Last weekend Mikey's friend, Alice, came into town. He asked if we wanted to go to Shabuway for dinner with them. We didn't have anything going on that day other than the local arts and crap festival. Besides, I've been wanting to try shabu-shabu.
Shabu-shabu is a Japanese dish where thin slices of meat, vegetables, tofu, etc., are swished around in hot broth or water. Wikipedia tells me that shabu-shabu roughly translates to "swish-swish".
Since this was our first foray into shabu-shabu, I wanted to order a bit of variety. Mr. Cupcake ordered the beef, and I went with the shrimp potstickers. I figured I could steal some of Mr. Cupcake's beef.
Everyone received a dish filled with cabbage, mushrooms, tofu, udon noodles, carrots, and a few leaves of spinach.
In front of each of us, there was a pot full of boiling water. The server also brought out two sauces; one ponzu and the other was a seasame sauce.
So now what you ask? Well, you cook everything in the water! This was somewhat challenging. I didn't know how long to cook the potstickers because the skin was fairly thick. I just started dunking the potstickers. I have to say they were pretty bland. I was not impressed. I had to roll them a few times in the sauces to get some flavor. Though, I doubt most people go to a shabu-shabu place to get potstickers.
So what about the beef? Well, the beef was a lot tastier than the potstickers, but I'm still going to say it was a bit bland. The beef was very thin, and when it went into the boiling water, it was pretty much finished cooking. Mr. Cupcake also felt the meat was bland, so he helped it along by adding a red pepper condiment.
As far as the rest of the stuff, it was okay. I really like udon noodles. The only problem was that I kept forgetting about them, and then they became too soft. Same with the carrots.
This is what happens to the water after swishing beef and vegetables. Makes you want to drink it right? Well, don't get your hopes up; there's actually a ladle that's used to skim off the residual beef grossness.
Our total bill including drinks, tax and all that good stuff was about $65. Mikey was a nice guy and covered the bill. I told him I'd buy him a Sparks. I think part of the reason Mr. Cupcake and I weren't crazy for shabu-shabu was because it was a lot of effort. Call us lazy, but we prefer to have someone else to prepare our food when we go out. However, it was still a good good experience; we just won't be itching to have it on a regular basis. I'd still like to try shabu-shabu somewhere that uses a broth vs plain water. I've read some places use broth, and I think that'd aid in some of the blandness.
Even though we weren't huge fans, Mikey and Alice still enjoyed their shabu-shabu experience. In fact, Alice was tempted to order another side of beef.