Sushi Tokiwa, Honolulu

Sushi Tokiwa is a 9-seat sushi bar in Suntory Restaurant in the Royal Hawaiian Center. The chef is from Sushizen of Hokkaido, which is said to be sort of like a Kyubey-esque establishment in producing many alumni. Sushizen is not as old and storied as Kyubey, but it is thought of as the one bringing Edomae style sushi to Hokkaido and notably also creating the torotaku roll.

Lots of ingredients from Hokkaido and even some Suntory products.

It was basically one chef for the two of us, and the other chef was serving some VIP party of a very storied sushi chef.

Excellent meal - great rice (packing, stickiness, temp) and strong prep (clean, efficient handwork and excellent knifework such as on the engawa).

I liked the texture progression of the otsumami.


  • botanebi konbujime nigiri
  • matsukawa karei engawa nigiri
  • torotaku maki
  • aji nigiri
  • tachiuo with finger lime, komatsuna, daikon
  • Yubari melon with brandy

Niidako with wasabi. Pretty tender. Wasabi quite sharp.

Shimaaji sashimi with horseradish and ginger

Katsuo wrapping ogo (hawaiian seaweed variety) with ginger chive soy sauce and tsubugai with wasabi and soy. Now things got interesting. Great crunch two ways here. The crisp ogo vs pillowy katsuo and the turbanshell’s snappy bite.

Tachiuo (steamed, “a little bit salty”) with finger lime, daikon oroshi, and komatsuna. Good refreshing brightness from the finger lime, komatsuna’s crunch, and oroshi’s cool sweetness. it felt “simple” without sauce but also a very clean and pure combination for summer.

Kahuku corn tempura. Exceptional texture. We were driving through the north shore the day before and thought about getting some kahuku corn. I thought that Sushi Tokiwa might opt for Hokkaido corn here but the kahuku corn tempura was super sweet with an excellent crispness to it. Great fry on this. The other sushi chef guest loved this.

Kanimiso chawanmushi with ikura. Very nice after the fried corn, complementary flavors (think corn chawanmushi with crab or tamagodofu with crab) and contrasting texture from crisp to slick. I love puddings served in kiriko glasses.


Matukawa-karei! One of the best types of flounder, from Hokkaido. Excellent shari and the grip was nicely formed.

Hokkaido salmon

Botanebi konbujime, from Diamond Head. Great just enough stickiness with the rice.

Otoro from Okinawa, cut thin and layered

Akamizuke, marinated in soy & Suntory Yamazaki whisky

Akamizuke, marinated in soy & Suntory Hibiki whisky.

The whisky was mellow and could be felt on the aroma. It didn’t impact the taste as much as I thought. We enjoyed the Hibiki one more. Less smoky than the Yamazaki one. The tuna itself was pretty good quality, the cut and drape were very nice. Interesting that they served otoro first, but the whisky marinade on the akamizuke was almost like a palette cleanser.

Eggplant from Osaka with olive oil and salt. Hand torn, served raw. Quite sweet.

Uni. Not quite gunkan.

Awabi. Quite tender, good nitsume

Unagi Temaki

Aji (bonus). Excellent, maybe bite of the night.

Kohada (bonus). Delicious.

Engawa from matsukawa-karei (bonus). Butterflied a thin piece. So good, just the right amount of chew and proportioned well. Possible bite of the night.

Torotaku maki. Mild takuan (cut thin), thick cut of otoro.

Tamago. Whitefish, shrimp, yamaimo. Fluffy and good moistness.

Aonori soup with clam

Yubari melon from Hokkaido, spritzed with Suntory brandy