After closing for renovations in fall 2021, Restaurant Suntory ushered in a new era for its 42nd year in business on March 27 when it reopened following a complete restaurant redesign with a new, elevated menu to match.
The $2 million renovation marks the biggest of the restaurant’s renovations since opening its doors in 1980. Owners took great care to ensure the restaurant still offers its signature sushi counter, teppan room and elegant dining experiences, but with a fresh new twist and elevated techniques and ingredients to match the evolving tastes and needs of today’s diners.
The sushi counter in particular has been completely reborn as an exclusive, luxury omakase-style experience positioned to be one of Hawaii’s best.
“What better way to honor our rich legacy than by refreshing our concept to ensure we continue to serve our guests with authentic omotenashi and the finest ingredients and techniques. Hawaii is a special place, and it is a tremendous honor to share our cuisine and our traditions with local residents and visitors from around the world,” said Restaurant Suntory General Manager Nobuyuki Aoyama. “With this redesign, we are honoring our past while we look to the future. We look forward to the next 40 years.”
Restaurant Suntory is widely regarded for providing authentic dining experiences served with uncommon flair. While Suntory’s original spirit can still be felt within its walls and at its heart, the newly refurbished space captures a sophisticated and refined aesthetic inspired by the Japanese art of minimalism as well as Honolulu’s natural scenery.
Through the use of rich, earthy color tones and soft, natural lighting, the new interior exudes a sense of modern luxury that feels balanced and unforced. Tying it all together is the artfully aged wood lining the room, which pays homage to the illustrious Japanese whisky barrels that helped the Suntory brand rise to fame as a leading maker of fine spirits.
When it comes to the menu, Restaurant Suntory still offers guests the ability to choose from multiple Japanese dining experiences, such as teppanyaki (cooking in front of diners on a flat iron grill), kaiseki (traditional multi‐course meals emphasizing seasonal ingredients), nabe (shabu shabu or sukiyaki‐style hot pot), and other types of washoku (Japanese cuisine mainstays like tempura, grilled fish, soba/udon noodles, and more).
However, the most notable change can be seen at the sushi counter, which is now its own distinct, immersive experience named Tokiwa. Tucked away in a private section with a new sushi chef at the helm, the redesigned space allows guests to leave the outside world behind and savor an intimate dining moment in the form of an omakase‐style meal.
Restaurant Suntory’s omakase experiences combine master skill with the finest seafood and ingredients, offering a truly one‐of‐a‐kind demonstration of world‐class cuisine. Omakase gives the sushi chef creative freedom by entrusting the selections for the meal entirely to them. By participating in this unique experience, you can rely on the considerable knowledge of the skilled artisans to present you with a fresh, carefully chosen array, each piece an intentional accent of the greater whole.
While omakase is ultimately chef’s choice, strong preferences and allergies will be taken into consideration, so diners can enjoy their meals to the fullest. The optional sake and wine pairings take the omakase experience to an even higher level, as each pour is carefully chosen to enhance the flavors in each sushi set. Reservations are strongly recommended.
Two meal options are available, with the premium course priced at $250 per person. Along with its many improvements — such as the upgrade to USDA Prime Beef as a standard meat option available alongside Miyazaki Wagyu imported from Japan — you will find that Restaurant Suntory still retains the high level of authenticity and care that has solidified its position as a longtime favorite among residents and visitors as Oahu’s top choice for genuine Japanese cuisine.
Located on the third level of Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki, Restaurant Suntory is the shopping complex’s sole original tenant, making their reopening feel extra significant as the business looks forward to a long future serving Hawaii’s community and visitors.
Open daily, the restaurant offers three distinct and authentically Japanese dining experiences and a lounge area. For reservations and information, visit restaurantsuntory.com or call 808-922‐5511.