Happiness in Nabeya Maido’s hot pot
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If you haven’t heard of Nabeya Maido, you need to pick up your “coconut wireless,” as general manager Kevin Suehiro says. Suehiro originally is from the Islands, but spent 13 years running a bar in Japan.
Once you see what the Market City Shopping Center establishment is all about, you’ll know why people are talking. Nabeya Maido serves traditional Japanese hot pots crafted by chef Yusuke Sonobe, who was trained in Osaka, and worked as a chef in Japan for years. Its broths are made fresh daily, consisting of kelp and bonito flakes.
From there, broth options include Maido Nabe ($7.90), which features sake, mirin, shoyu, garlic and chili pepper.
Once you have selected the broth of your choice, it is time to take a trip to the refrigerators in the back of the restaurant to choose the ingredients you want to add to the hot pot. Dubbed the “Food Cave,” the refrigerators are stocked with choices, including chicken, mushrooms, lettuce, chives, sausage, pork belly and more. Oysters ($5.90), Ahi Belly ($4.90) and Butterfish ($5.90) also are top favorites.
For a comprehensive introduction into hot pot, there’s Omasake Platter for Two ($18.90) with cabbage, won bok, bean sprouts, ribeye, pumpkin, shrimp, fish balls, tofu, mushrooms, watercress and more.
“A lot of people who don’t know what they want will get this,” Suehiro says.
A key point for Nabeya Maido is its customer service. Suehiro measures the restaurant’s success by how much guests are enjoying the overall experience.
“We like to build a rapport with our customers, especially with our regulars,” Suehiro says. (At one point, he pauses the interview to say goodbye to a group of customers as they walk out.) “I really, really like that — when customers come in and they know me.
“A lot of the reason why I got into this was to make people smile,” he adds. “And the easiest way to make people smile is through their stomach.”
Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu
Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.