Sushi, Sashimi And Sunset Views

Fresh sushi at Naniwa Japanese Buffet is a big draw

Dining oceanfront at the Sheraton Kaua’i’s Japanese buffet at Naniwa restaurant makes for a delightful evening.

With inspiring views of waves rolling ashore, tiki torches lighting the night sky, the caress of soft tradewinds on your skin and six stations of traditional Japanese food to choose from, you’ll have a “Lucky we live Kaua’i” feeling for hours.

“You can’t beat the location, location, location,” says executive chef Ben Takahashi.

“This is one of the few properties on Kaua’i where you can actually have that view when you dine.”

The buffet’s popular sushi station includes a selection that can change daily depending upon what types of fish Takahashi has been able to secure locally.

Jennifer Fermin scoops green tea ice cream

“Some days we get a nice striped marlin, sometimes opah (moonfish) belly. I just bought a 180-pound ahi from a local fisherman,” he says.

Takahashi buys Kaua’i products whenever possible, and welcomes calls from island farmers and fishermen.

“I work with everyone,” he says.

Takahashi’s favorite part of the buffet, the sushi station – “typical local boy,” he says – also includes sashimi, poke, mussels and oysters.

My favorite buffet stop was the tempura station. When I remarked to cook Matt Horita that the tempura shrimp seemed quite plump, he told me proudly that the Sheraton recently changed to a larger size shrimp for its customers.

All-you-can-eat sashimi at Naniwa Japanese Buffet

The tempura is prepared at one end of the buffet throughout the evening, assuring guests the freshest possible selections.

“That’s one of the things that we like to showcase,” Takahashi says. “When you make tempura, it’s very important that it is served fresh and eaten right away.”

My friend John and I followed Chef Takahashi’s good advice, eating our tempura shrimp and vegetables promptly.

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