Warm Up to the ‘Coolest’ SweetsColumns Jus' Desserts
January 12, 2014
Story By: Nicole Kato | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
Those on the Mainland, who currently are experiencing freezing temperatures, envy Hawaii’s warm weather and sandy beaches. Lucky we live Hawaii. Yet, a winter chill recently has hit paradise as well. On these cool days and nights, Ichiriki Japanese Nabe Restaurant serves up tasty nabe that will warm you all the way down to your toes.
“You’re spending your whole meal eating something out of a boiling pot,” says restaurant co-founder Issei Kazama.
And after a hot pot of nabe, it’s nice to neutralize the heat with a refreshing dessert.
Ujikintoki ($4.95) features shave ice topped with green tea syrup, azuki beans and mochi balls.
“It’s an ‘adult’ way to finish a meal,” Kazama explains. “As kids, you finish with the really sweet desserts, but as you get older you want something with a little more depth.
“And it’s also a nice way to reset the taste buds without overwhelming them with sweetness. This dessert has a nice balance of bitter and sweet.”
No shave ice treat would be complete without ice cream, so Ichiriki’s staff recommends pairing Ujikintoki with vanilla or green tea ice cream for an additional $1.
Warabi Mochi ($4.95) also is on the menu and is the establishment’s second most popular dessert, following closely behind Ujikintoki.
“Japanese people love it because it’s not too sweet,” Kazama says. “It has an elegant sweetness about it.”
Green tea powder tops off the mochi, adding to the flavor and texture of the dish.
A favorite among keiki is Ichiriki’s Brownie Ala Mode ($4.95).
“It’s basically a warm brownie with ice cream. That’s just goodness,” Kazama says. “Kids really love it. The brownie is warm, so that is a nice contrast to the ice cream.”
After a full meal of nabe and sweets, you’ll be ready to take on the chilly Hawaii weather again — perhaps with a sudden urge to snuggle under a blanket.
Ichiriki Japanese Nabe Restaurant
510 Piikoi St. #102 (and other locations)
Lunch: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily
Dinner: Sunday-Thursday, 4-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 4 p.m.-midnight
Note: The Aiea location is closed between 3 and 4 p.m.