ZIGU – Honolulu, HI

Zigu is a brand spanking new Japanese restaurant. I found it on a Twitter post and didn’t realize I came to check them out before they were even listed as “Hot and New” on Yelp. Huh?? I like trying new restaurants but not usually before some solid and legit reviews come online. It’s okay, I was able to make a reservation on Open Table and the food pictures looked pretty good. So I’ll share right now, this restaurant is good. Pricey, but good. Definitely worth it. They even validate parking at Hyatt Centric. So what’s Zigu’s deal? Well, they try to find as much locally sourced ingredients as possible to serve up their Japanese dishes. A confession, I’ve been there twice in one month. Yah, was that good. But I’m a bit Zigu’ed out for now. My first outing, they seated me at the counter in front of the chefs. I was upset at first, I’m not a counter type of girl and I’m not real chatty…and feel a bit insecure being watched by the chefs. But I warmed up to the counter because I got to watch the masters at work and got to see how other dishes looked! The menu is currently not very visual so it’s hard to decide on dishes since I like to see the visual first. Let’s take a look…

Shochu Mojito • $11.00
Mari’s garden shiso, fresh lime, strawberry, blueberry, shochu

This is an awesome drink, sounds as refreshing as it is described. I loved it! I loved the addition of fresh fruit, the only bit of disappointment? There is a shiso leaf but it’s just sitting in the drink. I wonder if the drink could be improved if the shiso was muddled into the drink…hmm, I should become a bartender, j/k!

Local Ahi and Kona Kanpachi Poke Sushi • $12.00
sea asparagus, seaweed, yuzu pepper

How’s the look of these guys? I mean worth the price just looking at them right? Okay, just kidding, but they were delicious. I had the honor watching the sushi chef carefully put them together. You take the nori and fold over the ahi to make like a sushi sandwich to eat it. Just smash the lotus chip onto the ahi before you do that, it’s awesome. I was afraid the lotus chip would be too hard and crunchy. No, it’s light and crispy. Absolutely delicious.

Local Farm Egg Dashimaki Rolled Omelette • $7.00

Anytime you can get me a dashimaki egg, I will be your forever friend. Oh wait, did a bunch of people run away? It’s okay, I can just order this on my own. Love it. I’m not a fan of the local sweet omelette, I’m more of a savory fan myself. Delish!

Grated Local Daikon and Ponzu Diced Beef Steak • $26.00

Okay guys, I know what you’re thinking. $26 bucks for that? It doesn’t look like much does it? Well it is much, thank you very much. Usually when I’m served diced steak on one of these hot plates, I know I’m in for some hard core chewing. Not this time. Every piece of this steak was super tender and delicious. Even the pieces at the end that were sitting on the hot grill for how long…loved the daikon and shiso leaf on top. I would definitely recommend this dish!

Grilled Saikyo Miso Salmon • $19.00

Not much entree but I can ensure it was highly enjoyed, and take a look at that salmon. Always a risk to order fish in restaurants but they cooked it nicely, not dry!

Cold Udon Noodle with Local Cilantro and Chicken • $15.00

Oh man, I was super looking forward to this dish. They make their noodles in house, with kale! Oh hello, gotta get noodles, I’m crazy for noodles. I am also a fiend for fresh cilantro. I never thought I would ever say this…but there was too much cilantro on this. I can’t believe I said that. I think they give you a full bunch of cilantro on this dish…hmm…may that’s where my $15 went. A nice light dressing, chicken, avocado, cilantro…was delicious.

Local Basil Pesto Udon Noodle with Watercress • $13.00

Your eyes are not deceiving you. And no, we did not already eat half of this dish when I took this picture. That’s all you get when you get this dish. Bummers to share this brah cause the portion is kind of small ah? The pesto sauce tasted good, liked the nice chew of the noodles and the crunch of the raw watercress. Worth a try but beware of the serving size…

Chicken Teriyaki with Local Vegetables • $18.00
sauteed kale, fried purple sweet potato

Okay, I never ate this dish but I figured out at the end that I should have been taking pictures of the entrees as they had it ready! Gosh! Why did I think of it so late?? Would have loved to grab some quick shots for you folks. I’m not one that ever orders teriyaki anything…but the way the chef prepared it looked so dang ono. I certainly wouldn’t mind trying it on a next visit!