Iyasume Musubi – Here’s Some Local Hawaii Food Worth Going to Waikiki For

By Mark Wiens 13 Comments
Iyasume Musubi, a gem in Waikiki
Iyasume Musubi, a gem in Waikiki

Waikiki is hardly considered a hub for local Hawaiian food, but luckily there’s a gem hiding behind the Grand Regency Hotel: Iyamuse Musubi.

Menu all over the wall
Menu all over the wall

At Iyasume Musubi the menu is actually quite extensive, with all sorts of bento mixes and matches, Japanese curry bowls, and even udon noodles, but I went to investigate the musubis, SPAM musubi to be exact.

You order at the counter, pay, and they get everything together for you, whether you get takeaway or sit in.

Iyasume Musubi
“Msubee” license plate

Though it’s a really small shop, there are two tables inside, and one table outside – but the majority of customers grab and go.

The bento table
The bento table

The tray of SPAM musubis is the highlight (at least for myself), but there were also a bunch of different other musubis to order, as well as a pretty nice selection of pre-made bento boxes.

Tray of musubis ready to be eaten
Tray of musubis ready to be eaten

The musubi tray was pretty full when we arrived to eat, but due to my hunger an excitement I failed to take photos of it before eating, and when I had finished, the platter was getting low (I’m sure they were working on more to replenish the stock).

So anyway, let’s get on the goodness of the food.

Iyasume Musubi
Original SPAM musubi at Iyasume Musubi

There was no way I could eat at Iyasume Musubi without just a classic original SPAM musubi.

The SPAM was cut nice and thick, nicely covering a handmade ball of rice (not a black this time, but more like a small ball), and tied together with a strip of seaweed – it looks liked an oversize nigiri sushi – a beautiful thing.

Immediately after taking my first bite, the rice stood out to me.

The rice was impressively delicious, perfectly cooked, and I could just tell it was of utmost quality. And after reading the review on The Tasty Island, I saw that they use the super premium extra fancy rice.

The combination of SPAM, a drizzle of soy sauce, and some of the best rice I’ve ever had, made it amazing.

Price – $1.88

Iyasume Musubi
Cucumber SPAM ume musubi

I had never eaten a cucumber SPAM ume (which is plum sauce) musubi, so that was another I had to try.

It was equally delicious, the same glorious rice, but this time topped with a spread of ume plum sauce, and thinner piece of SPAM, a slice of cucumber, and seaweed.

Price – $2.48

The guts of that ume musubi
The guts of that ume musubi

Now you can see that interior of this wonderful treat.

I loved the fresh crunch from the cucumber and the sweet saltiness from the plum mingling with the SPAM. It was great.

Karaage fried chicken bento
Karaage fried chicken bento

To round things off for my mid-morning lunch at Iysasume Musubi, I dug through the stack of bentos and decided on rice with karaage fried chicken and a piece of salmon.

It was really good, and the flavors were fantastic, but I’m not all that big of a fan of fried chicken that’s not fresh out of the oil. But overall, a good bento, though I loved the SPAM musubis the best.

Again, that rice was amazing
Again, that rice was amazing

Again though, the rice they used was superb.

I almost couldn’t believe how good the rice was, and not only that it was super high quality, but it was cooked with precision. You can just tell that’s some artisan rice that’s cooked with care.

Bacon and egg SPAM musubi
Bacon and egg SPAM musubi

I was going to try to hold back from eating three SPAM musubis in a single sitting, but finally, there was nothing I could do; I couldn’t resist a taste of the bacon and egg SPAM musubi.

Price – $2.48

Nearly all you could ever ask for
Nearly all you could ever ask for

It was just as delicious as the previous two, the rice cooked with expertise, and the SPAM, egg, slice of bacon, and seaweed all complementing each other like a family.

It was all you could ask for in a single handheld treat.

Iyasume Musubi
Iyasume Musubi – Waikiki, Honolulu

Again, Waikiki has some good Japanese restaurants, but it’s not exactly the best are to pick up good local Hawaii food in Honolulu. Luckily, Iyasume Musubi stands out as a gem in Waikiki.

Iyasume Musubi – Waikiki, Honolulu

Websitehttp://www.tonsuke.com/eomusubiya.html
Phone: 808-921-0168
Open hours: Monday to Friday from 6:30 am – 7:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 am – 4:00 pm
Address: 2410 Koa Avenue, Hale Waikiki Hotel, #4, Honolulu, HI 96815

How to get there:

Iyamuse Musubi is located on the back side of the Grand Hyatt Regency. I parked at the zoo, walked down Kalakaua until Uluniu Ave, made a right and then made a left on Koa Ave. Iyasume Musubi is on your right hand side, on the back side of the hotel, and tucked down the side of a building.



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  • sarah

    2 years ago

    OMG that is my favorite musubi place in all of hawaii – i cant believe you were there!!!

  • Christina

    3 years ago

    Love the photography in this post, Mark! You’ve made my mouth water.

  • David

    3 years ago

    The bacon and egg spam musubi is so intriguing … when I make it to Honolulu, I’ll have to hunt this down!

  • Angus Pryor

    3 years ago

    I wish I’d known, I was in Honolulu recently. The photos looked great by the way – good enough to eat : )

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Thanks Angus, hope you can eat here on your next visit!

  • Jen

    3 years ago

    Yum! Looks delicious and so cheap too. My sister is on route to Hawaii as I type so I have passed this onto her to check out.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Thank you Jen, hope your sister has a great visit!

  • Mark

    3 years ago

    Looks great!

    Regarding the photo of your Karaage fried chicken bento…I am interested to know what has been added to the white rice. I think that I recognise toasted black sesame seeds but what are the yellow/light brown grains? They almost look like miniature grains of wheat.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Mark, thank you. To be honest, I’m not totally sure either, but I think there were a few black beans, giving it that purple color, and I’m not sure if that’s wheat or just different types of brown rice. It was great!