntory’s general manager, Nobuyuki Aoyama. “Ultimately, we aim to become the No. 1 Japanese restaurant in Honolulu.”
Located inside the Royal Hawaiian Center, the shiny new interior is cozy and sophisticated. Adhering to the Japanese art of minimalism, the design is refined, including wood and subtle earth tones so as to not distract from the delicious and authentic culinary affairs. Restaurant Suntory now offers five distinct dining experiences all inspired by Japanese food culture.
Executive chef Go Kamikubo at Restaurant Suntory at the Royal Hawaiian Center. PHOTO COURTESY OF RESTAURANT SUNTORY
The star of the show is the brand-new Tokiwa sushi counter. Intimate and exclusive, Tokiwa is hidden away within the venue—“a restaurant within a restaurant,” says Aoyama. Here, only 12 lucky guests are able to feast one small but delicious bite at a time on a stunning omakase-style meal. “Omakase gives the sushi chef creative freedom by entrusting the selections for the meal entirely to them,” explains executive chef Go Kamikubo. “You can rely on the considerable knowledge of the skilled artisans to present you with a fresh, carefully chosen array—each piece an intentional accent of the greater whole.”
The second of five dining experiences, washoku features delicious traditional Japanese favorites including sashimi. Nearby, Suntory’s teppan room sizzles as guests enjoy a front-row view of chefs masterfully preparing wagyu on flat iron griddles. “The teppan and washoku course meals are a feast for both the stomach and the eyes,” says chef Kamikubo. In a different corner of the newly renovated hot spot, the Suntory lounge features a cafe experience in the afternoon and an upscale nightcap after dinner. In addition to shochu and sake, rare and award-winning Japanese craft spirits are the highlight of the lounge, including the Roku Gin with six botanicals exclusive to Japan. Lastly, a chic private dining room awaits for celebrating special occasions in style.
Washoku (Japanese cuisine) sushi nigiri 10-piece lunch set of fresh selections served with kobachi (small side dishes), rice and miso soup. PHOTO COURTESY OF RESTAURANT SUNTORY
“What makes Restaurant Suntory special is the way it brings all the beloved cornerstones of Japanese cuisine under one roof without sacrificing the quality of any individual aspect,” Aoyama adds. “Part of Restaurant Suntory’s charm is its ability to give guests something unique to look forward to each month.” During lunch and dinner, Suntory boasts being one of the only true kaiseki experiences on the island. Monthly, the shunsai-zen lunch special menu—a kaiseki lunch set—changes to suit this Japanese fine dining tradition.
Take your pick of the five experiences and determine for yourself whether Restaurant Suntory has met its loft y goal of being the best.
An upscale atmosphere with a glow that matches the amber colors of the prized Suntory whiskies served here. PHOTO COURTESY OF RESTAURANT SUNTORY