Pairing classic nabe with sake, cocktails
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When Riki Kobayashi, owner of Ichiriki restaurants, moved to Hawaii when he was in college, he loved it so much that he decided to stay. After graduating from the University of Hawaii with a degree in Travel Industry Management, he took his passion for the service industry to the culinary realm, and thus Ichiriki Japanese Nabe Restaurant was born, one of the finest nabe establishments on Oahu with four locations around the island.
Kobayashi’s passion for service is evident in each of his restaurants today, where the vibe is friendly and upbeat, making them the place to go for any occasion. If you’re looking for a spot to host your next graduation dinner, the eateries have seating areas that are perfect for large parties.
When dining at the Piikoi Street location, try the Sake Sampler, a celebration favorite that’s only $8.75 during happy hour ($10 regularly), which is offered twice a day: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., or 9 p.m. to closing. Otokoyama, a drier sake, is included in the flight and pairs especially well with Ichiriki’s lighter nabe broths, like the Shio, for example. Kubota Senju is a smooth sake that’s perfect to enjoy with richly flavored Angry Goma, Paitan or Curry broths.
If you’re more of a cocktail person, Ichiriki’s Mojitos ($4.95 each) are the way to go. There are three flavors — Green Apple, Peach and Lychee — and shiso is used in the drinks instead of mint to give them a more authentic Japanese flavor.
Pair the mojitos with something hearty, such as Sukiyaki with USDA Choice Ribeye ($24.50 per person), a Japanese classic. This dish offers a sweet-soy sauce as its base for cooking an array of vegetables, protein and more. It also comes with raw egg for dipping — the traditional way to eat it is to take the cooked ingredients and dip them into the raw egg. At the end, udon is served to soak it all up.
Ichiriki on Piikoi Street is open daily for lunch and dinner. You also can check out the Kaneohe, Aiea and Kaimuki locations.
Ichiriki Japanese Nabe Restaurant
510 Piikoi St., Honolulu
Daily, lunch: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., dinner: 4 p.m.-midnight
Offers and prices may vary by location