Looking for good shabu shabu? Though my favorite is still Home Sweet Cafe by a long shot, I recently dined at Ichiriki near Ala Moana Shopping Center and really enjoyed my time here. Among the other shabu shabu/hot pot/nabe restaurants, such as the new but sub-par Shabu Shabu King, Ichiriki is a place I would definitely visit again.
My friends and I gathered here for lunch and decided to go for variety. This meant two soup stocks, miso and pirikara, calamari and ahi poke appetizers, pork and beef for the meats, and the zosui (rice) to mix with the bubbled off miso stock with cheese and udon for the pirikara to close off the meal.
The appetizers were actually very delicious, though on a smaller portion. The ahi poke ($5.95) was typical with chunks of ahi mixed with shoyu and topped with sesame seeds, onions, and green onions. The fried calamari ($4.95) was light and crispy, and arrived with a mayonnaise-like dipping sauce.
Since there were four of us, we tried two different nabe stocks. The pirikara, which is a spicy shoyu base stock, and the miso stock, both of which were $11.95 each. The pirikara was one our friends’ favorite and to our delight, it turned out to be my favorite too! It wasn’t too spicy, but was very flavorful. In fact, the flavor was able to soak into the vegetables and meats really well, giving an awesome aroma with every bite. The miso was equally as delicious and had full of flavor.
Though I enjoyed the meats and vegetables, the quantity was quite small for the price. Although they did give raw meatballs that were not only fun to make but delicious as well. Finally, I would definitely recommend the zosui after the meal if you get the miso soup stock. The udon was OK with the pirikara, but the mixture of rice, eggs, and cheese to the concentrated miso was absolutely delicious!!!
Ichiriki is up there in regards to nabe here in Hawaii. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking for variety and good quality nabe!