While I was in Boston, I met up with a college friend for dinner in Chinatown. We decided to go for shabu shabu at Shabu Zen, located on 16 Tyler Street. Shabu shabu is Japanese style hot pot. It typically involves a plate of thinly sliced raw meats and vegetables, a hot pot of broth, and dipping sauces. You dip the meats and vegetables in the hot pot to let it cook and then you enjoy it with the dipping sauce. The dish is usually served with rice or noodles.
At Shabu Zen, they offer individual shabu shabu, but also have tables for larger parties. Usually shabu shabu is a communal meal, but having individual pots and broths is quite neat too.
She ordered the Lamb and I ordered the Seafood Platter. Each of their shabu shabu entrees come with a plate of vegetables – there’s a couple pieces of cabbage, tofu, mushroom, broccoli, tomato, watercress, and a piece of corn on the cob. You also pick your choice of udon, vermicelli, or rice. It also comes with a small dessert – it was red bean soup that night.
Seafood Platter (salmon, cod, scallops, fish cake, and squid)
Plate of vegetables
Ready to dig in!
Shabu shabu is more about the eating experience, the environment and socializing with people. The ingredients are available at the grocery store or food market. The main equipment you need is a large pot and a heat source. It is definitely much cheaper to do at the comfort of your own home, but the nice thing about going out for shabu shabu is no grocery shopping, no food prep, and no clean up.
Shabu Zen has a nice comfy atmosphere and the service was good. The shabu shabu courses start at $10.95. The lamb and the seafood platter were both $11.95 each. The ingredients were fresh and our meals were very filling. It was a tasty dinner and I had a lot of fun catching up with my old college friend. Also, Shabu Zen also have a nice of selection sakes, beers, and wines.