Several years ago, when I first starting watching Iron Chef (of which I’ve tired), there were frequent references to serving items shabu shabu style , in which thinly sliced meat and veggies are served along with simmering broth, and you prepare your meal by swishing the meat in the broth. Basically, making your own soup at the table. It sounded intriguing, but, until recently, I didn’t have much of an opportunity to try it out.
However, after a recent BeerAdvocate event in Boston, a group of us were looking for some interesting dining in Chinatown, and I recalled hearing of a Shabu-shabu joint that had decent reviews. And, indeed, at 16 Tyler Street (across the parking lot from the Bao Bao Bakery where we always get our post-beer-festival bubble tea), was Shabu Zen.
Shabu Zen is pretty cool. You order your meat (raw), your broth (either the standard, or one of the special broths), and they bring it out to you on a plate with a bunch of veggies and sides. You simply swish the meat or vegetable in the broth until cooked to your satisfaction, dip it in some dipping sauce, and enjoy.
The quality at Shabu Zen is very good, especially for meat quality. The sirloin (shown) was decently marbled. The rib meat was very tender, as was the pork. And the side veggies were all fresh, crisp, and clean. A very good dining experience, and fun with groups.
16 Tyler St
Boston, MA 02111-1923