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Umami-ya Shabu Shabu

Digest Step Up to the Plate

March 26, 2017

Story By: Lynsey Beth Futa | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

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A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: SUKIYAKI FIVE-COURSE DINNER SET WITH USD A PRIME RIB EYE ($3 9)

There are moments when you sink your teeth into something so delicious that you’re almost at a loss for words. It’s during these times that you conjure up words such as sweet, salty, bitter and sour to describe your food experience. Then there are the occasions when the only appropriate word to use is umami, or savory taste. The Japanese treated the world to a new flavor sensation with umami, which in some way encompasses all of the aforementioned basic tastes in one satisfying sensation.

Expect nothing less at newly opened restaurant Umami-ya Shabu Shabu — next to famous Liliha Bakery off of Nimitz Highway — where a fusion of Asian cuisine awaits you, bursting with umami flavor.

This isn’t your average shabu shabu/ hot pot establishment, however. Boasting an elegant layout with a scattering of sleek black tabletops and a few refined wooden ones, too, Umami-ya can accommodate up to 130 people, with private dining rooms also available.

Enjoy the eatery’s five-course dinner sets in either Sukiyaki or Shabu Shabu options, which offer citrus greens and kanten noodles to start, then move on to the main course. The fourth course for Shabu Shabu includes your choice of zosui (sweet rice and egg) or udon to add to your umami-filled broth. Both dinner set options also end with a refreshing yuzu sorbet with azuki beans for dessert.

The restaurant, which is only open for dinner, also is a hub for great Japanese-infused cocktails, as well as an assortment of shochus, sakes and beers — including Sapporo and Asahi. And don’t forget to order from the multi-cultural appetizer menu, which features favorites such as Ahi Sashimi and Seafood Pancake.

Umami-ya Shabu Shabu

550 N Nimitz Hwy., Honolulu
367-1388
Nightly, 4:30-10 p.m. (last seating)

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