FUUD: Shabu Shabu Bangkok in Kapahulu

We had heard about yet another new hot pot place opening up on Kapahulu Avenue.

Last week, Shabu Shabu Bangkok opened up in the space vacated by Yakiniku Toraji on the corner of Kapahulu and Kaimuki avenues.

So one of my girlfriends — who, I realize, loves eating anything out of a metal pot — agreed to try it with me.

We didn’t know what to expect. We had both only tried Japanese-style shabu shabu here — and loved it. But when she was in Hong Kong a few months ago, she ate at a hot pot restaurant and lived to rave about it. So she was optimistic. I was just hungry.

According to the restaurant’s menu, shabu shabu can trace its roots to the Chinese winter dish shuan yang rou. After it was imported to Japan, the name changed to shabu shabu, onomatopoeic for the “swish, swish” sound thinly sliced meat make when swirling in the hot broth.

While we both love the concept of Thai-style hot pot cooking, the experience didn’t blow us away. It was tasty and fun — and the company was great! — but we weren’t knocked off our chairs. Would I got back? Sure. But would I go here once a week, the way I would W&M Bar-B-Q Burgers or Rainbow Drive-In? Nah.

Here’s what we ate:

Outside Shabu Shabu Bangkok

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The restaurant, which opened last week, occupies the space vacated by the award-winning Yakiniku Toraji. Parking is on Kaimuki Avenue. There’s only a few stalls, so, like us, we had to find street parking.

Shabu Shabu Bangkok, 949 Kapahulu Ave. 808-732-7666.


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