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Uncles – Review

Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill at Pier 38, Honolulu

Monday May 12, 2008

Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill, an establishment run by fish wholesaler, Fresh Island Fish, opened its doors for dinner on May Day, Thursday, May 1st, 2008. Uncle’s will be open daily for lunch and for dinner service Tuesday through Saturday nights until 9:00 p.m.

Uncle’s is located at Pier 38 off Nimitz Highway in Honolulu.

Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill was just recently recognized by Food & Wine Magazine as “One of the World’s Best Restaurant Guide: 293 Outstanding Places To Eat In 40 Cities.” With its “freshest fish in town” promise, Uncle’s is garnering a lot of attention with its loyal local customers as well as first time visitors.

Uncle’s serves some of the freshest and highest quality seafood on the island. Featured menu items include whatever the boats bring in that day – but always includes ahi, mahi mahi and never-frozen fish.

A wide variety of preparations pairs the fish perfectly with the sauces. Chef Geoffrey Arakawa has also put his twist on the menu, offering appetizers such as Uncle’s signature Poke Tower, crab-stuffed baked avocadoes and Calamari Dore. The seafood pasta offers the best of the sea in a spicy tomato sauce and ahi fish tacos are always a crowd pleaser.

Featuring live entertainment by Ernie Cruz, Jr., the restaurant is also a frequent haunt for many local musicians who come to play kanakapila style (island jam.) Bruce Johnson, owner and operator of Fresh Island Fish and Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill is, after all, the uncle of famous award-winning Hawaiian entertainers Amy Hanaiali’i and Eric Gilliom.

Video screens project vintage footage of aku boat fishing voyages, home videos and travels throughout Hawaii and the South Pacific.

Johnson explains the thinking behind the restaurant. “Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill is dedicated to all of the uncles who have made impacts in our lives. Our goal was to have an inviting atmosphere where you can relax and revisit the good old days. The d├ęcor is a special tribute to our Aku fishermen of today and yesterday. If we can satisfy the Uncles of Hawaii and make it a place where they want to eat, we’ve hit the target.”

Fresh Island Fish (FIFCO), one of Hawaii’s largest and most reputable wholesale fish distributors opened in 1977 and has facilities in Maui, Kona, Oahu and Kauai. FIFCO’s Honolulu headquarters shares the building with Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill, at Pier 38 off Nimitz Highway.

Located right down the block from the fish auction, FIFCO brings in around 30,000 pounds of fresh fish everyday for use by the restaurant and for distribution to other eating establishments in Hawaii, the US Mainland and Canada.