By Kent Coules, Publisher
I recently met a friend at Rocky Japanese Steak Teppan Restaurant at the Hilton Hawaiian Village for a pau hana (after work) dinner. For many locals, making the trek into Waikīkī can seem like a chore, but visiting Rocky’s was so worth the effort.
The former Benihana of Tokyo re-opened under the new Rocky name earlier this year. The wife of the late founder Rocky Aoki wanted to update the restaurant to include some of the local flavor of Hawai‘i.
Rocky Aoki lived a life of unmatched adventure. He was a hot air balloonist, Cannonball Run winner, world backgammon champion and Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee. Rocky packed many lifetimes into one.
Aoki was ahead of his time. He introduced the concept of “eatertainment” to America 55 years ago, blending Japanese-style teppan cooking with showmanship. My guest for the evening, Super American Circus Promoter Nicolas “Tuffy” Cornell, a ringmaster himself, appreciated the performance as well as the food.
Honolulu has long been recognized as a confluence of East and West. Rocky’s new menu takes it cues from the global cosmopolitan city around it, offering dishes that blend cultures and cooking styles from Asia to the Americas and beyond, for true international teppanyaki cuisine.
The new Rocky offers the same great dishes that Benihana did, but has added new dishes including hamburgers, Loco Moco Ramen, Pad Thai Noodle, and teppan sushi. There are also vegetarian options and a keiki (kid’s) menu.
I ordered the classic Rocky’s Treat, which includes Angus steak, chicken breast, miso soup, salad, shrimp appetizer, steamed rice, hot green tea and ice cream or sherbet.
Our chef, Del, cooked our food to perfection. He was entertaining and funny, but focused more on the two tourist couples at our table since he could see we were locals talking business over dinner. The waiter was attentive and checked in regularly and at the right times. The manager, Mori, stopped by halfway through the meal to check on us. The service overall was impeccable.
The restaurant’s interior was very attractive and clean. There is also a beautiful patio with a special menu. As an added bonus, Rocky provides validated parking, which is no small thing, as people who frequent Waikīkī know.
Overall, Rockyʻs is a great experience for visitors, as well as for locals who are entertaining out-of-town guests, or celebrating a special event like an anniversary or birthday.
Check out the new Rocky Japanese Steak Teppan Restaurant. It has everything the previous Benihana’s had and more!
For more information go to rockyhawaii.com.
Keywords: Japanese dining waikiki dining Japanese steakhouse best Japanese oahu best Japanese honolulu best Japanese waikiki teppanyaki teppanyaki waikiki rocky aoki