Maguro Brothers Hawaii is a wonderful place in Honolulu for super fresh sashimi, grilled fish, and ahi poke over rice. We love this place!
King salmon sashimi on rice, add uni. Eaten in the car!
Super fresh King salmon sashimi and uni! What is this bliss?
What Is Maguro Brothers Hawaii?
Maguro Brothers Hawaii is a popular Honolulu spot for super fresh sashimi and poke on rice. All the good fish! It is onolicious!! It's run and owned by two brothers, Junichiro and Ryojiro Tsuchiya. They opened the first location in 2014 in Chinatown, and the second location in 2016 in Waikiki. When people say "go to Maguro Brothers," they are referring to the Chinatown location. The Waikiki is newer, but the original has more charm.
Menu board at the Chinatown location
What To Get At Maguro Brothers Hawaii
The whole menu fits on this board. It's concise but also overwhelming! I always want everything on the menu but often end up alternating between the same two orders (either "king salmon, add uni on rice," or the "ume-shiso ahi poke on rice").
The menu is divided into three sections and you should try them all:
King salmon sashimi on rice, add uni.
Sashimi (middle column of menu)
This middle column is called "Sushi Bowl" column (because a lot of their business are non-locals/visitors to Hawaii, I think calling it "Sushi Bowl" makes it easier for people to understand), but as far as locals are concerns, it's the sashimi on rice aka donburi column. I love the king salmon donburi. My mom and dad like the chutoru (fatty tuna) donburi. You can pay $5.95 to add a bit of uni, and we always do that ^_^
The fish here is so fresh and they slice it beautifully! The fish is topped with a bit of chopped green onions and tobiko. It's served on a bed of sushi rice with two pieces of tamago (sweet omelet), ginger, and wasabi. I always feel so happy and rejuvenated after eating here.
Poke (right column of menu)
This section has all the poke options! All the poke is ahi poke, with the exception of menu item #7 (which is tako/octopus poke) and menu item #8 (which is hamachi poke). They cover popular poke flavors in Hawaii like shoyu-onion, spicy mayo, and Hawaiian (which is a classic combo of limu/seaweed, Hawaiian seat salt, chili pepper, and sesame oil). They also make more unusual poke flavors like ume-shiso poke.
If you cannot decide between sashimi and poke, you can order a combo bowl of half chutoro sashimi (fatty tuna) or chirashi (which has a mix of ahi, king salmon, hamachi, and octopus sashimi) PLUS any poke of your choosing. This way you get to taste both!
Cooked Fish (left column of menu)
This left column is titled "Grilled," and has all different types of grilled fish served over rice. I love the grilled hamachi kama (yellowtail fish collar) and the grilled king salmon kama. They also have grilled miso hamachi and miso salmon (perfect if you want the fish, but don't want to deal with the collar bones).
Note: all grilled fish is served over plain rice (not sushi rice, which is what they use for the sashimi and poke orders). But if you ask nicely, they'll serve the grilled items over sushi rice. I like to do that.
Combo bowl! Half-Chirashi (mix of ahi, king salmon, hamachi, and octopus sashimi) and half-shoyu and onion ahi poke.
Two Locations: Chinatown and Waikiki
There are two locations of Maguro Brothers Hawaii. The original/first is in Chinatown (opened 2014). It's located inside a fish/vegetable/meat markets in Kekaulike Market. It is a very unexpected location (that seems to be part of the charm). People call it a hidden gem (which it used to be, but now everyone knows about it 🙂 ). This Chinatown location is open during the day, so go for breakfast and lunch.
The second location (opened 2016) is in Waikiki. It's on the ground floor of Pearl Hotel Waikiki. This Waikiki location is open at night, so go there for dinner. Note: there are no grilled dishes at this location but there are a few more ahi poke options (that you can't get in Chinatown) like honey balsamic-mac nut ahi poke and ahi poke with avocado.
Are there any differences in quality between the two location? No worries, it's the same The two brothers work at the Chinatown location in the day. They close Chinatown at 3pm, and then head to Waikiki where they open at 5:30pm.
Chutoro sashimi on rice, add uni.
Dine-In Or Takeout?
This is always a tricky question when it comes to sashimi and poke. The goal is to eat the food as soon as you get it. Like asap! Because once the cold fish touches the warm rice, the fish starts to get warm and that is not good. Ideally you'd start eating within a minute of receiving the food.
Chinatown: There are four small tables if you want to dine-in. It's not the most comfortable dine-in experience (surrounded by a wet market, can get crowded), but it's the one that allows you to eat the food fastest/freshest. If I have street parking, I'll run out to the car and eat in the car. Once I drove somewhere 15-min away before eating, and then the fish was semi-warm which was very not ideal.
Waikiki: This location is takeout counter only. There's a small bench outside where you can sit and eat quickly. But the better option it to walk (very quickly) across the street to International Marketplace (an open air shopping center). They have a ton of free seating throughout the center. It's also nice and clean.
Chutoro sashimi on rice, add uni. Eaten in the car!
Maguro Brothers Hawaii: Insider Tips
- There are two locations. One in Chinatown and one in Waikiki. Chinatown opens during the day, 9am-3pm. Waikiki opens at night, 5:30-9:3opm. Plan accordingly.
- Chinatown street parking is a headache. If you can't get street parking, there's a municipal garage (right side of Maunakea Street, between N Hotel Street and N King Street. The entrance is right after you pass Domo Cafe). This garage actually connects to the indoor marketplace where Maguro Brothers is located. Once you park, you can go straight into the marketplace via the back entrance. That will lead you right to Maguro Brothers.
- Getting a grilled item? Ask them to serve it over sushi rice (instead of plain rice), it's something that many regulars love to do.
- The portions are small enough so that you could potentially share 3-4 four different dishes (just order the small size for each).
- They also make large sashimi and poke platters - we like to order these to take to dinner at grandma's house. Or we get a big platter, go home and cook rice for the family, open a nice bottle of sake, and have a feast!
Left: Chutoro sashimi on rice. Right: King salmon sashimi on rice, add uni. Eaten inside the Chinatown location.
Maguro Brothers Hawaii: Info
- Maguro Brothers Hawaii | Chinatown Location: Kekaulike Market, 1039 Kekaulike Street Ste 113, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817 | 808-259-7100 | Waikiki Location: 415 Nahua Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815 | 808-230-3470
- Price: Dishes range from $10-$16
- Hours: Chinatown Location: Monday-Saturday: 9am-3pm Sunday: Closed; Waikiki Location: Monday-Saturday: 5:30pm-9pm Sunday: Closed