Monday, November 15, 2010

Good Eats: Yama's Fish Market

This is the place my sister always stops by when she comes home, Yama's Fish Market.  This place is known for it's delicious ahi poke (pronounced poh-kay) which is like a Hawaiian tuna tartare.  Unlike steak tartare that is finely chopped and served with egg, poke is cubed sashimi-grade ahi marinated with sea salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, limu seaweed, and chili peppers giving it an unique Hawaiian flavor.

I'm going to start by saying those that don't like raw fish you probably won't like this place, but if you want local Hawaiian food, you need to check this out.  For those that are faint of heart (or stomach) fear not! Yama's also serves hot plate lunches local style.  Yama's serves other local favorites like lomi-lomi salmon, shoyu chicken, and kalua pork, but the poke is what put this place on the map.

Yama's isn't too far from Waikiki.  It's located at 2332 Young Street in McCully.  They are open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday to Saturday and 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Sunday.  They are closed most holidays, but open Superbowl Sunday though with shortened hours.
And here is the main event, ahi poke.  Even though this place is called a fish market, it's more like a fish deli.  Instead of being able to buy the whole fish, Yama's prepares the poke and sets it in a refrigerated display case  like a deli.  Only in this deli, instead of different cold cuts you get different poke.   Poke is made fresh daily and it is tasty.  They serve it regular, spicy, spicy wasabi, and much more. I can say that having tried the spicy wasabi ahi poke it is SPICY!  The "regular" spicy poke has heat to it, but it's not on the same level as wasabi.  Both are very tasty.

Not only do they make ahi poke, but they make tako poke.  Tako is japanese for octopus, so think of this as a calamari ceviche.  Yama's adds their own flair to tako poke with a variety of flavors and spices.  Notice the "korean-style" and shoyu (soy sauce) poke.

 If you want variety, Yama's also makes chuka hotate (scallop seasoned with seasame seed oil) and topshell kim chee.  I won't go into what is topshell, I'll just say it's a seafood that's like scallops or abalone and can be found in Chinese cuisine.  I think it's also found in Japanese and Korean cuisine, but I don't think I've eaten it.

What's not pictured is the plate lunches and hot kalua pork that is on the menu.  The reason is simple: I ordered a plate of garlic chicken and finished before thinking about taking a picture.  It was delicious.  The plate lunches come with the customary 2 scoops of white rice, side of macaroni salad, and shredded cabbage with your main order of hot garlic chicken, kalua pork, or today's specials.  The menu changes daily, so check it out and you can call ahead to place your order.  There's no dining room, so this is take out only.  


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