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Happiness Abounds at Nabeya Maido

By Michelle Lee Photos By Lawrence Tabudlo
April 13, 2014

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Walking into Nabeya Maido, adorned with its charming wooden wall decor and rustic handmade tables, one cannot help but feel at home.

As Honolulu’s newest hot pot restaurant, Nabeya Maido celebrated its official grand opening last Friday, eager to introduce diners to a new kind of nabe dining experience.

“Our vision was to have a place that would combine the classic flavors of Japanese-style nabe with the flexibility of being able to choose your own toppings common to most Taiwanese hot pot meals,” says Kevin Suehiro, general manager of Nabeya Maido.

To start, the eatery’s nabe ordering process is simple, quick and customizable. After choosing an initial soup base, customers may select from freshly prepared meats, seafood and vegetables. Each table is equipped with its own hot pot station, which can facilitate cooking multiple broth flavors simultaneously.

Undoubtedly the menu’s most popular broth is its signature Maido Nabe ($7.90), a shoyu-based broth generously seasoned with garlic and chili pepper — an ideal match for virtually any ingredient and palate.

“All of our broths are made from scratch, and we simmer the ingredients for hours,” says Suehiro. “Our chefs are constantly taste testing every batch to ensure the flavor is just right.”

For a healthier option, Bijin Nabe ($7.90) is a crowd favorite. Named after the Japanese word for beauty, the broth infuses soy milk to create a light, creamy mixture that is rich in vitamins and minerals.

“As the Bijin Nabe cooks, the milk begins to curdle and naturally transforms into tofu, which adds great texture to the broth,” says Suehiro. “Low in calories, it’s my wife’s favorite nabe by far.”

Those who love a bit of everything are ideal candidates for Omakase Platter for two ($18.90). Made from a medley of toppings including cabbage, won bok, bean sprouts, ribeye, pork belly, tofu, fish balls, shrimp, pumpkin and shiitake mushrooms, the well-rounded “chef’s choice” is jam-packed with flavor.

On any given night, Nabeya Maido stirs with the sounds of happy commotion between servers and customers. And starting April 19, the restaurant will open for lunch from 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

“My goal has always been to serve quality food coupled with warm-hearted service,” explains Suehiro, who spent more than 13 years working in Osaka, Japan. “The word maido in our (restaurant) name means ‘aloha’ in Japanese slang. And in all that we do here, we want to show that same type of hospitality to our guests.”

Nabeya Maido

Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 204, Honolulu
739-7739
Daily, 4-10 p.m.