Kaiseki at Kaimana

Summit + Miyako at New Otani

Text Karen Shishido
Art Will Caron

Located on the second level of the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, Miyako Restaurant has served authentic and sophisticated Japanese cuisine for five decades.

“Miyako” is an ancient name for Kyoto which, in turn, was the capital city of Japan for more than a thousand years. Fittingly, a highlight of the menu here is the monthly kaiseki special. Kaiseki cuisine is originally from the Kyoto area; it consists of multiple dishes and is matched to the prevailing season, featuring ingredients that are representative of what is abundant and most flavorful at the time. Colors, tastes and textures are all given careful attention by highly skilled chefs, and the emphasis is on the appreciation and sensual enjoyment of each dish in succession—a zen carryover from kaiseki’s roots in tea ceremony ritual.

Miyako's Kaiseki dinners of the past have featured dishes ranging from a grilled scallop appetizer with a delicate wasabi dressing (slightly tangy, with a radish garnish) to a third course of hearty and warming chawanmushi (steamed custard soup with mushrooms and soft wheat gluten), to snow crab and Big Island abalone in a cheese gratin with a pleasant, soufflé-like texture, and savory sauteed roast duck on a bed of shimeji mushrooms and onion. Each dish presents a tiny world of its own: the complex flavors, aromas and textures were always refined and never bland, keeping the palate surprised from course to course.

Miyako’s head chef Yuta Anzai brings extensive experience in traditional kaiseki cooking, as well as a flair for creating innovative and edgy new dishes with the freshest ingredients of the islands—as seen in his Onaga Ceviche, a twist on the classic that combines roasted fillets of the local snapper variety on a bed of fine lettuce, drizzled with a yuzu citrus and soy vinaigrette, with shaved red onion, cilantro and cherry tomatoes to garnish. Try the sake sampler, a flight of three distinctive varieties from regions across Japan, and bring a sweet close to your meal with ice cream or delicate lychee sorbet—light as snow and bursting with the taste of fresh fruit.

Miyako head chef Yuta Anzai with his Beef Katsu Sandwich ($18), served with onion rings

Miyako Restaurant’s service echoes the level of attention and professionalism one might encounter at a ryokan—a traditional inn—in Japan. Several servers and hosts have worked here for over twenty years, a testimony to their commitment to patrons and the sense of family and teamwork that keeps the establishment humming.

Outdoor seating, overlooking Kaimana Beach and the golden Waikīkī sunset on the horizon, adds to the experience. Cabana seating is available by reservation—a fantastic vantage point for the weekly Friday night firework display down the beach at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Although kaiseki cuisine and fine Japanese dining usually come with an attendant high price tag, Miyako has early-bird and late night pre-fixe specials ($33 for a seven-piece meal and dessert). The restaurant shows its appreciation to local residents for their patronage, offering a 10 percent discount any day. Guests of the New Otani Kaimana Beach save 15 percent, and anyone celebrating their birthday will receive a happy 20 percent off their meal that day.

A rare meeting of commitment to the art and skill of Japanese cooking and the relaxed elegance of dining on the beach, Miyako Restaurant is a tucked-away jewel many kama‘āina don’t know about—but should.

Miyako at New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel
2863 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu
Wed.–Mon., 5:30–9pm
(808) 921-7077


Summit is Hawaii's global magazine of ideas, style and smart living. We're named for Queen Kapiolani's motto, "kulia i ka nuu," strive for the summit. Summit is available on fine newsstands throughout North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

Archipelago Inc.
PO Box 11934
Honolulu, Hawaii 96828
Ikaika Hussey
Creative Director
Mae Ariola
Will Caron
Associate Publisher
Michelle Garcia
Copy Editor
Karen Shishido
Assistant Editor
James Charisma