Monday, July 30, 2007


I have waited to try Ichiriki since they first opened in 2006. My grandma had a chance to go there before I did, and she raved about it. Anything that is Japanese that my grandma likes, has to be worth trying. Being born and raised in Japan, my grandma has high expectations for Japanese food; often comparing the dishes to her own (delicious) cooking. When I finally had a chance to try Ichiriki for myself, I found that along with matching up to my grandma's standards it also matched up to mine.

Owners Issei Kazama and Riki Kobayashi (born and raised in Japan) have done an excellent job with creating a nabe restaurant that offers great food and a welcoming ambience. I immediately felt as though I was in a trendy restaruant in Japan. The decor reminded me of another freqently visited favorite of mine, Gyu-Kaku. We sat at a regular table with two burners; however there are also two tatami-style rooms for larger parites.

My boyfriend and I shared the "kami nabe" which is a variation on the traditional nabe. In this nabe, the "kami," or paper, sits in a wire basket replaces the pot. This paper is supposed to absorb the oils from the meat in order to create a clearer, healthier broth. It fascinated me how the paper held the broth the entire time, nor did it burn!

Our kami nabe came with a selection of meats, vegetables, tofu, and tsukune. Tsukune is sesoned, ground meat that is presented in a bamboo tube, allowing you scoop them into the boiling broth to create little "meatballs." Everything was delicious! The broth was very tasy, unlike the MSG-laden varieties I have tasted in the past. One of the unique thing about this nabe restaurant is that when two people share one nabe (the standard pot, not the kami-nabe), they place a divider into the pot. This allows customers to enjoy two different types of broth in the same pot and keeps the vegetables and meats separated.

Ichiriki offered great service, delicious, healthy food, and an awesome ambience. The prices were a bit high; however I heard that they have a pretty good lunch deal. I'll have to check it out for myself! I enjoyed this nabe restaurant even in the heat of summer and I know I'll visit them again; especially when the weather begins to cool down!!

510 Piikoi Street
Honolulu, HI

Friday, July 27, 2007

MAC 24-7

MAC 24-7 is a fairly new restaurant located in the Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio. It is known for serving "Modern American Cuisine" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This restaurant serves breakfast at all hours of the day and are known for gigantic-sized portions. Upon arriving at the restaurant, you are taken into a futuristic setting, making you feel as though you are part of the Jetsons. The ambiance is really interesting with orange painted walls, shiny dome-like sugar dispensers, and hanging silver ball decorations. I visited this place on three occasions; twice for dinner and once for breakfast. I must say, the novelty of this restaurant is what made me go back a second time; however by the second visit, I discovered that the food nothing impressive (just really big!).
The Japanese Breakfast included salmon, miso soup, a "soft" boiled egg, and fruit. The miso soup and salmon were too salty and the soft boiled egg was a "hard" boiled egg.

The pancakes were a feast for the eyes but not for the stomach. They are impressive in size (about 12-inches in diameter and 1.5 inches thick...three of them piled high!) but upon tasting the dry, rubbery pancake it is nothing but impressive in taste.

Just like the pancakes, the "sumo saimin" is impressive in size but short on taste. The tough noodles make it difficult to enjoy this dish.
Overall, this place is fun for large gatherings because of the atmosphere and novelty of the food, just don't expect quality food!