HONOLULU | My search for the best poke in Honolulu took me to an unexpected spot that wasn’t on my original list when I arrived in Hawaii. That place is Tamura’s Fine Wine & Liquors, specifically, the Kaimuki location.
From the outside, there’s nothing to suggest that this is any more than the high quality liquor store that it proclaims to be. Walk inside and head to the rear though, and you’ll find a long counter, filled with an assortment of poke.
The variety of seafood is impressive. There’s the expected ahi, along with things like marlin, mussels, and even pipikula (Hawaiian dried beef). Most of it is fresh from the market, with handful of frozen items specified as such. Seasonings are simple and varied. I went for ‘Island Spicy’ and ‘Tamura’s Special’ fresh ahi. The former, creamy with a nice kick, the latter I’m guessing shoyu with a secret spice blend. Both delicious.
The poke is sold by the pound – the small container fits a half pound, and while poke bowls aren’t offered, you can buy a small or large rice to make your own bowl. On this occasion, I actually bought some sheets of dried seaweed to eat with my poke, wanting a reprieve from the mountains of rice I’d been eating on this trip.
Note that while Tamura’s is open until 8:00pm, the poke does sell out, generally by early afternoon. Visit early if you want to choose from the full offering.
Oh and if it’s actually quality alcoholic beverages that you’re after, Tamura’s selection of wine, beer, and spirits is top notch.
Tamura’s Fine Wine & Liquors
3496 Waialae Avenue
Telephone: 808 735 7100
Mon – Sun: 9:30am to 8:00pm