Finding Relief at Ichiriki

Columns Order of the Day

April 7, 2012

Story By: Dining Out Team |

For those stressed about finishing taxes, Ichirki Japanese Nabe Restaurant provides the perfect remedy. No, not free tax service … a special on its delicious nabe!

“On April 15-16, for tax day, we are promoting a special shabu shabu set,” explains restaurant co-founder Issei Kazama. “It’s going to be one pound of Kobe Beef Shabu Shabu for $17.95 for lunch and dinner, on just those two days. We’re calling it the ‘Tax Relief Day’ special … it’s just our way of helping out everybody who has to pay taxes.”

  • Ichiriki offers a chic and modern dining atmosphere.
  • Ahi Ogo (market price)
  • Ahi Ogo (market price), Tomato Nabe ($13.95 lunch, $21.95 dinner), one pound of Kobe Nabu Tax Relief Special ($17.95 for lunch and dinner), Ichiriki signature Nabe ($11.95 lunch, $21.95 dinner)
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Although the Tax Relief Day special only applies the weekend of April 15-16, Ichiriki offers its customers an Early Bird Special.

“Our Early Bird Special is only Monday through Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. at both of our locations,” Kazama confirms. “As long as they (customers) order before 6 p.m., they get 25 percent off their nabe.”

Kazama and his partner, Riki Kobayashi, opened the first Ichiriki restaurant on Piikoi Street in 2006. Since then, the restaurant expanded and opened its second branch in Westridge last June. Both locations tend to be equally crowded, according to Kazama, and reservations are recommended.

“We (Riki and I) opened it (our restaurant’s first location) because we really love nabe,” says Kazama of the Japanese hot pot. “Riki trained in Japan in a shabu shabu restaurant, and we thought it (a nabe restaurant) would be a good fit for Hawaii. The Aiea location is a bigger space so if there’s a last-minute large party reservation, we can take larger parties.”

When it comes to the eatery’s “uniqueness” factor, Kazama mentions both the food and the customer service.

“Our food is definitely unique — I don’t believe there’s another restaurant that specializes in Japanese nabe on the island,” he says. “We also emphasize our customer service; we don’t want our customers to go home unhappy.”

At Ichiriki, an assortment of nabes is served on the eatery’s lunch and dinner menu. For these nabes, customers must first select a soup base and a choice of meat (chicken, pork or beef). For an additional $1.50, customers can choose to finish their meals with ramen, udon or zosui. Soup upgrades — choices such as Kimchi, Curry or Paitan (pork broth) — are available for an additional $2. Nabes are served with many different ingredients — including Chinese cabbage, tofu, chives and shiitake mushrooms — as well as rice.

While Ichiriki Nabe ($11.95 lunch, $21.95 dinner) — made from shoyu-flavored soup — continues to be the eatery’s signature dish, other popular dishes include Tomato Nabe ($13.95 lunch, $21.95 dinner single, $45.95 dinner kami) — featuring a tomato-based soup stock — Ahi Poke appetizer ($5.95) and U.S. Kobe Beef Kalbi Eye Shabu Shabu ($24.95 lunch $28.95/$37.95 dinner).

“Kobe Shabu Shabu is really popular and we think it’ll be really popular with the (upcoming Tax Relief) special,” Kazama says. “When people are trying to go for something new, our Tomato Nabe is very good. Our Ahi Poke appetizer is another dish I would recommend.”

Changes are on the horizon for Ichiriki, with the possibility of a new menu being introduced this summer and a new restaurant branch. Amid the upcoming changes, though, Kazama emphasizes that good customer service will always be a priority at Ichiriki.

“Our nabe comes from the heart,” he says. “We really care what our customers experience … we try to do our best to make sure it’s a memorable dining experience. Customers can expect to get a staff who will do 100 percent to make them happy … and good nabe as well.”

Ichiriki

  • Where
    • 510 Piikoi Street #102
    • Honolulu, HI 96814
    • 98-150 Kaonohi Street Suite C216
    • Aiea, HI 96701
  • Call
    • (808) 589-2299 (Piikoi)
    • (808) 484-2222 (Aiea)
  • Hours
    • Piikoi
    • Open daily
    • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Lunch)
    • 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Sunday – Thursday, 5 p.m. – midnight Fridays and Saturdays (Dinner)
    •  
    • Aiea
    • Open daily
    • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Lunch)
    • 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. Monday – Thursday, 4 p.m. – midnight Fridays and Saturdays, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. Sundays (Dinner)
  • Notes
    • Last seating is one hour before posted closing time.
  • Website