Best shabu shabu or Chinese hot pot in SF proper?
Looking to go out for shabu shabu or hot pot (could be Japanese or Chinese or other DIY Asian hotpot). Any recommendations, limited to the city of SF?
Currently I'm thinking of trying out Nabe in the Inner Sunset, so if people have any advice about that place, that would be great! But other suggestions would be welcome too. Are there any Chinese hot pot places that are big favorites? Probably would be looking for non-spicy options, but maybe some Sichuan places would work? Or Old Mandarin Islamic?
Thanks in advance!
I tried Nabe two nights ago for the first time. Overall, it was an interesting experience. We tried three types of hot pot: traditional shabu shabu, sukiyaki, and kimchi pork belly. We all thought the plain shabu shabu was boring compared to the other two.
I liked the sweetness of the sukiyaki. Included in the set was an organic egg, which we cracked and used as a dipping sauce. You cooked the beef in the hot broth, then dipped the cooked meat into the raw egg before eating. I had never tried this before, and thought it was really good.
I also really liked the mochi that came with the shabu shabu. The pieces were hard and cold, but once cooked in the broth for a few minutes, they expanded into pillowy, chewy bites. I wish there had been more of them, and next time I would order extra.
In addition to the meat, we had an array of veggies, mushrooms and noodles, which I enjoyed. At the end, the servers bring rice and make a porridge with the leftover broth. We did this with both the kimchi and sukiyaki broths, and I liked both.
We also had an order of gyoza which were completely forgettable.
Price per person was about $23 before tax, tip and alcohol, but it was quite a lot of food. You're sort of forced into paying at least this much per person, but considering the quantity and quality of the food, it's not a bad deal for shabu shabu.
I enjoyed being there on an evening when it wasn't too crowded. On a night when the restaurant was full, I think it would be too cramped and chaotic.