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A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: BIJIN NABE ($25, WITH MINIMUM OF TWO ORDERS PER TABLE)
To describe newly opened Tsukada Nojo as merely a hot pot and nabe restaurant would be robbing it of its refreshing uniqueness. The establishment is held up by its farm-to-table concept and cuisine — with the help of Japanese-influenced recipes, ingredients and culinary techniques, of course.
Originating in Japan, the restaurant quickly expanded across the globe to include more than 200 locations, with eateries in Singapore and China, as well as California and, now, Hawaii.
Its first location in the Islands is located on Kalakaua Avenue, off Kapiolani Boulevard, and dons a two-story set up with an all-wood design. The interior resembles the beauty and simplicity of the restaurant’s fare, as nabes and small dishes are served up in naturally breathtaking presentations.
Take, for instance, Bijin Nabe, which is cooked on a tabletop stove and served with local ingredients (as many as possible) on the side in a wooden box — like a chef’s tray of goods received fresh from the farmers’ market. Dip your ingredients into the bubbling pot of soup and create your own cooking experience.
Tsukada Nojo offers noteworthy items you won’t find anywhere else, including Kale Beer, which mixes fresh kale juice and Maui Brewing Co.’s Bikini Blonde draft beer — general manager Edward Mailoa insists it’s a must-try. There also is a new summer specialty called Chilly Tomato Ramen, offering a cold ramen with savory flavors of ground chicken and tomato. And don’t forget the Polar Bear shave ice dessert, which is presented in an adorable bear-shape.
1731 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu
Monday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5-midnight; Sunday, 5-10 p.m.; Happy hour:Monday-Saturday, 9 p.m.-close