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Shaba Shabu in Raleigh

We're going to Raleigh in a few days...heard good things about Shaba Shabu....Any other suggestions in the Asian Fusion category?

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  1. I had heard the same and was looking forward to going. It was terrible. The server came to the table and announced "I don't think the tuna is any good today. Wait, let me check..." Then in about 5 minutes, came back and said "yeah, they said it IS good." We passed. Octopus was terribly chewy and we had to send back the hamachi; it was yellowing and dried out. Very disappointed, haven't been back. But to feed our urge, we ended up driving to An right after, and that's been a favorite of mine since.

    2 Replies
    1. re: TheRoy

      The server came to the table and announced "I don't think the tuna is any good today. Wait, let me check..." Then in about 5 minutes, came back and said "yeah, they said it IS good."

      Omigosh. I think that deserves its own thread.....

      1. re: cackalackie

        LOL so hard the cats vacated the room!

    2. Shaba Shabu is terrible, IMHO. Mediocre food, poor service, and chairs that snag fabric and stockings like crazy.

      Give Mura at North Hills a try. I love their sushi (order the Screaming O roll - it's not on the menu, but you'll love it), and their bento, hibachi, etc. are all very good. I haven't had too many of the other entrees - I can't stay away from their sushi whenever I go.

      1. They do both Japanese and Thai-- and neither particularly well. They seem to be more interested in style over substance. I'd suggest picking either Japanese or Thai and then going to a place that does that cusine well.

        1. I'm with everyone else. I am totally over Shaba Shabu.

          What type of food are you craving (Thai? Sushi?) --- we'll help with recommendations... let us know. [ps- I am with Suzy below, Mura is great for sushi, though I have to get props to Waraji just a tiny bit more]

          1. Was Shaba Shabu one of the first of it's kind in Raleigh? I have not tried it, but people I meet who have lived here for years love it. I've noticed many of these folks seem to have an allegiance to places based more on sentiment than current offerings...

            1 Reply
            1. re: meatn3

              Was once a few years back, as I remember the Thai was better then the Sushi. But neither of them was good enough to put up with the we are so cool attitude from the servers.

            2. Just ate at a pretty good Japanese place the other day called Waraji which isn't real far from Shaba Shabu.


              1. I should have turned on my computer before going. We heard many nice things before...ambiance was nice....the failing strip center it was in....wasn't. We didn't have sushi, but for the most part, we found the food to be good...not earth shattering, but good. I had a salad that supposedly had some spice to it. I was told by the waiter they could tone it down if I wished...which I did. I struggled through about half before succumbing to the intense spice.

                Now, I DO like spicy foods, but I found myself unable to continue....

                I told the waiter, who just shrugged and said "Yeah, that dish can be kinda hot..." as he scooped it up and walked away.

                We noticed a few other transgressions...namely the hostess reading a book at the front station and the sanitation rating of B-83.5. Not a number I want to see if I had been intent on ordering sushi.

                Will take everyone's suggestions next time we're up there.

                1 Reply
                1. re: timechime

                  This is the strip center where Trader Joe's is supposed to go into in 2009. The article I saw in the N & O indicated that the entire center will be spruced up and Shaba Shabu was quoted as saying they would remodel too.

                2. I just saw that Shaba Shabu opened at a new location in Durham on 15-501 (in the space that was formerly Macaroni Grill). But from what I've seen on this thread, I'm not very tempted to try it. Looking at their Thai menu, the selections appear a bit dumbed down for the American palate. But if someone tries the new location, please post a report.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: durhamois

                    Went to the Durham Shaba Shabu as a party of four this past Saturday night around 8:00pm. Whoever said style over substance was right. Although we all liked our food enough, the house music was a bit too loud for that early in the evening (pushing the "lounge" aspect a little hard in my opinion), plus the lighting was so dim at the table it was hard to read the menu.

                    If you want that kind of hip urban atmosphere with your meal, you'll be satisfied enough overall, but If you really just want some excellent Thai food, skip this place and go to the nearby Twisted Noodles or Thai Cafe instead.

                    1. re: durhamois

                      I went to the Durham location for lunch several weeks ago - just a few days after it opened. It was a Friday - They had a shrimp tempura roll on special - I believe it was $5.00. I got that and the Pad Thai. The role was very good - the Pad Thai was okay - something about the shrimp was a little off putting. They weren't bad - perhaps not cooked enough.

                      I will go back - don't know if I'll order the Pad Thai again anytime soon.

                      1. re: durhamois

                        We tried Shaba Shabu in Durham the other day. I have to say they did a good job remodeling. Aside from the limestone walls, you can't tell it used to be a Macaroni Grill. My wife and I are fans of Chinese hot pot cooking (aka shabu shabu, right?). We've had it at the Raleigh location and enjoyed it, but haven't been many times because it is so far from our house. We were sad to find that the new Durham location doesn't have it. (Why call it Shaba Shabu if you don't have it??)

                        Anyways, I had the pad thai and my wife had the sake don (fresh salmon with sushi rice). Both were good, but I've had better sushi and better thai in Durham. It was slightly pricy too. We'll prob go back sometime, but it definitely won't be on a frequent basis.