Hot-pot dining at Shabu Chic
Shabu Chic is a small, hot-pot restaurant that opened this spring in the Chinatown International District.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Shabu ChicJapanese hot pot
1032 S. Jackson St., Suite 202B, Seattle
Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5- 9 p.m. Friday-Sunday
Etc: Credit cards accepted; no obstacles to access; parking lot and street parking; beer and sake
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To show how Japanese hot pot works, the folks behind Shabu Chic set up the menu equivalent of Hot Pot For Dummies, with step-by-step pictures and even servers donning T-shirts that read "dip, eat, repeat!"
Shabu Chic is the small, hot-pot joint that opened in the spring in the Chinatown International District, and a second branch may be added in Bellevue.
But first you have to find Shabu Chic — sandwiched between Viet Wah store and Tamarind Tree Restaurant — and work around its limited hours (open only Fridays through Sundays.)
The menu: It's a short lineup that requires little work from the kitchen. Your main entrees are raw slices of rib eyes and dumplings (pork or chicken), and for the vegetarians a giant platter of veggies and tofu. It's all to throw into the simmering broth of miso, sukiyaki or seaweed. Comes with white or brown rice and two dipping sauces — a citrusy soy sauce and sesamelike paste.
Each meat order also comes with a side veggie platter of cabbage, mushroom, tofu and carrots, with strands of udon and mung bean noodles. A modest dessert menu of shaved ice, mochi and ice cream is available.
What to write home about: Some nice marbled cuts of beef. You can splurge on the Kobe grade quality cuts, but the regular rib-eye cuts work just fine. Dip the paper-thin raw meat into the simmering sukiyaki, a sweet soy-sauce broth that's much tastier than the mild miso.
What to skip: The dumplings with chicken filling were bland.
The setting: Service was friendly. Not your typical Chinatown hole-in-the-wall joint. The tables are clean, the floor free of grease. When you leave, you'll be thankful for the super ventilation system above because you won't reek of broth and beef.
Summing up: An order of the combo meat (five slices of thin rib eye and five higher quality cuts for $17.99), 12 pork dumplings ($10.99) along with extra sides of rib eyes (five slices for $3.99) and extra chicken dumplings (four pieces for $2.99) and finishing with two desserts of shaved ice totaled $38.96, enough for two. It's not as good a value as your typical Chinese hot pot, which comes in bigger portions. Shabu Chic, though, is a bit more refined, the rib eyes tender and well marbled.
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or email@example.com. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle.