Stir Up This Shabu Shabu Special
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By Stephanie Kim
Experience the rich flavors of umami at Umami-ya Shabu Shabu on Nimitz Highway, right next door to Liliha Bakery.
Since opening in March, Umami-ya has been the “hot” spot in town for fusion cuisine, mixing authentic Japanese-style cuisine with local influences and Korean flavors.
The restaurant not only serves shabu shabu, but also sukiyaki and nabe for dinner. Each meal set comes with your choice of broth, fresh vegetables, ponzu and goma sauces, as well as udon or the ingredients to make zosui.
For broth choices, Umami-ya’s director of marketing, Angela Choi, recommends the house broth.
“The house broth has a dozen ingredients in there that we cook in the back,” says Choi. “And it’s really good — it’s our most popular one.”
Every part of the meal — from the broth to the meat to the vegetables — blends together to create umami, the fifth or savory taste that combines sweet, sour, salty and bitter flavors.
“It’s everything here in the pot,” says Choi. “That’s what makes it umami.”
Keep the night going with crafted cocktails and beverages to complement your meal. Start with the Yuzu-licious cocktail ($9.95), recommended by Choi. This sweet drink is made with yuzu, the Japanese citrus fruit, and iicchiko shochu.
THIS DISH IS HOT!
Although it opened earlier this year, Umami-ya Shabu Shabu is still offering its Grand Opening Shabu Shabu Special for only $19.50. Available nightly, the shabu shabu dinner set lets customers choose between the kurobuta pork belly (normally $23.50) and the sterling short rib (normally $21.95). Angela Choi, the restaurant’s director of marketing, recommends the kurobuta pork belly, which enhances the flavors of the house broth, a fan favorite.
Umami-Ya Shabu Shabu
550 N. Nimitz Hwy., Honolulu
Nightly, 4:30-10 p.m. (last seating)