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Introducing Sukiyaki at Shabu Shabu House

Story By Kelli Shiroma Photos By Nathalie Walker
April 22 - 28, 2012

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Located on Kapiolani Boulevard, Shabu Shabu House has been renowned for its delicious hot pot dining since it first opened in Honolulu in 2004. However, during the last week of March, the eatery has expanded its menu to include sukiyaki.

Shabu shabu and sukiyaki are similar in that both use vegetables and meats, and are served with a variety of dipping sauces. However, there are several important distinctions between the two, according to supervisor Grant Murata.

“We’ve been known for shabu shabu, but we’ve recently introduced sukiyaki on our menu,” Murata says. “Sukiyaki uses a shoyu-based sauce that you can boil or saute your vegetables and meats (beef and pork) in. It’s unlike shabu shabu, which is a konbu-based broth, so it’s more soupy.”

To commemorate the introduction of sukiyaki on the menu, customers can bring in the coupon featured on Page 17 this week and receive 10 percent off their sukiyaki.

Murata explains that including sukiyaki on the restaurant menu has always been a desire of manager Kazuyo Makita.

“I think we’ve come up with a good shabu shabu; in Hawaii, we’re known for that,” Murata says. “She’s (Makita) been wanting to put together a good sukiyaki for quite some time. There was a time she would see the customers put the sauces inside (the pot) and try to cook their food that way. She thought they would like something with more taste, so that’s why she eventually wanted to do sukiyaki.”

For customers who have tried it, the sukiyaki option is already a hit.

“The concept of doing spicy sukiyaki is something they (customers) can’t get at too many places, so the spicy sukiyaki is one of the newcomers to the menu that’s doing good,” Murata shares.

At Shabu Shabu House, customers can customize their meals to create the types of flavors they want, whether they choose the shabu shabu or sukiyaki option.

“It’s a traditional Japanese shabu shabu restaurant but it’s also a place where people can create the type of taste they want,” says Murata. He explains that customers can select among sesame, ginger and ponzu sauces to add more flavors to their meal.

“The concept of all these sauces around the table is the draw for Shabu Shabu House,” he says. “There’s really no rules (on what you can use). The sesame sauce has gone through some changes; it now accents the food better. Ponzu is made with citrus flavoring and shoyu.”

When it comes to customer favorites at Shabu Shabu House, Murata is quick to name Extra Premium Kobe Style Washugyu Beef Shabu Shabu. Customers can choose among Kobe Set A ($34.95) — supreme tasting Kobe Style Beef Washugyu and prawn shrimp combination set — and Kobe Set B ($34.95), a supreme tasting Kobe Style Beef Washugyu set (large portion available for an additional $9). The Kobe (Washugyu) Beef Sukiyaki Set ($38.95) and the Beef Sukiyaki Set ($14.95 lunch, $18.95 dinner) also are popular.

Besides the addition of sukiyaki to the menu, a larger selection of sake and wine also has been added. The sake and wine selection available to customers include Plum Wine ($4), Crane Lake Wine ($4.50), Sho Chiku Bai ($5.75), Fuji Apple Sake ($15.95), Okunomatsu Ginjo ($16.95) and Okunomatsu Junmai ($16.95). Shabu Shabu House now offers Iced Coffee ($3.50) as well.

Although Shabu Shabu House recently added more to its menu, further menu changes may debut this summer, according to Murata.

“She’s (Makita) looking to add more things to the menu and thinking of working on a takeout menu because the location of the restaurant is by business buildings and offices,” Murata says.

Shabu Shabu House

  • Where
    • 1221 Kapiolani Boulevard
    • Honolulu, HI 96814
  • Call
    • (808) 597-1655
  • Hours
    • Monday – Saturday
    • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Lunch, last seating 1:30 p.m.)
    • 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Dinner, last seating 9:30 p.m.)
    • Sunday
    • 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Dinner, last seating 9:30 p.m.)
  • Notes
    • Validated parking available.
  • Website