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Cooking Up Innovative Fusion
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Cooking Up Innovative Fusion

Story By Christina O'Connor Photos By Leah Friel
September 25 - October 1, 2011

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Stepping off of busy Waialae Avenue into Richo Korean Cuisine is like entering another world. With its soft lighting and chic setup, which includes private seating areas tucked behind bamboo shades, Richo is a tranquil oasis where customers can enjoy an after-work Happy Hour or relax with friends for a quiet meal. And with its cuisine, which floor manager Ayako Hanzawa describes as Japanese-style Korean food, it’s clear that Richo has created a whole other world of food by embracing all of its influences — Korean, Japanese and local — and combing them into a seamless fusion.

  • Okoge Cheese ($10)
  • A wide array of Richo's tasty cuisine.
  • Volcano Nabe ($18)
  • Manager Ayako Hanzawa with the Richo Fix ($25 for two people), featuring homemade Kim Chee, Namul Sangchu Salad with original homemade dressing, Seafood Chijimi, LA Kalbi and Volcano Nabe.
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“Most of these items are the same style as Richo in Tokyo,” Hanzawa says. Popular dishes include appetizers such as Namul ($6), which features three kinds of Korean style vegetables flavored with a sesame oil blend, and entrees including Samgyubsal ($24 for two servings), a pork belly prepared yakiniku style.

The creative cooks at Richo also have thought up a number of dishes that are unique to the Hawaii location. These dishes include Volcano ($18 for two servings), which Hanzawa says is a customer favorite. The Volcano is Teppan Nabe with a mix of vegetables, seafood and beef intestine — all surrounded by tofu. Other local originals include the Seafood Chijimi ($14), a crispy seafood pancake that customers rave about, and the Okage Cheese ($10), which includes cheese and garlic with rice.

And if you’re looking to try a variety of Richo’s tasty options, go for the Richo Fix ($25 for two people). The Fix comes with homemade Kim Chee, Namul Sangchu Salad with original homemade dressing, Seafood Chijimi, LA Kalbi and Volcano Nabe. And besides fresh flavors, this kind of creativity also gives Richo’s food another important edge — healthy ingredients. “We make everything on our own,” says Hanzawa. “All the dressings and sauces are homemade.”

Plus, Richo has an unbeatable Happy Hour Tuesday-Friday 5-7 p.m. and 9-11 p.m. Bud Light and Kirin, along with a variety of pupus, are all half price. Pupus include Deep Fried Chicken Gizzard, Deep Fried Spicy Chicken, Tofu Salad and Spicy Chicken. Prices range from $2.50-$4.

Right now, Richo’s chefs are cooking up some more innovative dishes. “We have new Nabes coming up,” says Hanzawa. “The chefs are preparing a White Nabe. The broth is original and they have a whole cabbage inside, and a little soup and beef intestine around the cabbage. There’s garlic and chives on top. It all has a really nice flavor.” Hanzawa anticipates that the White Nabe will be unveiled some time in October.

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