Happy New Year! We had a delicious New Years eve dinner at Yuzu before partying the night away. Yuzu recently opened this past fall and is located in the Ala Moana Hotel. They had a special $30 prix fixe menu for NYE. We have been wanting to try this place since it opened and this was the perfect opportunity.
Yuzu’s special menu was simple and provided a sample of their menu. They even had a special drink menu with $2 sake martinis!
To start, we had a watercress salad, which was light and refreshing. It was topped with a yuzu dressing, which was very tasty. Yuzu is a citrus like fruit so it was a perfect ingredient for a dressing.
The next dish was a small plate with two pieces of salmon and one piece of tuna sashimi. The fish was very good and fresh. The restaurant serves gluten-free soy sauce, so for those who are on a gluten-free diet, this is definitely a place to try.
The lotus root pizza was interesting. It was crunchy from the thin slices of lotus root and gooey from the cheese. I have never had anything like this before.
The waitress brought a yuzu pepper sauce for the lotus root pizza. I generally do not put hot sauce on anything, but I had to try it. It was not too spicy so I was able to put quite a few drops on the pizza. It was actually really tasty.
Each person got a plate with two skewers of the chicken yakitori. This was also very good. I really liked the sauce and the chicken was cooked perfectly. I believe this is the only yakitori item on the menu, but if they do eventually add more items in the future, I would love to see chicken skin as a choice.
Next up was the temari sushi. This is not your typical sushi as it looks like a cute little ball of rice with a piece of raw fish on top. I really liked the presentation because it was simple but different. I find the balls of sushi easier to eat that the traditional long rectangular shaped sushi.
Each of us got one shrimp and one snapper (I think) temari sushi. I did not have to dip the pieces in soy sauce. It was the perfect size and tasty. I would be interested in coming back in the future to try the other sushi on the menu.
I really enjoyed the spicy sukiyaki udon. The udon is cut to order and had really good texture and chew. The soup was not too spicy but had a bit of kick. You have to mix the udon up before eating it so all the flavors are mixed together. The beef was very tasty as well. Overall I liked this dish the best.
They had a yuzu sake martini on the menu and I was interested in trying it. Since yuzu is a citrus fruit, it was tangy. It might be too tart for some, but the drink grew on me with each sip. It was light and refreshing. Also, since some of the dishes had yuzu as an ingredient, it complemented the food well.
Now for the dessert. We ordered several off the menu so we could try the different variety. The mango shaved ice was very light and tasty. It reminded me of the Chinese style shaved iced I tried at New World Mall in Flushing when I visited NYC last summer.
The acai dessert was a bit tart and heavier than the shaved ice. The texture was like an ice cream and it was good with the fresh berries.
Last but not least was the chocolate banana crepe. There is a spot in my heart for crepes so I really enjoyed this dessert. It was so delicious with the chocolate. They left the banana whole inside the crepe. I think it might be better if it was sliced up, but it was still tasty.
What a great meal to end 2011! Yuzu is creative and very affordable with most dishes under $10. They have happy hour Monday through Thursday from 4:30PM to 6:30PM. I will have to come back to try the rest of the menu!
(1st floor of the Ala Moana Hotel)
410 Atkinson Drive
Honolulu, HI 96814