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Foodie Fare
Foodie Fare

Now’s the time for nabe wonders

By Christina O Connor Photos By Nathalie Walker
May 18, 2014

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Ichiriki Japanese Nabe Restaurant is all about choices. “When you come to our restaurant, first you choose a broth, then you choose what you want to cook in the broth,” explains Issei Kazama, who co-owns the restaurant with Riki Kobayashi.

Ichiriki specializes in traditional Japanese hot pot dining, including nabe, sukiyaki and shabu shabu. A customer favorite is Kami Nabe Miso Broth Beef Ribeye ($24.95), which presents USDA choice ribeye, along with a platter of other fresh ingredients, such as chicken meatball, seafood, sausages, tofu, enoki and shiitake mushrooms.

According to Kazama, Kami Nabe Ichiriki Broth Short Ribs ($22.95) also is a stand-out selection. It features USDA choice short ribs served with an assortment of other meat and seafood varieties, and vegetables.

“This is a traditional shoyu-based broth,” explains Kazama of the signature broth.

Kazama also recommends patrons try Ichiriki’s famed Kobe Beef Shabu Shabu ($28.95, $16.95 during happy hour). In addition to thinly sliced, melt-in-your-mouth beef, cabbage, tofu, enoki mushrooms, bok choi, carrots and kuzukiri noodles accompany the dish.

As a complement to any meal, Mushroom Medley ($6.95) is one of Kazama’s personal favorites, which features a mix of sauteed seasonal mushrooms. Currently, the appetizer showcases shimeji, shiitake and eryngii mushrooms.

“I really like mushrooms,” Kazama says. “We wanted to offer something that mushroom lovers can enjoy at a reasonable price — and it tastes really good.”

Many customers choose to end their meal on a sweet note — with a heaping serving of Ujikintoki ($4.95), green tea shave ice topped with azuki beans and a hint of condensed milk.

“It is real green tea that we use,” Kazama explains. “So it is not only sweet, but it has a bit of bitterness.”

Ichiriki offers its guests two happy hour time slots: pau hana and late-night. Exact times vary by location. Call the individual locations for more information.

On the Side

Several years ago, Issei Kazama and Riki Kobayashi worked together at a local Japanese restaurant, however, much time also was spent daydreaming about opening an eatery of their very own.

“We wanted to open Ichiriki because we love nabe,” Kazama explains, with a smile.

“Nabe is typically consumed during winter in Japan, but we thought people should be able to enjoy it year round,” he says.

The owners love for nabe soon proved to have mass appeal. After opening the restaurant on Piikoi Street in 2006, two additional locations popped up in Aiea and, most recently, in Kaneohe.

Contact Christina O’Connor at diningout@staradvertiser.com

Ichiriki Japanese Nabe Restaurant

PIIKOI
510 Piikoi St., Honolulu
589-2299
Lunch: Daily, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Dinner: Sunday-Thursday, 4-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 4 p.m.-midnight

AIEA
98-150 Kaonohi St., Aiea
484-2222
Lunch: daily, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Dinner: Monday-Thursday, 4-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 4 p.m.-midnight; Sunday, 4-10 p.m.

KANEOHE
46-047 Kamehameha Hwy., Kaneohe
236-2299
Lunch: daily, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Dinner: Monday-Thursday, 4-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 4 pm.-midnight; Sunday, 4-10 pm