This shabu shabu is not too shabbyA La Carte Columns
November 27, 2016
Story By: Caitlin Basilio | Photos by: CAITLIN BASILIO
Hawaii’s newest shabu shabu restaurant is heating up as it offers delectable hot-pot dishes in addition to tasty local-style Japanese meals. Located in Pearl City Gateway Shopping Center, Rokaru Shabu Shabu is where everyone comes hungry and leaves satisfied.
Co-owner Reid Watanabe encourages guests to try his specialty hot-pot creation Chicken Hekka ($14.95 lunch, $16.95 dinner).
“The Chicken Hekka is a great home-cooked meal and is something we grew up eating,” says Watanabe.
The dish is a local favorite, prepared tableside, and consists of Rokaru’s homemade Sukiyaki broth, chicken, cabbage, watercress, tofu, mushrooms, onions and bamboo shoots. Patrons also have the choice of white or multigrain rice.
For those craving something other than shabu shabu, try Island Fish “Ochazuke” ($15.95 lunch, $17.95 dinner), another traditional Japanese dish. It’s made with opakapaka that’s dipped in cornstarch and deep-fried, and served on a bed of either multigrain or white rice with herb lemon broth. A trio of tsukemono (Japanese vegetables) also comes on the side.
“Ochazuke is traditionally fish served with rice and tea,” explains Watanabe. “Guests can also choose from options of miso, shiitake ginger or green tea (instead of lemon broth).”
Watanabe and his team are always coming up with new creations in order to keep guests coming back for more. Customers can look forward to a new menu set to debut in December. “We’re going to offer some new pupus and dishes such as chicken long rice ($16.95) and oxtail soup ($17.95),” he says.
Starting Dec. 1, Rokaru Shabu Shabu will be open daily for both lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Rokaru Shabu Shabu
Pearl City Gateway Shopping Center
1140 Kuala St., Ste. 104
Monday-Friday, 5-10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.