Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ichiriki Japanese Nabe

Under "IV. Shabu Shabu" of his list of Hawaii Restaurants, foodhound and long-time island dweller CH wrote: "Ichiriki Nabe Restaurant [is] OUTSTANDING. Our new favorite restaurant. If you like shabu shabu, you will love this. A hot pot restaurant, and the bowls are split so you can each have your own type of nabe."

Naturally, since we both like our shabu shabu, my sister and I had to go. And when it came time to order, we called CH to help us navigate Ichiriki's hefty (and ever-so-slightly overwhelming) menu.

CH advised us to go for the nabe vs. the shabu shabu (which in the case of Ichiriki refers to a broth vs water base) for added flavor, and to start with the basics this first go 'round, saving the kimchi and other fancier versions (king crab for one) the next time I came to town.

So we settled on the Ichiriki original and Shio Chanpon nabe with a side of thinly sliced prime beef. Out came the broth, and then a large assortment of veg and protein from chicken and beef filling, tofu, slivers of pork, salmon, shrimp, scallop and sausage to bok choy, chinese cabbage, glass noodles, enoki mushrooms and spring onions.

With the broth bubbling away, we started dropping in first the veg and then the heartier proteins, saving the seafood for last. We ate as we went ... finishing off with a helping of udon and ramen noodles, which we dropped in the remaining broth for a few minutes and promptly pulled out for our final push.

Ugh. We ate too much. But we couldn't help ourselves. The shio broth—made of chicken and pork—was irresistible as were all of the fresh ingredients bobbing around in there. A really good meal and a great rec from our dear friend, CH.

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