3040 Waialae Ave A2, Honolulu
Da best Omakase in the world ?
It's different and unique, I really enjoyed some of the dishes. But the price is over the top and the portions aren't that filling. Compared to Sasabune or Sushi Gen (LA) it's twice as expensive but not twice as good. I'd go once a year just to see what's new but I'll go to Sasabune once a month. Here's the net net $300 per person at Hihimanu $150-175 per person at Sasabune
When you drive/ walk by it's very small almost hidden but this is the BEST sushi I've ever had in my life even after living in Japan. Omakase is worth the price, you pay for what you get. The chef was fantastic, friendly and spoke with everyone familiarly. The staff were also great, very efficient and quiet, polite. Kept the hot tea refills coming without my asking. The chef was very accommodating to my allergies. I am allergic to shellfish and he made a special plate for me to go along with every course I could not participate in. He and the staff were very nice and apologetic about it which was nice even though they didn't have to be. Upon leaving my partner and I were already planning to go back in a couple months for our anniversary. About the food: you can tell that this is a culmination of the chefs work over the 20 years he has been doing this. The way he cuts the fish and the way he seasons it is mind blowing and some thing I have not seen except for in documentaries. All of his sauces, shoyu, and many salts are homemade. He has a new rose salt that is delicious, I would feel lucky to eat it again. On a practical note, make reservations as they have 5:30 and 8:00pm seatings. We made it all the way to the fattiest tuna, taking in all nearly 2hrs 45mins. Well worth it! Ended with miso soup (Also accommodating my allergies) and dessert. They allowed me to reschedule once without charging the cancellation fee as my partner was getting deployed during the original time.
This place should really be called Ray's. It is the inspired vision of the owner/chef, and each piece of fabulous sushi he presents you clearly bears his love of preparing food that pleases people. As I walked in 5 minutes early for my 8 pm seating, several people were still finishing from the 5:30 seating. I couldn't believe they could still be eating. 2 and a half hours later, I understood. The night started with sashimi of the sweetest lobster I've ever had. And then it got better. Each presentation seemed to me to be the quintessence of whatever it was, whether tempura, or sweet shrimp, or clam, or... And he just kept serving, and kept serving. Every garnish was thoughtful, and most he had made himself, painstakingly. I felt very lucky to get to share this experience with only 2 other people, but even on a full night they only serve 10 per seating. And it was also a pleasure getting to talk to and get to know Ray and his staff. This was definitely one of the most expensive meals I've ever had, but it was well worth it. I'll remember it for years. Thanks Ray!
My first omakase and I know I am ruined! I am sure I will be hard-pressed to find another spot like this. Chef Ray provided a stellar experience! Classically trained, so knowledgeable and personable. I learned a lot, as he was happy to share about the fish, food ingredients, his culinary journey and training. Freshest fish and weekly milled rice, artistically prepared. This is my get-down so I thoroughly enjoyed the evening from start to finish. Melt-in-your-mouth fish with perfect flavor profiles! Each course a real surprise and treat. Can’t wait to come back. Thank you, Chef Ray!
My first omakase and I know I am ruined! I am sure I will be hard-pressed to find another spot like this. Chef Ray provided a stellar experience! Classically trained, so knowledgeable and personable. I learned a lot, as he was happy to share about the fish, food ingredients, his culinary journey and training. Freshest fish and weekly milled rice, artistically prepared. This is my get-down so I thoroughly enjoyed the evening from start to finish. Melt-in-your-mouth fish with perfect flavor profiles! Each course a real surprise and treat. Can't wait to come back. Thank you, Chef Ray!
Amazing sushi experience for a special moment! The best sushi I had in Hawaii.
My last day in Hawaii couldn't of been spent any better honestly. From start to finish the food was amazing, every dish I tried instantly became a favorite. Each plate was crafted with originality but invoked nostalgia as if I have been missing it all my life. Thanks guys :)
NEXT LEVEL SUSHI EXPERIENCE!!! Go here. Plain & simple. It's expensive, but Chef Ray is on another level of Sushi Chefs. If you think you've enjoyed sushi before, it's like comparing Picasso to a kindergartner's finger paintings ... His levels of flavor in the sushi are great. Tender perfect cuts every time w/ the perfect touch of accents.
Dined at Hihimanu last night: The good: * Top quality ingredients * Highly creative chef and staff * "Reasonable" price for what you get * Small, personal location with excellent service The ok: * Many of the dishes were over the top flavor combos. The Uni Bomb, as an example - is a waste of great uni. They take four different types of uni and smash them together onto a spoon so you can't tell them apart. If you're gonna pride yourself on selection, highlight each one independently * Nothing needs 24K gold leaf. Ever. * I found myself thinking more than once "I wonder what this fish would taste like without a bunch of random stuff on top of it". There were more than a few odd pairings. The bad: * It's eight seats, you're all sat and start at the same time. This is fine, but the chef seemed to clearly favor the 4 seats in front of him, giving them whimsical stories of the fish etc... we mostly just got our stuff dropped off with a curt description, like we were taking up his time * To the above, at the end, the chef decided to buy sake shots for the four seats at the other end (and his staff) and then made pretend we weren't there. If it was a big restaurant it'd be one thing, but at 8 seats it just made us feel excluded and further drove home that we felt like a burden versus customers to be thankful for. All in all the last 10 minutes of our meal turned it from a 4* to a 3*. Something the chef should be aware of. There are so many great sushi options on the island that I don't think I'll be back, unfortunately.
Hihimanu Sushi lived up to all of our expectations. We made a reservation by telephone (credit card required to hold the reservation). There are parking stalls in front of the restaurant. Make sure to be there on time. Chef Ray does 2 seatings per night - one at 5:30 p.m. and one at 8:00 p.m. We did the 5:30 seating and were seated with a small group of 10 people at the bar. It's Omakase style and you just tell the chef when you're getting full. The fish is so fresh and delicious and we had such a nice variety of items. Mostly nigiri style dishes, but some other baked dishes as well. Most people bailed around round 15-18, but we made it to 21, finishing off with the wagyu. Each dish is carefully prepared in front of you and Chef Ray puts a lot of thought into the menu each night. He knows exactly how to mix the flavors to perfection. Honestly, this place deserves a Michelin star it's so good. There is also a nice drink menu. We did a few sake tastings and bought a bottle of the Senshin Junmai Daiginjo sake. Staff was amazing and so attentive. We really enjoyed every aspect of our experience here. Chef Ray is amazing.
If I could find one word to describe Hihimanu it would be anticlimactic. The five star reviews here just ruined it for me. I set the expectations too high for this omakase especially with the bill @ $260 per person which includes tax and tip (20 plates and the nigiri comes as single pcs). I was expecting to be completely blown away but left just meh by the omakase itself and let really down by the price as I did not feel it reflected the overall ingredients and especially not the ambiance of a high end sushi place. There's the high end ingredients such as truffle, overly salty caviar and 24K gold that I don't feel necessarily enhanced the sushi. Don't get me wrong- it wasn't bad by any means and we had decent service but what I struggled with is the fact that I've had waaaaaay better omakase locally, and in Japan, San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas in which some were at half of this price point. A few of the nigiri sushi were overpowered by the toppings where I could not taste any flavors of the fish such as its freshness, sweetness, umaminess. I felt the toppings were competing against the fish instead of complementing it. Some of the non-topped nigiri were just average taste/texture such as the maguro and Spanish mackerel. You can find this at Sushi ii or Mitch's. The most disappointing dish of all was the baked lobster tail. It was overcooked and the mayo sauce was underwhelming like straight from a jar. Nothing compared to the lobster tail at Sasabune. The starter of spicy ahi with nori was also meh. I didn't find it creative and the Sriracha overpowered everything. I've had this dish at so many other sushi places in the mainland so as soon as I saw it here- my stomach sank. The sushi rice alone was not to par with other higher end establishments. You also cannot reorder any item twice. Would I go back? No because there's just so many other options sushi and non-sushi at this price point and lower. BTW- my husband left hungry @$260 but I wanted to leave as we didn't enjoy the people we were seated next to.
If you want to experience one of, if not the best, Omakase sushi dining meals, this is the place. Chef/owner Ray is the bomb !!
Chef Ray deserves his 5 star badge of honor. We had the pleasure to dine here this evening & it was spectacular! Such careful planning & care went into each dish I can see chef loves his craft. We should have dined at the earlier seating, being on New York time made it difficult to eat a lot, so we had to stop early. My mistake, I wish I had room for the finale.
Ray came out onto the stage and started his work. He was center stage and took command of the players. The usual suspects were all in play and more Including o toro ju toro snappers acule from Japan okamusu mirugai caviar hamachi w pure truffle oil monk fish liver uni trout roe Caledonian Shrimp you get the picture. Each piece exquisitely prepped and handled with care and generosity. Sauces specially made and trimming painstakingly prepared with love and time. It was a performance to behold and mouth watering gustatory adventure. There was so much that I begrudgingly had to tap out. I was full and could not handle another mouthful. The fish was fresh as evidenced by the texture with each bite. There was that delicate firmness a pleasant sensation on the tongue. Sake pairing recommendation was also lovely. Standing ovation.
3040 Waialae Ave A2, Honolulu, HI 96816