King’s Shabu Shabu Reigns Supreme

Digest On the Menu

July 14, 2013

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

After establishing success with Lobster King and building a throng of loyal customers, restaurant owners June Kim and Jay Chen wanted to give local diners another dining experience fit for a royal court.

The dynamic duo recently opened King’s Shabu Shabu on the corner of McCully and Young Streets, and offer customers a vast array of fresh seafood selections, tantalizing shabu shabu options and Cajun-style combos that take one’s dinner experience to the next level.

The restaurant features a bright and inviting dining area with tables suited for groups of all sizes, all of which include built-in shabu shabu hot plates. King’s Shabu Shabu offers an assortment of fresh meats, including traditional favorites such as beef, pork, chicken and lamb, as well as exotic options including pig liver, frog, cuttlefish and conch. These special dishes are available on colored plates, which are priced between $2.99 and $7.99, and may be picked up by customers from a nearby refrigerated counter and added to one’s meal as so desired.

King’s Shabu Shabu also offers Kobe Beef ($7.99 for four ounces and $15.99 for eight ounces), as the tender, marbled beef is sliced thin right in front of customers before they are left to delve into their unique shabu shabu creation.

Various live seafood options such as oysters, abalone, king crab, Dungeness crab and lobster (available seasonally at market price) also are available sashimi style and for cooking in the hot pot, and may be accompanied by fresh vegetables and satisfying side dishes such as Egg Rolls ($6.95 for four pieces), Cajun Fries ($4.95) and Cajun Salt & Pepper Shrimp ($12.95).

“The difference between live seafood and frozen seafood is a sweetness and freshness that you can taste right away in the broth,” says Chen of the fresh fare available. “I promise you’ll taste the difference. We’re offering Chinese-style and Japanese nabe-style cooking.”

Customers prepare the food by submerging the desired meat or vegetables in a pot of boiling water flavored with bold broths ($10.99 each) — including seafood, chicken, tomato beef, spicy, Thai tom yum, mushroom and miso — and swishing it back and forth several times. The term shabu shabu directly translates to “swish swish,” mimicking the sound one makes while cooking the food.

King’s Shabu Shabu also offers up Cajun Combos, which are prepared by the restaurant’s skilled and friendly staff, and brought directly to the table. Various combination platters include lobster, crawfish, mussels, shrimp and clams ($48) as well as Dungeness crab, crawfish, mussels, shrimp and clams ($55). These bountiful combo platters are crafted with customers’ choices of heat levels, including mild, medium and volcanic, as well as garlic butter.

“We offer two styles of dining with shabu shabu and Cajun cuisine,” Kim says. “We’re dealing with fresh, live seafood — that’s what helped make Lobster King so popular.”

King’s Shabu Shabu is currently serving dinner and late-night visitors daily from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., and plan on adding lunch service at a later date.

As a special scoop for Dining Out readers, diners who mention this article will be treated to King’s Shabu Shabu’s Grand Opening Special good for 10 percent off the entire meal, excluding alcohol.

King’s Shabu Shabu

1110 McCully St., Honolulu
Open daily, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Honolulu, HI 96826

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