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One-of-a-kind Dishes Puts Richo Cuisine in a Class All Its Own
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One-of-a-kind Dishes Puts Richo Cuisine in a Class All Its Own

Story By Sarah Pacheco Photos By Leah Friel
July 17 - 23, 2011

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At Richo Korean Cuisine, the main objective is to provide customers with unique dishes they have never tasted before but won’t soon forget.

  • Richo's Special Buffalo Wings ($5)
  • Masato Tsuji with Richo's Special Buffalo Wings
  • Charcoal Bar Mixed 5 Skewers ($9.95)
  • Sundubu Chige ($8)
  • Hot Stone Bibimbap ($10)
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To meet this goal, the restaurant is offering four of its most popular menu items at discounted prices.

“These four items are highly recommended by the chef,” says assistant manager Ayako Hanzawa.

The first is Richo’s Special Buffalo Wings ($5), done Korean-style in a spicy, homemade sauce. On the other end of the taste spectrum is the Sweet Tofu ($4.95), which, Hanzawa says, is homemade every day by a Japanese expert. For a slightly more filling dish, there is the Charcoal Bar Mixed 5 Skewers ($9.95) and the Spicy Sundubu Chige ($8), a hot-and-spicy soup made with tofu, prawns, scallops and clams.

“The customers really like this soup,” Hanzawa says. “It has a lot of seafood in it, and that goes really well with the tofu.”

Vegetarians and those with seafood allergies can order the soup without the seafood, just be sure to let the server know your preference when ordering.

Another customer favorite that Hanzawa says can be customized according to dietary needs is the Hot Stone Bibimbap ($10). A hot stone bowl comes to the table filled with a medley of fresh vegetables including spinach, bean sprouts, carrots and royal fern sauteed in a spicy sesame oil sauce all served atop white rice. When your waiter serves the dish, he’ll top it off with an egg and mix everything together with the sauce of your choice, be it a mild shoyu or spicy-hot sauce.

On the Side

Since opening in 2008, Richo Korean Cuisine has become known for its creative Korean cuisine done with a distinct Japanese twist. Now, the Kaimuki eatery is looking to make a name for itself as an after-hours hot-spot where busy nine-to-fivers can drop in for a quick nosh after work hours.

Last month Richo started offering a Happy Hour menu in the hope of attracting a new crowd of customers.

“A lot of people like Happy Hour in Hawaii, so my boss (owner Takeshi Urushido) thought it would be something good to start,” says assistant manager Ayako Hanzawa. “Also, people can come and have a good time!”

Among the offerings are three varieties of Kimchee and Namul ($4.95); half-size portions of Tofu Salad ($3), Beef Chapchae ($6) and Seafood Chijimi ($6); and Kushiyaki ($4.95), a choice of yakisoba-style white-meat chicken, chicken thighs or chicken wings that come prepared on skewers with a plain, spicy or teriyaki sauce.

“This is a customer favorite,” Hanzawa says of the Kushiyaki. “Most of the people, what they do is order all three styles of chicken and share.”

In fact, sampling as many items from the menu is the whole point, according to Hanzawa.

“The food comes in smaller portions,” she says, “so people can get a taste for it and then order the larger portions the next time they come.”

Happy Hour goes from 5 to 7 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. till last call Tuesday through Friday.

Richo Korean Cuisine

  • Where
    • 3008 Waialae Avenue
    • Honolulu, HI 96816
  • Call
    • (808) 734-2222
  • Hours
    • 5 p.m. – midnight
    • Tuesday – Saturday
    • 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Sundays