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Shabu Shabu

Posted: 12/20/12

Shabu Shabu

Restaurant: Gyuzen Japan

Nelson @ Gion, Kyoto: Once again after walking through town and seeing how expensive many of the restaurants were, we walked slightly out of the more touristy area and came upon this Shabu Shabu restaurant called Gyuzen. Surprisingly it was AYCE, something probably pretty rare for Japan. There were a lot of cooking options including Shabu Shabu (like hot pot), Sukiyaki (meat/vegetables simmered in a shallow bowl in sauces and then dipped in raw egg) and Yaki (grilled). We weren't really sure about what sukiyaki was as their option for sukiyaki and shabu shabu was confusingly named so we went with Yaki-Shabu which is a combination of grilled and shabu shabu. Now I regret not trying the Sukiyaki which would have been a new experience for me, even though my stomach doesn't handle raw egg too well.

Shabu Shabu is a little different from Chinese style hotpot in the sauces. There are multiple bowls so you can keep your sauces separate. They had ponzu (supposed to be for vegetables) and sesame sauce (suppose to be for meat) and a salty Asian BBQ sauce (right). Then you add your "yakumi" such as grated daikon, red pepper, sliced green onion and chili pepper.

Then you cook the meat. Apparently the name "Shabu Shabu" comes from the sound when you swish the meat back and forth in the boiling broth.

You can also select your grade of beef. The lowest is "American beef" (¥1980/$24), and quickly increasing to add pork and/or seafood, and increasing quality of beef, including Prime American beef, Japanese beef and Kuroge (high quality Japanese beef, which cost ¥6,090/$72. We had the cheap American beef. You can see it's not as well marbled as some of the beef in the supermarkets, but it was still good quality especially compared to some of the stuff you get in NA.

The vegetables were slightly different as well and included onions, chinese cabbage, corn (yummy) and sweet potato (really really good, wish we had this type here).

Also from top left going clockwise, potherb mustard, long green onion, shiitake mushroom, shimeji mushroom, onion, hu (breadlike pieces of dried wheat gluten which weren't very good because they were too easy to overcook) and malony.

We also had some udon noodles and rice cake. This rice cake is typical for Japanese shabu shabu and once we boiled it it came out soo gooey and sticky. It felt like it stuck to your throat on the way down. Kitty didn't like it, but I liked it more, especially since I don't like udon that much.

We also had some vegetables included from left to right, maitake mushroom, enoki mushroom, corn, sweet potato and shimeji mushroom. For more unique ingredients, they had burdock and konnyaku which I think we ordered as well but never received.

One more we had to try was the pumpkin, which pretty plain. And of course a beer, in this case a Suntory Malts beer (¥580/$7).

We also managed to stuff down four plates of beef (not pictured). We smelt like beef afterward. Overall it was a fun meal that had a Japanese twist on a typical hot pot. Next time I will have to try the sukiyaki (which I bet you can get in Toronto as well).


Categories: Beef,  Drinks,  Japanese,  

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