It’s a whole new world, forcing many to change the way they do business. In some cases, that’s a really good thing.
My company manages the social media for Ichiriki Nabe, so I’m well aware that people in Hawaii are crazy for hotpot. I also knew that customers have wanted them to offer takeout for a long time, but it was never something the restaurant wanted to push.
Well, COVID-19 forced their hand on that. So last week, I tried a full set of Ichiriki’s nabe takeout for myself. Now, this photo is a little more fancy, as the raw tsukune (chicken meatballs) isn’t served in the bamboo sleeve — they put it into a container for you, already in balls.
When I saw the container of broth, I was dubious that it would be enough, since the servers often come around to refill our nabe pot in the restaurant. But it was actually more than enough! I guess it’s different when you do it in a regular pot at home.
There were definite advantages and disadvantages to takeout nabe, one of which is that I don’t have a nabe pot at home. Also I don’t get the fun of interactive cooking with others at the table. But that’s about it.
I was surprised to find that I liked eating nabe at home. The biggest advantage, for me, is that I’m always too full to eat the zosui at the end. Here at home, I could save the leftovers, and make the zosui the next day. In the meantime, I went to the store to get more shiitake and enoki mushrooms to customize it, and then I could use my own white pepper (instead of the restaurant’s black pepper).
As a singleton, I’d never be able to go to Ichiriki on my own and just eat by myself. But now, if I feel like it, I can just order in and not feel self-conscious. If you want to try it yourself, check out the Ichiriki takeout menu!
Do you have any favorite restaurants with surprising takeout benefits? Let me know!
510 Piikoi St.
98-150 Kaonohi St #C-216
46-047 Kamehameha Hwy.