A Restaurant to Call ‘Home’
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In Japan, it is a tradition to enjoy food together as a family. A particular favorite is nabemono, or hot pot, as we know — and love — it. At Sweet Home Cafe on South King Street, nabe is the heart and soul of what is served, and the eatery’s delicious soups are some of the healthiest around.
“In Japan, they believe that when you eat nabe with your family, as a group, you have a better relationship,” says chef Takuto Yasuda, who is from Japan himself. “Growing up, everyone eats nabe in the household; it’s very popular to eat it at home,” he continues.
That’s exactly why, at Sweet Home Cafe, you can feel right at home in the simple decor scheme and open-table layout that is large enough for the whole family. The BYOB option is also what makes it the hottest option for groups of all ages.
“With drinks and everyone sharing and eating the same nabe, it’s a great environment,” says Yasuda.
The nabe to try this summer is Mix Tofu Soup ($9.95). As with every broth at Sweet Home Cafe, the Mix Tofu soup base is made in-house. It also features two kinds of delicious organic soy milk tofu. It is a milk-white broth that has onions, celery, pickled cabbage and ginger.
Once you bring that to a boil, you must try the homemade sauces as well. Each sauce is bursting with flavor that brings a whole new dimension to your dining experience.
“When you make it spicier, it becomes a different flavor. You can do that with all of the soups, but for the Mix Tofu Soup, in particular, adjusting the spiciness is really good and it adds a different flavor that is so tasty,” shares the chef.
Sweet Home Cafe offers complimentary broth refills for every pot, in addition to a wide selection of Japanese vegetables and meats to try with your soup. Beef Tongue Tsukune ($5) is one of the most popular meats, and it’s also included in an all-youcan-eat deal, meaning it is a one-time fee for all the beef tongue you can eat.
One of the biggest benefits, though, of eating at Sweet Home Cafe is the abundance of vitamins that are packed into the vegetables, making the restaurant’s hot pot one of the healthiest meals you can eat.
“Everything is fresh and homemade,” says chef Shunia Akatsu. “There’s such an abundance of vegetables you can put into your broth, so you can eat as much as you want without worrying.”
If you already love Sweet Home Cafe, there’s more great news. In August, the eatery will be opening a new location on Seaside Avenue in Waikiki.
“We’re going to have over 100 options for sides, and we’re going to experiment with different types of items,” says Akatsu. “We’re going to be serving pupus, too!”
Visit Sweet Home Cafe daily from 4 to 11 p.m.
Sweet Home Cafe
2334 S King St., Honolulu
Open 4-11 p.m. daily