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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Doraku Sushi (Hawaii, US)

After a long day of eating, we weren't very hungry but we still wanted to keep to our dining itinerary so we walked over to Doraku Sushi at Waikiki.

The restaurant was dimly lit and quite modern-looking. It was on the third floor of one of the hotel/shopping complexes along Waikiki and had a nice outdoor patio overlooking Kalakaua Avenue. We were seated on the patio which was nice because the dining room of the restaurant wasn't very well air conditioned anyway. The doors to the patio were fully opened so it was about the same inside as outside in terms of temperature.

As we weren't very hungry, we quickly decided on a few dishes to share and put in our order with our server. I noticed that all the servers were male. I'm not sure if that's a hiring policy or coincidence.

Doraku Seafood Salad
Doraku Seafood Salad - diced tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and red snapper tossed with mango, tomato, and spring mix tossed with Doraku dressing. I found the dressing to be a little too tarte. It was like a mix of Italian dressing and Japanese sweet dressing. The salad wasn't large and had a few pieces of sashimi in it. I enjoyed it but I think it would have been undersized if I were actually hungry.
New Style Doraku Roll

New Style Doraku Roll - crabmeat and avocado roll, topped with seared tuna, daikon radish, shiso leaves and crispy garlic chips, finished with a special wasabi yuzu citrus sauce. This roll was actually really good and the one I liked better of the two rolls we ordered. The garlic chips on top added some nice texture to the roll. Although the daikon on top looked bland and tasteless, it did a great job of absorbing the wasabi yuzu citrus sauce. The flavours blended well together and made the roll taste like a super-charged California roll.
Misoyaki Butterfish

Misoyaki Butterfish - black cod butterfish glazed and baked with yuzu saikyo miso and served with grilled seasoned vegetables. We ordered this for H and she really liked it. It was soft, tender, flaky and very flavorful. My only complaint is that it had bones in it, so I had to slowly pick through it before feeding H.

White Dragon Roll
White Dragon Roll - shrimp tempura and avocado topped with unagi, red tobiko, unagi sauce, ao nori and spicy aioli. I should have read the description a little closer because this one was pretty basic. I was sold on the spicy aioli, but I could barely taste it in the roll. Imagine a dynamite roll with unagi on top, and that's exactly what it was.

Chirashi Don - assorted sashimi served over sushi rice. Fresh sashimi on rice.

Chirashi Don
Foodwise, Doraku Sushi doesn't do anything spectacular or unique with its dishes. It was a good meal but nothing about it really hooked me or would entice me to try it again.

Service was pretty good, but our server did disappear on us a couple of times. It was great, but it wasn't bad either.

"Sorry for the dim photos. We were seated on the patio where there was almost no lighting whatsoever." 

Summary
Food: Good. Nothing bad about the food, but it wasn't unique or special.

Service: Average.

Setting: Good. It's along Waikiki and the patio view of Kalakaua Avenue is great (if you can get one of the few tables with that view).

Value: Average. Good food but medium to high prices.

Doraku Sushi on Urbanspoon

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