Last Sunday, I went out for Shabu Shabu with an old highschool buddy of mine. We’ve always made the effort to maintain contact but we go for months at a time without interacting with each other as we’re both busy with our own lives.
Shabu Shabu is a Japanese dining experience where you boil thin slices of meat and vegetables in a broth. There’s a pot of hot boiling water and you place the meat in it until it’s cooked and then take it out and eat it. It’s called Shabu Shabu as that’s the sound of food being swished around in the water. Other Asian cultures cook food that way as well so there’s different names for it, like hot pot or steamboat. It’s a nice communal dining experience.
I had never been to Shabu Shabu before so I was curious to see if I would like it. I like communal dining experiences where you cook the food together. If you’re stuck for conversation, you can always talk about the food or just concentrate on the food. I guess it wouldn’t be so fun if either of you aren’t very confident in cooking though. You’ll be always asking, “Do you think it’s cooked?” and then you’d overcook the food and make it tough or burn it.
I don’t remember the name of the restaurant but it said Shabu Shabu on it as well. It was in a place in Underwood, Brisbane where all the outlets and warehouses are located. It’s in a small but extremely clean shopping centre, the foyer had gleaming white tiles. I think it must be word of mouth keeping the business alive because it’s in a non-descript building.
The restaurant can easily cater to a wedding reception as it’s quite large. There were all these oversized marble tables and benches everywhere with individual hotplates for diners. The place was pretty empty but my friend said that Sunday is not a busy time for them, Friday and Saturday nights are the times where we’d be lucky to get a table.
The waiter was pretty friendly and attentive. I ordered seafood combination which consisted of prawns, fish fillets, clams, scallops and squids and my friend ordered wagyu beef. We both chose miso soup to cook our food in. Our food came out quickly as it was raw, along with complimentary plates of vegetables and various soup meatballs. We each had our own hotplate so we boiled whatever we liked to eat. When we finished eating, the bill came down to eighty three dollars which we split between us. I would say Shabu Shabu is very affordable if you split it between friends. We both liked our meals although we both agreed that the beef tasted better than the seafood, so next time we’ll try chicken and have more beef. We also thought about changing our broth to curry.
Afterwards, we went to Sunnybank which is a place known for its Asian restaurants. We decided to have a dessert that my friend really liked which was custard in syrup, she added some kind of black bean to hers and I chose to have seasonal fruits. I did like the dessert, especially with the fresh cut fruit.
Do you like sharing food with others? Or do you prefer to eat your own food?