Nabe!

Today, I’m gonna talk about Nabemono or Nabe.  Nabe is the Japanese name for hot pot cuisine.  Most nabemono dishes are that of stews or soups.  The food is traditionally made in clay or cast iron pots and are usually placed in the center of dining tables on a portable stove and shared by multiple people.  Each person can pick the cooked ingredients they want from the pot and is eaten either with the broth or a dip sauce.

Since the weather is starting to get a bit colder and the daylight savings has started on the mainland, I thought it’d e a good time to throw out my list of favorite nabe places here on Oahu.   Just think on those cold rainy nights, this stuff will warm you to the bone.  Although nabe is a Japanese term, I’m not going to rule out the occasional hot pot dishes from other Asian countries. Maybe I should’ve called this post Hot Pot. Oh well.  Sorry about the picture quality for some of my pics, I was still using my crappy camera phone at that time. 😛  Please feel free to let me know if I missed anywhere or I should try someplace out!

For traditional to non-traditional nabes, I love Ichiriki. That would probably be the first place that comes to mind when I want to eat Japanese hot pot.  they have a variety of nabe dishes and the prices are very reasonable for what you get.   They even have a happy hour 🙂

Sweet Home Cafe is another favorite of mine.  The food is great and you get free dessert but there are a few things I hate about this place.  They include not taking reservations (the wait can be very long), they give you a time limit to eat and constantly hawk and hound you so that you eat and get out. The other thing I don’t really care for is the fact that they’ll sometimes squash you on a table with another party.  So I’ll say that I rarely go here unless I’m in a leisure mood and don’t mind waiting.

Similar to Sweet Home Cafe is a place in McCully Shopping Center called Hot Pot Heaven.  Unlike Sweet Home Cafe, they take reservations.  The price is comparable and I guess depending what flavor broth you get, it can be better or not as good as Sweet Home Cafe.  The downside is you don’t get the free dessert and their dipping sauces aren’t as elaborate but I can live without it if I get parking, my reservations are set so I don’t have to wait an hour and I can grab dessert at Coffee or Tea next door.

Near the University of Hawaii is a restaurant called Tsukuneya Robata Grill. They are known for their Tsukune dishes and neo-Japanese cuisine.  One thing that I love to get here is their Paitan nabe.  Paitan is a thicker and cloudier broth supposedly made of either chicken or pork bones and other vegetables.  The collagen from the fat in the broth is a benefit for healthy skin.  How much of that is true I don’t know but I could care less since I love the taste.  The only part that sucks is that it’s on the pricier side.  So you may be satisfied with just getting a few side dishes and the Paitan Ramen if you would like to at least try the broth.

Know mostly for their Korean Yakiniku, this hidden gym is located in the new “Keeaumoku.”  You can find this place next to the parking lot across the street from Maui Divers Jewelry.  The large Banyan tree with the lights strung around it will indicated that you’ve come to the right place.  It’s called Orine Sarang Che. You’ve gotta try their hot pots.  I tried the lobster hot put there and it was magical. It was a hassle to crack the lobster so the next time I might just got a regular crab or seafood hot pot.  The broth has a lot of flavor and if you like Soon Dobu or Chige you’ll love their hot pots.

Another place know more for their sushi also has a great Chanko Nabe dish. Next time you’re at Imanas Tei on King Street behind Puck’s alley.  Filled with flavor and ingredients this is a great dish to have when you’re hungry and in need for some comfort food.

Other notables:
Hanaki in Manoa Marketplace. Ingredients are good but the broths don’t compare to those of Hot Pot Heaven or Sweet Home Cafe.
Shizu. They are no more. But when they were open in the Royal Garden Hotel, the all-you-can-eat Shabu Shabu was delish.
Shabu Shabu House. Really the first place to offer “hot pot” as a commodity type food.
Hakone has a great buffet and they also have great Shabu Shabu.
Sushi Bistro Shun. If you want quantity for a decent price you can’t go wrong with their all-you-can-eat Shabu Shabu.
Shabu Shabu Bangkok. It’s on Kapahulu across from Crane park. I haven’t tried it yet but I hear good things about that place. Parking can be rough though.
Another place that is no more was the old Komokata in Aina Haina Shopping Center.  People went there for the Chanko Nabe. Wasn’t as good as Imanas Tei but for the price and convenient location for south Oahu folk, it was a winner.

Did I miss any that you like? Let me know!

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Ryan Kryska on February 9, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Hi! I have an inquiry about this post and am a student journalist at Michigan State University. Please get in touch with me if possible!

    Reply

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