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Shabu Shabu King Rules the Night

Features Inside Feature

January 7, 2012

Story By: Dining Out Team |

When Michael Shi was asked to describe Shabu Shabu King, his increasingly popular hot pot cooking eatery in Moiliili, the restaurant owner lets his food do the talking.

“They can pick what they like, everything is fresh,” he says of the 100-plus items guests may choose from when cooking atop ceramic hot plates located at each table. “We have so many items to choose from, at least 100 items; all kinds. Fresh vegetables, seafood — a large variety, it’s been very popular so far.”

  • Shabu Shabu King, on South King Street, caters to all diners, no matter what you're craving.
  • More than 100 different side dishes are served in price ranges according to dish color.
  • Healthy Earth Broth and Mix Mushroom Broth are top picks at Shabu Shabu King of the 15 different broths offered.
  • Shabu Shabu King owner Michael Shi cooks up a healthy meal of shabu shabu.
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Shi learned about shabu shabu — which translates to “swish swish,” as in the sounds items make as their flavors mingle within the hot pot — from his family in China where he worked for more than 20 years in their restaurant. He opened Shabu Shabu King, appropriately positioned at 2700 S. King St., late last summer, and has customers flocking to the University area “from all over the island,” he says, “they come back again and again.”

When dining at Shabu Shabu King, customers first select one of the eatery’s 15 broths in which to cook. Chicken, Miso and Shoyu ($5.95 each) are some of the tantalizing soup options, while Mixed Mushroom, Curry and Kimchee ($7.95 each) fill the room with hearty aromas. Guests also can mix two broths for $10.95.

“The Mixed Mushroom ($7.95) is the most popular so far,” says Shi of the flavorful broth. “A lot of customers like spicy broths. We have a wide variety to choose from.”

Shi says that the Rib Eye ($4.80) is the most popular meat choice thus far, and guests rave about the thinly sliced beef as it simmers, soaking up the succulent broth. Shabu Shabu King also serves up Pork and Chicken ($3.70 each), as well as Beef Tendon, Beef Tongue and Lamb ($4.80 each).

As if those choices weren’t enough, guests may purchase side plates, which are color coded by price. Green plates ($2.60) feature vegetables including broccoli, lettuce and spinach, while orange and yellow plates ($3.70 each) offer up dumplings, bacon and fish cake, to name a few. Reach for a blue plate ($4.80), and one will enjoy choices of jumbo shrimp, mussels and more.

Lobster, squid, crab, noodles, choi, sum, rice cake, corn, sprouts and ong choi add to the ever-changing list of extras one can use to supplement each hot pot creation. Customers can enjoy the various tastes and flavors all through the night, as Shabu Shabu King is open from 4 p.m. daily to midnight Monday through Thursday, and until 1 a.m. Friday through Sunday.

“It makes people very happy,” says Shi of his loyal customers. “Fresh and healthy,” he adds when describing the overall dining experience at Shabu Shabu King.

In honor of the restaurant’s recent opening, Shi also is offering customers a special treat: free appetizer and dessert. Each diner receives an edamame (soybeans) dish to start, and finish the meal with a complimentary scoop of Bubbies’ Ice Cream. Students (with valid ID) may also take advantage of the 75 cent soda special for dine-in customers, and all those who eat during the Early Bird (4-6 p.m.) or Late Night (10:30 p.m.-close) hours get 20 percent off each broth choice.

Talk about a meal fit for a King.

Shabu Shabu King

  • Where
    • 2700 South King Street
    • Honolulu, HI 96826
  • Call
    • (808) 951-7878
  • Hours
    • 4 p.m. – Midnight
    • Monday – Thursday
    • 4 p.m. – 1 a.m.
    • Friday – Sunday