I had shabu-shabu for the first time in Tokyo, Japan. The thought to try it had never really crossed our minds before then, when we stood in the middle of Ginza’s streets after days in Japan, wondering what else we could try. Seemed like if we had wanted thinly sliced beef in a delicious savoury sauce, Yoshinoya had something we liked. Shabu-shabu primarily cooks thinly sliced meats in boiled water, served with ponzu or goma (sesame) dipping sauces. Felt pretty straight-forward.
Aside from the quality of meat, of which the meal obviously hinges on, I’d say the dipping sauce seals the deal. At Shabusen, we were able to mix sesame with a bunch of other stuff: chilli oil, mashed garlic and heapings of chopped fresh spring onions. It was freaking delicious, unfairly skewed towards the fact that I get absolutely weak in the knees for chilli oil, mashed garlic and heapings of chopped fresh spring onions. Shabusen is pretty renowned and the restaurant is frequently highly rated, so it’s a good place to start if you’re like me and have never tried it before. Dessert was a translucent strip of jelly, dipped into a sweet tasting syrup reminiscent of gula melaka, and green tea ice cream. It was a fabulous meal, though I can’t help comparing the simplicity of shabu-shabu to Chinese hotpot dishes – a bubbling mess of a dozen types of meats, vegetables and egg. What do you think – are you a fan of shabu-shabu or Chinese hotpot?
Japan, 〒104-0061 Tokyo, Chūō, Ginza, 5−8−20 銀座コア 2階
Tel: +81 3-3571-1717
Lunch: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
Dinner: 5:30–9:00 pm