Rokaru Shabu Shabu

Digest Step Up to the Plate

September 25, 2016

Story By: Lynsey Beth Futa |

Shabu Shabu Set Short Rib $15.95/Lunch $18.95/Dinner

It’s no news that hot pot and shabu shabu eateries are booming right now. In fact, the recent craze over boiling pots of savory broths and the cook-your-own-food trend continue to run food scenes across the globe — including here in Hawaii.

One restaurant in particular hopes to stand out from the rest. Rokaru Shabu Shabu — which opened in July — forges ahead with unique twists on the latest culinary fad.

When Dining Out asked co-owner Reid Watanabe what sets Rokaru Shabu Shabu apart, he replied, “Two things: One, we try to locally source as many ingredients as we can, both meats and vegetables. (Secondly,) we also offer a couple of dishes that are not shabu shabu, which makes us a little bit different.”


Translated from Japanese, Rokaru means “local,” according to Watanabe. The eatery strives to offer just that in every menu item and ingredient offered, including its Shabu Shabu — which can be ordered as a set or a la carte.

The overall hot-pot routine at Rokaru Shabu Shabu is basically the same as it is at other establishments. Customers choose from one of the restaurant’s delicious broths, then they select a protein, and lastly, diners either receive the accompanying vegetable platter (comes with sets) or pick and choose specific additions they’d like to add to their meal. Ultimately, however, customers can only receive the luxury of fresh, local ingredients and outstanding care at Rokaru.

Each set comes with one specialty broth. Pictured are two of Rokaru’s tasty options, including Spicy Tonkotsu, which is a pork broth infused with chili oil and Hawaiian chili peppers, and Shiitake Ginger Garlic, a vegetarian soup base with shiitake mushrooms and euphoric notes of ginger and garlic.

Sop up all the yumminess of the broth and flavor-soaked meats and vegetables with rice (white or multi-grain).

Dip your meats and veggies into complementary sauces: creamy Sesame, sweet-and-citrusy Yuzu Miso and classic Ponzu.

Opt for a Rokaru favorite and order USDA short rib (pictured). Local short rib also is offered for $1 more. Other choices include ribeye, Berkshire pork butt, chicken, catch of the day, Kauai prawns, strictly vegetarian and more.

Indulge in the veggie platter that comes with each Shabu Shabu Set, featuring enoki mushrooms, local won bok, kabocha, carrots, tofu, mochi and greens from Kahumana Organic Farms. The vegetables change according to what is seasonal and fresh.

Rokaru Will Be Offering A Weekly Special (Mondays-Thursdays) During October.

MONDAY: Seniors ages 55 and up receive 15 percent off their total bill.

TUESDAY: Buy one Shabu Shabu Set and get the second set 50 percent off.

WEDNESDAY: Free Keiki Meal ($8.95 value) with purchase of one Shabu Shabu Set. The Keiki Meal includes arabiki sausage, chicken karaage, fried gyoza, corn, furikake rice and two scoops of Really Ono sherbet.

THURSDAY: One free noodle option — ramen, udon or long rice — with the purchase of one Shabu Shabu Set.

Rokaru Shabu Shabu

Pearl City Gateway
1140 Kuala St., Ste. 104, Pearl City
Monday-Friday, 5-10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Pearl City, HI 96782

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best