A few weeks ago, we were invited to check out this Shabu-Shabu restaurant in Circuit Makati. I was a bit hesitant because, well, it’s shabu-shabu. It’s not something I would normally look for to eat, and it reminds me of our senior citizen relatives because shabu-shabu is this traditional, communal healthy eating thing that they’re so fond of.
NOT YOUR GRANDMA’S HOTPOT
But you know what, while J and I were eating shabu-shabu, I realized that I did miss having hotpot with my family! Nostalgia aside, Shabu Shabu Ichiban is definitely a more modern take on this interactive meal, and even features 24 different soup bases! Definitely not just for grandma!
This branch in Circuit Makati is the first Shabu Shabu Ichiban branch in Metro Manila. Shabu Shabu Ichiban is a small, but popular, restaurant chain in Nagoya, Japan. The Circuit Makati branch just opened late last year. They also have a branch in Cebu.
WHAT IS SHABU SHABU OR HOTPOT?
For shabu shabu newbies, shabu shabu is a meal where you cook your raw food in boiling liquid, originally water, but now often some type of broth or soup base.
The boiling soup is usually placed in the middle of the table on some sort of burner, but in Shabu Shabu Ichiban, they use an induction cooker. You are served raw food, and you cook the food by dunking them in the hot soup.
Meats are generally sliced very thin, and they cook in a few seconds. Some vegetables may need longer cooking times. Don’t dump all the meat in. Try to cook the meat one at a time, get one piece of meat with your chopsticks, swoosh it around the hot soup until it’s cooked. Don’t worry about sanitizing your chopsticks after picking up the raw meat, the heat from the simmering soup will kill any food safety concerns. Your only concern should be to avoid boiling everything to death!
If you overcook or undercook your food, there’s no one to blame but yourself!
SHABU SHABU ICHIBAN
The set meals at Shabu Shabu Ichiban are the unlimited type. You can request for unlimited refills. They have 3 sets – Set A, Set B and Set C.
- Set A includes a shorter list of dishes that are included.
- Set B has more meat dishes + chicken wings + sushi / sashimi + tempura + more…
- Set C has everything + the King Crab legs!
Here’s the menu and prices:
They have a no leftover policy, and they charge P200/person if you don’t finish everything.
If you don’t want to spend too much per person but still want to try the King Crab legs, you can get the Set B and then just have an a la carte order of the King Crab legs.
Oh my shabu shabu! We got the Set B + King Crab and it was so much food for just the 2 of us, and we really, really tried to eat them all! It’s best to go with a group of at least 4 people!
Shabu Shabu Ichiban has 24 soup bases to choose from! You can choose 2 for your table. We chose the Basil Cream soup base and the Spicy Szechuan.
Here’s what our final spread looked like:
Soup and veggies:
For the meats (Beef Short Plate, US Angus Chuck Eye Roll, and Boston Butt Pork Shoulder):
Chicken Leg Quarters and Chicken and Pork Dumplings:
You just drop the dumplings into the soup like meatballs.
King Crab Legs!
The King Crab Legs are real, not imitation. However, they seem to have been brined or something to enable them to be stored for longer periods. It’s too prohibitive to cook fresh crab legs from live crabs every time someone orders one, and King Crabs are not available the whole year, too. They can only be fished at certain times of the year. Most people won’t even notice or mind the difference.
I really liked these Kushikatsu, skewered ground meat things that have been breaded and fried:
Assorted sushi and sashimi:
They also serve edamame and various sauces you can dip your cooked food in:
Damn, I’m getting hungry…
Some of the assorted balls have fillings!
Ladles are provided, and I do recommend trying the soup as well, because they are really flavorful:
Shabu Shabu Ichiban was actually more fun than I expected. It’s not the boring hotpot experience that I thought it would be. The Sets are complete and provide enough variety of food. The interactive nature of the meal will be fun for small groups.
Price-wise, it’s value for money. You get unlimited refills of the food! The food is actually pretty good, too. Meatlovers will enjoy the unlimited meat, I enjoyed the assorted balls and the flavorful soups.
As of my visit, parking was still FREE at Circuit Makati!
Shabu Shabu Ichiban
Ground Floor, Circuit Makati, Olympia, Makati City
Contact Number: (02) 772 8085
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The Barat Queen
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