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Mar 7, 2006 12:26 PM

Best Shabu Shabu

  • c

Taking my dad for the first time, shabu-tatsu in the EV is a standby, any other favorites?

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  1. LAN in east village.
    I think they have the best shabu shabu in the city.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Macaroon

      I liked it, too. Here's a meal report:

      I've passed Lan many times but never knew anything much about the place until tonight.

      I was part of a party of four for dinner. We shared the following:

      Simmered Berkshire Pork Cheek with potato puree

      Organic Chicken & Scallions, Skewered & Grilled, with spicy yuzu pepper paste

      Shabu - Shabu with Berkshire Pork Belly and Prime Rib Eye Beef

      The pork cheek was deliciously smoky, very tender, and had apparently been marinated in a very tasty marinade. The chicken was very tender high-quality yakitori, and the paste had green chili in it. The shabu-shabu was again made with good meat, accompanied by various vegetables (Napa cabbage, shiitake slices, very good kombu, tofu, etc.) and we were given excellent sesame sauce and ponzu sauce for dipping.

      Our dinner was thoroughly pleasant and at $30/person, a good value.

    2. Debating between LAN, Shabu-Tatsu and Happy Shabu.

      (1) Quality of meat -- not too fatty and VERY tender
      (2) Fish options (if not for shabu, then in sushi) or lots of good vegetable options and maybe tofus for the one of us who doesn't eat meat.
      (3) Dipping sauces/broth options

      We really liked Swish when it first opened, but it has been a disaster for the past year, so we're hoping to find a new "regular" place to go to while we try to figure out where we could put our own shabu pot.

      1. Shabu Shabu 70
        314 E 70TH St Ste 1
        New York, NY 10021-8623
        (212) 861-5635
        Directions: 6 at 68th St.

        The environment here is clean and comfortable. They have the shabu shabu here and its been a neighborhood favorite for quite a while.

        1. I like Quickly Shabu Shabu on grand street between chrystie and bowery. Everyone gets their own personal hot pot (no funky foreign ingredients in the broth from your friends and its more personal). You have a choice of the sichuan soup, japanese plain miso broth or kimchi broth. The sichuan and kimchi broth both uses the japanese plain dashi broth but for the sichuan you get spice cubes to throw into your broth and for the kimchi you get a bowl of kimchi on the side to throw in. For the main entree you have four choices: Assorted 2 meats $12.95, vegetarian $13.95, sliced prime beef $14.95, surf and turf (shrimp,fish,oysters). Veggies, noodles, fishballs and a tapioca slush drink is included. You would have to order one entree before you could order from the A la carte menu. They also have a condiments area where you can create various sauces without having to ask the waiter. Plus for those who likes to use a raw egg yolk into their dipping sauce or to boil, its unlimited here with no additional charge. Service was great, my pot of soup was constantly refilled so I never needed to ask.

          8 Replies
          1. re: csw

            This is Chinese-style shabu-shabu, which is a bit different take on the Japanese original (which was taken from the Mongolian/Manchurian original anyway).

            1. re: Woodside Al

              shabu shabu is the name for the Japanese version of hotpot but I think the Chinese had hotpot before as well as 70% of their culture.

              1. re: designerboy01

                True, but Chinese calling it by the Japanese name "shabu-shabu" and serving it as a "Japanese" dish in "shabu-shabu" restaurants, as is done in Taiwan and in Chinatown here in NYC, is quite recent.

                But my point really was that the Chinese version served at "shabu-shabu" restaurants in Chinatown, as described in csw's post above, is rather different from the Japanese version talked about in the other posts on this thread. Japanese shabu-shabu generally features only beef, tofu, and vegetables (and some noodles to finish up).

                1. re: Woodside Al

                  I've been to Shabu-Tatsu and aside for the differences in ambiance and cultural differences, it all comes down to raw meat, tofu and vegetables cooked in broth.. with noodles to finish it up exactly.

                  Quickly offers your own personal cooking pot, counter of unlimited eggs, sauces, and garnishes, plus its less expensive and equally satisfying. And not to forget it comes with a free tapioca/slush drink.

                  1. re: Woodside Al

                    If it makes you feel better, I just returned from Beijing where there are plenty of restaurants who have added a Chinese twist to the name - they call it Xiabu-Xiabu.

                    1. re: Woodside Al

                      I think those Chinese or I should say Taiwanese restaurants got the name Shabu Shabu because there are a lot of Japanese influences in Taiwan culture. Taiwan was once colonized by the Japanese. That is why you may see a Taiwanese Shabu Shabu restaurant.

                      I'm chinese and I've eaten different hotpots. We usually end up with noodles, and we have it with beef, squid, liver, seafood, and veggies. Other regions in Northern China have it with lamb. Some people finish it with dumplings instead of noodles. I've been to an upscale Cantonese restaurant and its done with sharks fin as a soup base, served with abalone, fried fish skins, and other exotic seafood. There is also the traditional hotpot from Empress Dowager Cixi where chrysanthemum flowers are put for the frangrance. The point I'm trying to get across is that there are many different types of hotpots in China and you can't just compare Japanese with Chinese like that. I'm also sure there are many different types of Japanese hotpots these days that are served.

                2. re: csw

                  I'm a big fan of Quickly, as well. It is definitely Chinese Shabu Shabu, but it's pretty consistently good.


                  NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

                3. i used to go to shabu tatsu on east tenth very often. but the last few times, it seemed like they were slicing the meat way ahead of time and keeping it frozen on the plate it's served on. or maybe they were just slicing it too thin... but the result was that the slices would stick to the platter and fall apart when you tried to pick them up, ending in a mush of beef on the chopstick. not so appetizing. anyone else notice this?

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: ndl

                    i love yakiniku juju on east 27th (or 26th) street. i found it to be delicious, and if you go sunday - thursday, i believe it $25.00 per person all you can eat.

                    1. re: jon

                      I don't see any reference to shabu on their menu on menupages -- do they have it on nights other than sunday through thursday?

                      1. re: kersie

                        they definitely have it. i've had it there. they also have regular bbq and sukiyaki which i like as well. get the sirloin and the short ribs. i've found that the chicken takes forever to cook and always burns.

                      2. re: jon

                        Speaking of Yakiniku Juju - the review on Vindigo says, "...you descend steps to a subterranean doorway. Then you pass through a low, narrow hallway, up a spiral staircase and, finally, into a small dining room of booths, each outfitted with a gas-powered grill (and a fire extinguisher)."

                        This place sounds to me like a somewhat claustrophobia-inducing fire trap, which is what keeps me from giving it a try. Is Vindigo's description right-on or might it possibly be at all exaggerated?

                        1. re: Deenso

                          id say it's not as bad as it says. yes you go downstairs, then down a hallway and up a spiral staircase, but once you're upstairs, there is a fairly big dining room. if you are more than 4 people, they'll seat you in a huge table with 2 grills and they'll make you take your shoes off. it's very home-y and although the service is always just ok, mainly because i don't speak their language, it's still a fun place to go (and certainly less of a scene/crowded then yakiniku west on 9th street).

                          1. re: Deenso

                            I had an unpleasant service experience at Yakiniku Juju. I went with a friend. I ordered the beef bbq $25 option and she was going to order the seafood option. They apparently only want people at the same table to order the same thing as they are very concerned that you will be sharing the food. We ended up walking out as they made such a huge stink about it. My friend's diet is limited to veg and seafood anyways. As much as I wanted to try this place, I've been turned off by that sour experience.

                            As for the setting, it is a bit claustrophic just getting inside, but once you're upstairs into the dining room, it's nice enough.

                        2. re: ndl

                          This is the same problem that we started noticing at Swish. I actually think it is quite common to freeze the beef at least partially to make it easier to slice, but it appeared they weren't letting it thaw out enough. Given this, I think we'll stay away from Shabu Tatsu!

                          1. re: ndl

                            I also notice freezer burns/discoloration in the raw meats section at japanese markets(shudder) which makes me wonder about their true "due date" and if they're merely just re-packaging it.