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“average food, poor service.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Todai Restaurant

Todai Restaurant
1910 Ala Moana Blvd Ste 5, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-1814 (Waikiki)
(808) 947-1000
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Ranked #971 of 1,913 restaurants in Honolulu
Price range: $20 - $40
Cuisines: Sushi, Japanese, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Buffet
Neighborhood: Waikiki
Willington, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“average food, poor service.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

We visited Todai on our first night in Honolulu and had been looking forward to it as we don't have any Japanese buffets in the UK. We were very disappointed. We arrived at 8pm for dinner, it was quite empty and we were reminded that they closed at 9pm which was ok as we didn't plan on spending an hour eating. Our server seated us but didn't take our drinks order, we didn't see him again for some time so started our meal without drinks. The food was ok but appeared to have been standing around for a while. We eventually got some drinks but didn't see our server until we left. The restaurant itself is quite worn and shabby and the restrooms were not very nice either.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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150 reviews from our community

46% Recommend
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Don't Go”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

Here are some words that describe the food: salty, after taste, unappetizing, less than satisfying, overpriced, yucky...I could go on. Huge disappointment on our second night in Oahu. We went for our son's birthday and the only positive was that his meal was free because of his birthday. The establishment itself appeared old, rundown and dirty. Why we didn't run from this place, I don't know. I guess you live and you learn!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
germany
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Two takes on Todai”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

Todai has been a popular buffet for at least a couple of decades. The last time I went there was ages ago on my birthday, before I became a 'senior.' They had advertised a free birthday meal on your birthday so I took them up on it and went for dinner. I did not get the meal because, they explained, I had not arranged ahead of time. My friend and I decided to stay anyway, but there was a trace of resentment and I never thought of returning again, although the food was tasty and there was a great variety to choose from.

Never say never. Todai now offers a coupon for seniors for a $9.00 luncheon, and someone in our high-school 'girls group' thought we should take advantage. Recent reviews I had read from another source were pretty much the same as those written here on Tripadvisor, so after mentioning this and being outvoted, I went along with the crowd to show I was a good sport.

The restaurant hours for lunch start at 11:30; I arrived by bus 5 minutes late and was surprised to see a crowd waiting at the door. I found my friends and luckily they had parked in the upstairs parking lot, walked down into the restaurant, left their names as they walked through and exited out the front door where I found them. Coming on the bus, I would not have been admitted at 11:40 when my friend's name was called. There were still people waiting outside at 11:50. I asked about the delay and was told that the food had not been ready to serve at opening time. Hmmm.

I am giving Todai 3 stars because of the coupon price and because, once we were admitted, service was fine: no waiting for drinks, empty plates cleared away and water replenished quickly..and because others waiting in line were repeaters. The food was very average: there were limits of the popular (and expensive) eel and sea urchin sushi, (two of each) which were disappointingly prepared: the eel fried in batter and the sea urchin somewhat visible in a thick layer of fake seaweed salad. The shrimp tempura was oily and warm, not hot...the dessert table was easy to avoid. I enjoyed having lunch with my friends, but I would never think of returning a third time.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Disappointing for a Todai”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

I've been to Todai restaurants in Manhattan and Chicago, and I think they are very good. So I was extremely disappointed by my experience with this one in Honolulu. The food was poor to average. The selection was not great. Even their sushi, which I would have thought to be its strong suit, was just okay. Much of the food was overcooked, due to sitting in the warming dishes for too long without being replaced. The décor was not attractive.

As another reviewer wrote, this Todai might be ok if you're in a large group just looking for a large quantity of average-tasting food at a reasonable price.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Original owner bought this restaurant back again”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Original owner bought this restaurant back this year. Knowing that their successful restaurant/buffet call Makino Cha ya (now only in Aiea) is one of the makes the best food for many years, we were happy to try Todai in Waikiki again. Worst experience and disappointment ever!!!
How one buffet can be so great & extremely popular locally (Makino) can be as bad as their recent old-new restaurant Todai, we are puzzled to our dismay. Must be new cook or something. Their sushi..rice falls apart (probably rice too hard). The main dishes. choices are very few. Granted there was crab, but not everyone enjoy cracking the shell & stuff. The only dishes good? The shrimp tempura and perhaps the BBQ like chicken. Where is the rest of the seafood? Limited tasteless desserts, but lots of fruit. Banana pre-sliced to dip into chocolate, brown since it is pre cut. Perhaps some lemon will not create the brown. The prime rib was pre-sliced...and dry. What buffet restaurant pre-slices prime rib??? This owner must look over his operation & perhaps redo the whole thing like his other buffet restaurant (Makino). This is the worst buffet we have experienced. Service was not great either. Yuck is the word!!Good luck!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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