I was smitten from the moment we walked into this old school Japanese eatery. Many Japanese people immigrated to Hawaii and brought their wonderful culture with them, fusing it with Hawaiian traditions, making a unique blend. Dining at Teshima’s [79-7251 Mamalahoa Hwy Kealakekua, Hawaii 96750] is a fantastic testament to this marriage.
The atmosphere is cozy and relaxed. The servers are genuinely helpful and caring. This is a family restaurant with a long history on the island. Looking at all of the wonderful pictures on the walls helps you learn to know Grandma Teshima who ran the business for 60 years.
Many of her children, and children’s children, and their children continue to preserve her legacy of always making the customers happy. Sip on some tea and try to decide what you would like to order.
The menu is large so don’t be afraid to ask questions or for advice. Our waiter explained the restaurant was known for its tempura, so we knew we had to try that. Jeff got a Teishoku, a meal set, with lots of different items including tempura.
He was so happy with his variety of intriguing items. All were delicious, the tempura particularly so. I was going for something other than seafood for a change and the teriyaki sounded perfect.
The chicken was so tender and deeply flavorful, it really hit the spot. The miso was right on point and the accompanying veggies were such a treat. After a long day of exploration on the Kona side we were so truly happy to be comfortable and well fed in a little corner of Teshima’s Restaurant before our long drive back to Hilo on the Saddle Road at night. The warm tea and service sent us on our way with high spirits.