The greatest thing about the food at Shirokiya Japan Village Walk is that it’s impossible to eat everything — at least all at once.

But if you see something that sparks even the tiniest bit of interest, get it. Since Shirokiya reopened in the summer, vendors have quickly come and gone. Tokyo Hot-dogs, for example — which garnered buzz for its quirky toppings that included oddities such as yakisoba noodles and natto — was among the casualties.

In a way, it makes for a unique dining experience, one that constantly is changing. Already, new restaurants

have taken over vacant spots — places like Aloha Oven, which offers pizza and nachos.

It also makes Shirokiya the perfect place to visit for Gastronome. Someone should attempt to make the impossible possible, right? It might as well be me.

Here’s the latest installment of Things to Eat at Shi-rokiya. (You can read more about Vintage Cave Bakery, Takoyaki Yama-chan and kulu kulu at


I love a good musubi, which is exactly what you can look forward to here. The rice is soft but not too gooey or hard. The nori breaks away easily without leaving bits on teeth and lips.

The combinations are endless.

Musubis from Musubi Café

Musubis from Musubi Café

Among my favorites are the spicy tuna mayo, kombu and ume. (I like my musubis basic, OK?) Also available are musubis with Spam and avocado, as well as some ready-made bentos.

The best part? It’s perfectly acceptable to go a little overboard here. The musubis cost less than $2 each.


Despite its shared booth with a beer and sake station, I’ve somehow overlooked Hikotaro until now.

The nondescript spot offers a pretty extensive selection of Japanese sweets. Among them are a variety of dango (Japanese mochi). I suppose part of why I’ve never paid it any attention is because of how odd it looks: balls of mochi clumped together on a stick like a kabob.


But it’s a reminder, really, of never jumping to conclusions. The dango at Hikotaro is soft, smooth and easy to eat, and the toppings — one with a shoyu-sugar sauce and the other with kinako powder and sesame seeds — weren’t overpowering.


This perhaps is the oddest recent addition to Shirokiya: Zunda Saryo, a place where everything sweet is made with soybeans — and tastes like it, too. I remain skeptical and lactose intolerant, so I’ll let staff writer Paige Takeya — who swears by this — do the talking.


“Soybean milkshake” as a concept sounds weird. In practice, it’s still kind of weird. It’s a creamy, milky drink with distinguishable bits of soybean floating around. The drink isn’t overly sweet, so — contrary to what others might tell you — the bean flavor really stands out.

Honestly, you’ve got to really like soybeans to enjoy this. Luckily, I do. It reminds me of an extra-hearty malt. If you pay a little extra, you can get the Excella shake that comes with extra whipped cream to mask the bean flavor, but I like to keep things simple with the plain 12-ounce shake.

As someone with relatives who have been lost to breast cancer, I’m always looking for ways to help the cause. October just so happens to be National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and The Kahala Hotel & Resort is doing its part to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer Research Foundation — in the best way possible.


First, there’s a special pink afternoon tea with appropriately themed desserts: Raspberry Macarons, Guava Red Velvet Cupcakes, Pink Truffles and White Chocolate Tartlettes. It all comes with savory items, of course, and a perfectly matched glass of Lucien Albrecht Brut Rose NV (pink bubbly, basically).

The hotel’s chocolate-covered macadamia nuts also are getting a makeover with a coating of pink chocolate.

Both are available through the end of the month, and a portion of each will go to Breast Cancer Research Foundation. For reservations and more information, call 739-8760 or visit