SHABU SHABU @ SAKURAZAKA
Though my BFF and I have our favourite steamboat haunts (namely, Imperial Treasure and M Hotel’s dinner steamboat buffet), we decided to try out the Japanese-styled steamboat at Sakurazaka in Greenwood Avenue the other night. It was a quaint little place, pleasantly decorated and even though the place wasn’t crowded at 7pm, we were given a nice little corner table away from the other customers.
The shabu shabu comes in sets per person – pork ($48 per adult), seafood ($54) and beef ($64), each of which comes with a stone grilled ishiyaki starter, seasonal vegetables, and choice of soup, shaved ice kakigori dessert and base of udon/noodles or Japanese rice.
For variety, we chose a seafood set (comprising prawns, clams, scallops, red snapper, squid, mussels and prawn balls) and a beef set (Japanese rice-fed striploin/ribeye) to share. The soup base we had something safe (chicken) and something new (Ago Dashi, “a kind of flying fish” we were told). The latter was a clear broth which was mild yet tasty and not at all fishy, whereas the chicken soup was a tad salty to which we simply asked for more water to be added.
Something we rarely had for steamboat was this stone grilled wagyu beef Ishiyaki as the starter before the steamboat items were brought to the table. A hot stone is presented where you cooked the beef slices on and then dipped into the half boiled egg on the side.
That was quite a fun thing to do and we just wished there was more beef slices for us to grill on it! But then, it won’t be steamboat, would it? For the rest of the meal, as the food items were fresh and portions were just nice for a person each – our appetites are not as good as when we were younger (sob) – it was a truly enjoyable dinner. For those who can eat (much much) more, there is an a la carte list of all the food items which you can add on to the sets.
For dessert, we opted for the matcha shaved ice kakigori which was absolutely delicious.
There’s a good selection of sake, Japanese beer and other beverages available. Iced Japanese green tea ($5) is free-flow and that’s what we went for.
All in all, a nice place for steamboat – service was good and the outlet appears to be well-ventilated (but then again it wasn’t packed on a weekday evening). And the cost for two persons came up to $150 and if I’m not mistaken, min of two pax is a requisite. Only qualm is the location as it’s much more practical for people with cars. Getting a cab to and fro during peak hours can be quite a chore these days. Thank goodness, the shabu shabu was worth it. Shall wait and see if we would want to try their Sukiyaki on another day…