We have dined at many Japanese restaurants over the years but had never experienced Shabu Shabu style. We knew that it was becoming quite popular when we heard that Restaurateur Eiichi Mochizuki had just opened his sixth Bay Area Shabuway location on Geary Boulevard. Shabu Shabu Japanese Hot Pot style allows the diner to flash cook thinly sliced premium meats and vegetables in broths heated on in-table induction cook tops at their table. Shabu Shabu actually means swish swish which is all you have to do using your chop sticks to dip and flash cook the cuisine.
We ordered a House Hot Sake and a Shirakabe Premium Cold Sake then chose combination dinners, a broth and got ready to swish!! Combinations include meats or just vegetables, white rice, a vegetable plate, Udon noodles and ice cream for dessert. The thinly sliced meats which we enjoyed included marbled American Kobe Beef , savory Niman Ranch Lamb and our favorite the marbled 100% Berkshire Kurobuta Pork! All of meats were tender, juicy and flavorful and tasted quite healthy, as they are all free of growth hormones and antibiotics. The seasonal Vegetable Plate included fresh and delicious Nappa Cabbage, spinach, carrots, seasonal vegetables, Enoki Mushrooms and tofu. We enjoyed the different flavors from cooking in the Half and Half Hot Pot of Basic Traditional Seaweed Umami Broth and the Original Spicy Miso Broth made with miso, spices and vegetables. We swished our meats and vegetables then dipped them in sweet Gomadare sesame sauce and a tangy Ponzu citrus soy sauce which we added hot sauce to for a little more fire. The Udon Noodles also get cooked by swishing them in the broth. They can be challenging as they begin to slip off your chopstick, adding humor to your dining experience, but once you get the knack of it they are just terrific!
The Black Sesame and Green Tea Ice Cream was the perfect finish to our delicious dinner. Shabuway is a healthy, fun and reasonably priced dining experience and we look forward to returning soon.
By Carol & Joe Davis
5120 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94118