Spreading the Love for Nabe
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When Ichiriki Japanese Nabe Restaurant opened its first location in 2006, owners Issei Kazama and Riki Kobayashi promised to do their absolute best to make their customers happy.
The Piikoi Street restaurant quickly became popular for its nabe or Japanese hot pot, including shabu shabu and sukiyaki, and attracting locals and tourists from all directions.
Two years ago, it opened a second location in Aiea, and last month added a third location in Windward Oahu at the Kaneohe Bay Shopping Center.
“A lot of our regular customers live out here (on the Windward side),” says assistant manager Andrew Doi. “And we’re looking at continuing to expand.”
Ichiriki specializes in hot pots, but also serves a great assortment of appetizers and desserts, including its irresistible strawberry shave ice ($4.95) and Ujikintoki ($4.95) featuring shaved ice topped with green tea syrup, azuki beans and mochi balls (add on vanilla or green tea ice cream for $1).
If you’re not familiar with nabemono, it’s a Japanese hot pot often filled with fresh vegetables, meat and/or seafood, and a flavorful broth that is cooked on a portable stove at your table.
Among the signature dinner dishes at Ichiriki is the Tomato Nabe ($21.95 single order/$45.95 for two; served in a paper pot) which is served with an array of vegetables, cherry tomatoes and USDA Choice beef, and has the flavor of a hearty tomato soup.
One of the newest hot pots on the menu is the Angry Goma Nabe ($23.95 single order/$49.95 for two; served in a paper pot) which used to be made by special request but became so popular that it’s been added to the menu permanently. It’s a tasty, but spicy, nabe made with fresh jalapeno and habanero peppers in a sesame base, and it’s paired with pork.
Also popular are the Mushroom Medley ($6.95) featuring an assortment of seasonal mushrooms such as shiitake, enoki, shimeji and eryngii sauteed in butter, shoyu and green onion; and the Fried Garlic Shrimp ($9.95) which is battered and deep fried, tossed in a tasty sesame mayonnaise sauce and topped with fried garlic.
The lunch menu differs from the dinner menu. There also is happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. to closing daily (at Kaneohe and Piikoi) with appetizer and drink specials, as well as a nabe special. For Mother’s Day (May 12), all mothers receive a free dessert and free Kobe upgrade with their nabe.
98-150 Kaonohi St. Ste. C-216
Lunch: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily; Dinner: Sunday-Thursday, 4-11 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 4 p.m.-midnight
46-047 Kamehameha Highway Unit 14 and 15
Lunch: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily; Dinner: Sunday-Thursday, 4-11 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 4 p.m.-midnight
510 Piikoi St. #102
Hours same as Kaneohe location