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Kaze vs. Shabu Zen

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Going to Chinatown tomorrow for shabu and wondering which option is better. I understand that there may be better places in the Boston area, but I'm specifically inquiring about these two. Most interested in the vegetarian, seafood, and chicken options. Thank you!

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  1. I typically give the nod to Kaze of the two, especially if you are going during peak hours with a party of four or more. Kaze is more spacious. A pretty wide variety vegetables and seafood and ostrich as another poultry option and a nice choice of broths. I find SZ sort of cozy in a frenetic way, with some booths and counter seating. Not that SZ is bad, but my overall better experiences have been with Kaze.

    1. Last time I went by Shabu Zen I saw a sign that said they were closing!

      1. I've enjoyed the shabu at both, but Kaze was my first love in this genre, so it remains my go-to place. I wonder if there's a separate discussion there: places that are sentimental favorites because they were the first venue in which you sampled a novel cuisine.


        1. I also enjoyed both, though I lean towards Shabu Zen. Both have things on the menu that I really like, not available (or not as good) at the other establishment. Shabu Zen in Chinatown definitely has space challenges given its popularity, but if Allston isn't out of the way, you can easily hop over to their much larger 2nd restaurant with ample room.

          1. i've been to both a lot, especially in the winter. the ambience at kaze is definitely better - the space is much bigger and it's more calm. the food at sz seems to taste better, though. i can't pinpoint what it is, but there is a difference. might just be in my head?

            1. I agree the earlier postings on the differences in terms on ambiance. Personally i gravitate towards Kaze. Been nervous about that spot as each time i pass by the spot, it seems to be very quiet.

              1. Went to Kaze and it was fabulous! It was very busy too, which is a good sign. The choice of broths, huge and fresh variety of vegetables, and attentive service made for a better dining experience than I had at Shabu Zen. Thanks everyone for your help!

                1. We are Kaze fans as well - no wait, great portions, and a fun yet more private atmoshphere. And I love the Japanese soy sauce broth. If only the parking lot wasn't so pricey.