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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, February 5, 2006

Hanaki offers solution to potluck problems

Guests make their way around the buffet line, piling their plates with sushi, shrimp tempura and karaage.

Photos by Randy T. Fujimori


Where: 2756 Woodlawn Dr., Manoa Market Place

Call: 988-1551

Hours: Lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday (closed on Tuesday); dinner nightly from 5 to 9 p.m.; Sunday Japanese-style brunch between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Note: Birthday celebrants (on the actual day) eat for free with every paying adult.

Keiki eat free Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights with every paying adult.

Customers will receive a 10-percent discount off all party trays through February.

Plates stacked high with tempura, sushi and chicken teriyaki, a group of office workers from Pension Services Corporation enjoyed a mid-day buffet last Thursday at Hanaki.

"We get a lot of office parties and functions here," said manager Mark Mitsuyoshi. "In fact, last night we even had a group of 30 dentists who did a PowerPoint presentation after their dinner."

The draw to this Manoa Market Place establishment is its seemingly endless lineup of tasty Japanese dishes, from nishime and sashimi, to chicken kaarage and misoyaki butterfish, to yaki soba and miso.

"And we have juicy — and not dry — prime rib and meaty Dungeness crab legs on Saturday and Sunday," smiled Angela, who helps run the front room. "We get people who come here on those days and just eat crab legs. We even had one customer bring his own little fondue-like contraption so he could keep his butter warm."

During the week, dinner buffets are priced at $18.95 for adults, $16.95 for seniors and $9.95 for kids below four-and-a-half feet tall. On Saturdays and Sundays, cost is $21.95 for all adults and $10.95 for children.

Weekday lunch buffets are $12.95 for adults, $10.95 for diners 55 years and older, and $4.95 for keiki. Saturday lunch buffets are $12.95 for adults and seniors, and $4.95 for kids. Sunday brunch costs $18.95 for adults and $9.95 for kids.

With veteran sushi maker Jonnette "Jo" Lau recently joining the Hanaki team, the sushi here has been taken to another level.

"We're thinking out of the box and trying to keep sushi lively," Lau said. "Right now, we're doing pizza sushi and deep-fried-siu-mai-and-egg roll. And soon we're going to offer a Vietnamese roll sushi."

Of course, the spicy ahi, California roll and assorted maki sushi are still mainstays.

"We can't keep it in the house," Lau said of the spicy ahi. "Our guests just eat it up and keep asking for more."

In response to their patrons, Lau and the kitchen crew have also begun to offer new to-go party trays, filled with such items as chicken teriyaki or karaage ($20.99), fish katsu ($20.99), shrimp tempura (20 pieces for $19.99), shrimp gyoza ($16.99), yaki soba noodles ($9.99) and fried rice ($9.99)

"We even have a set catering menu for $10.95 for a minimum of 10 people or $14.95 if we add sashimi and nimono," Mitsuyoshi said. "We're seeing a greater demand for this type of service and we're just now catching our breaths after the busy holiday season."