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“Great food”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Nihon Restaurant & Cultural - CLOSED

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Nihon Restaurant & Cultural
Cuisines: Japanese, Sushi, Asian
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Hilo, Hawaii
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

This restaurant is now the Hilo Bay Cafe. The same great food and about the same price. Great views and lots of space compared to the old restaurant. A beautiful contemporary design. Make a reservation especially for outdoor seating

Visited December 2013
1 Thank rbkoch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

31 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Niskayuna, New York
Level Contributor
78 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

Nihon was recently sold and will become the new home of The Hilo Bay Cafe which is one of the best restaurants on the Hilo side of the island. I am glad it has found larger quarters....the food is worth the wait.

Visited July 2013
Thank Alice S R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
Level Contributor
48 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Very Good”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2013 via mobile

We stopped here by chance as we were passing thru Hilo. We were very happy with our service and our food. The waitress was very attentive and patient as we made our choices. She was also very helpful as we planned our trip back to Kona. The poke special was so fresh, well seasoned and very tasty. Our bento box included tempura and and Katsura. Neither was greasy, both done to,perfection. The shrimp were do sweet. The setting is so relaxing it just added to the experience. I would go back in a minute. Thank you.

Visited April 2013
Thank Terri S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
210 reviews
181 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere and new and improved menu! Delicious!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2013 via mobile

Thus restaurant was known for its beautiful atmosphere and bad Japanese food. I decided to give it a try after hearing that it had a new owner that specialized in organic food. What a change!!! I ordered the midi glazed salmon salad and asked for both dressings. The huge filet of fish came on a bed of greens, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes. it was Devine; the fish was cooked to perfection! my mother preferred the chicken teriyaki bowl. The chicken was perfectly seasoned and very soft!

I hope more locals try the new and improved menu! I'd definitely go back!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank kdooka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hilo, Hawaii
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“New Owners Even Better”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2013

The Nihon changed owners in December 2012. The new owners also own Hilo Bay Cafe, an upscale (for Hilo) restaurant serving mostly Western food. So I was curious to see if Nihon would retain it's strong Japanese Character. I went for an office party on December 10, soon after re-opening. It was just ok. Again, I went in January and it was getting better. Last night I took my wife there for Valentines Day.

One of the first things I noticed, was that they retained most of the wait staff. This is a big thing in Hilo as jobs are hard to come by. It shows a real feeling of Aloha for the old timers. I understand from friends, the some of the older staff had difficulties with the new computerized systems, but the owners were very patient. They also kept Roy, the sushi chef.

The second thing we noticed, that in addition to the Japanese menu, they added some Western Valentine's specials. I had Roy's chirashi sushi. That guy is not stingy with the fish. Large slices of fresh ahi, salmon and hamachi, along with all the other chirashi goodies. My wife had Honey-Roasted Duck in cherry hoisin sauce over bok choy. Our appetizer was Smoked Salmon Carpaccio. They still have their shave ice dessert, but added Western Desserts, I hope not only for Valentine's day. I had Chocolate Bavarian Mousse, and my wife had Tahitian Lime Tart. Honestly, I liked the Tart more. Total price with tip was about $100.00.

Before the new owners took over this was one of my favorite Hilo restaurants, and it stays on top of my list.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Uncle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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