Spice Up Your Life

Digest On the Menu

January 18, 2015

Story By: Lindsey Appleton | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

For those who love to cook, dining out is a luxury that allows one to avoid doing dishes and having to prep the food. For those who are less skilled in the kitchen, eating out can be hard on the wallet if made a habit. However, at Ichiriki Japanese Nabe Restaurant, both amateur chefs and those who don’t know the difference between mincing and chopping can come together to create their own custom meal — sans prep, clean up and outrageous prices.

“Our food speaks for itself,” says Kaneohe general manager Andrew Doi, who started working in the kitchen at Ichiriki more than four years ago. “You can cook it however you want. Cook it a long time and make your meat and vegetables soft and tender, or just quickly throw in your food to keep the vegetables crisp and crunchy.”

At all three restaurant locations — Piikoi, Aiea and Kaneohe — Ichiriki brings more than quality food to the table. The superior service and genuine kinship that the staff provides is akin to enjoying a meal at home with friends or family.

Kandou, meaning to enjoy making others happy, and kansha, having sincere reactions and emotions, is our motto,” explains Doi. “We’re not here to sell a product. We are simply here to serve you food that we would serve our mothers, fathers and other ohana.”

Ichiriki is famous for its myriad of nabe, shabu shabu and broth selections. Broken up into four distinct steps, customers choose their pot in Step 1, either a metal pot or a Kami Nabe paper pot — which mysteriously doesn’t burn. Step 2 allows customers to select their broth — either classic or premium — from traditional shoyu to the spicy Angry Goma ($3). In Step 3, patrons must decide which delicious plate of nabe or shabu shabu to add to the pot. Finally, in Step 4, finish the meal with ramen, udon or zosui.

Try USDA Choice Shortrib Chanko ($21.95), a customer favorite piled high with beef, house-made tsukune, arabiki sausage, shrimp, tofu, deep-fried tofu, salmon and an assortment of vegetables. Cooked in Angry Goma — the spiciest of Ichiriki’s broths, created by Doi himself — the meats and vegetables absorb the fresh, light and fiery broth, making the meat tender and full of flavor.

“I put together the ingredients for the Angry Goma one day when I was making lunch for one of our owners who is sensitive to spice,” says Doi with a laugh. “The jalapeno and habanero were too much for him, but he suggested we put it on the menu, and now it’s a popular choice.”

While Ichiriki is famous for its hot pot dining, it also has a great selection of a la carte items, appetizers and sides. Try the ever-popular Spicy Tuna Wraps (happy hour $4.50, regular $6.95), which Doi concocted the spicy yet creamy sauce for.

Ichiriki also invites you to partake in Pau Hana Happy Hour from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Late Night Happy Hour from 9 p.m. until closing.

Ichiriki plans to add new, exciting items to its happy hour menus, so there’s much more to look forward to. Experience Ichiriki’s superb taste, atmosphere and quality.

Ichiriki Japanese Nabe Restaurant

46-047 Kamehameha Hwy. #14-#15, Kaneohe
236-2299
11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily (lunch) 4-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday
4 p.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday (dinner)
(last dinner seating is one hour before listed closing time)

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