Note: The July 10 natto dinner is sold out! So we've added an identical encore feast on Sunday, July 14, 2019. For tickets to More Summer Slime: 7/14 Natto Feast encore, order online at Eventbrite.
There is slime, and there is sublime slime. In honor of Japan's official Natto Day, Hawaii natto fiends are kicking up our annual midsummer celebration with nine natto-be-believed courses featuring our favorite fermented bean. Sublime slime: A Natto Day feast happens July 10 at 6 p.m. at Zigu, the Waikiki locavore izakaya with free validated parking that hosted our midyear natto feast back in April. After resounding raves from natto fiends, we went back to Zigu and requested an all-new Natto Day menu.
"This time the homework was harder," Zigu chef Masaki Nakayama says. "I thought of local bon dances and like Japanese matsuri, it's all comfort foods. How do I make comfort food more elegant and interesting? I researched with Mr. Google, tested different variations at home and now it's really good."
Before I get into the menu, believe me, you do not want to miss the natto toast. It is a 10 out of 10 and a favorite of Nakayama, who's been making a version at home for years and sneaking off to eat it away from his wife.
Summer slime is open to the public, with only one rule: You must love natto. We're taking over the entire restaurant for this all-natto feast, so there can be no menu substitutions. Tickets are $60 and include tax and tip. They're available online only.
Summer slime: 7/10 Natto Day feast
Natto oyster shooter: Fresh oyster, Aloha Tofu natto, uni, quail egg, ikura, tomato juice, hot sauce
Natto beef stick: Bon dance-style (kind of), grilled with a topping of chopped hikiwari natto
Natto fried saimin: Sun Noodle saimin, Spam, cabbage, natto, nori, shrimp salt, pickled red ginger, sesame seeds, shio tare
Natto salmon ceviche: Fresh salmon, finger lime, Big Island heart of palm, natto, ikura, micro greens
Natto grilled corn: Ewa corn, shoyu-butter baste, parmesan cheese, natto, furikake
Natto loaded nachos: Hawaiian Chip. Co. taro chips, avocado, Kauai shrimp, natto, cheese
Natto toast: Japanese white bread, gruyere cheese, chopped hikiwari natto, Kauai shrimp, orange zest
Maguro natto sushi: Self-explanatory
Natto watermelon parfait: Local watermelon, goat cheese, basil natto, men tsuyu, Big Island honey
Natto Ramune: A Japanese summertime soda with a twist
Encore dinner Sunday, July 14, 2019
413 Seaside Ave.
Tickets: $60 per person includes tax and tip but not drinks; order online on Eventbrite
Parking: Across Kuhio Avenue at the Hyatt Centric (enter from Seaside Avenue); Zigu will validate so don't forget your parking ticket!
Corkage: Zigu has a full bar with fantastic sake (and beer and cocktails) AND is discounting corkage for us to $15 per bottle
Finally, the growing number of regulars at these natto dinners will know that Natto Day is July 10 because in Japanese, 7 can be pronounced 'na' and 10 is 'to.' Ha!
See you at the feast!