Swish... swish the sound of thinly sliced premium meat slipping through hot broth. In this chilly rainy season a nice shabu shabu will warm you right up. But if you're not a fan of hot broths don't worry, the other Japanese dishes on the menu are equally good too.
The rib-eye is a rich red with veins of marbling
Menara Hap Seng, Suite 1-19, 1st floor Podium. There are also branches at Jaya 33 and Hartamas Shopping Centre
Tel: 03 2141 6332
Fresh meat and vegetables
A little on the costly side if you do the shabu shabu
We gasped at the delectable paper thin strips of top quality meat fanned before us…It was heaven! Rich red rib-eye slices, perfectly marbled pink strips of Kobe beef, vibrant orange-pink sashimi style salmon, and beautifully minced duck…The bubbling broth beckoned for the meat to be dunked in and we were eager to comply…we were rewarded with tender mouthfuls of incredibly tasty meat…pure bliss! This type of cuisine is known as shabu-shabu.
Often when we think about Japanese food our minds go straight to sushi, sashimi, or even Teppanyaki. Shabu-shabu is a lesser known style of Japanese cuisine which translates to 'swish-swish' referring to the action when cooking the thinly sliced pieces of fresh meat in pots of boiling homemade broth. It is similar to steamboat in the style of cooking but the flavours are a world apart.
As I sip on my fresh all natural cooling cucumber juice a server stops at my table and pours the broth of my choice from a kettle with a long spout into my hot pot. There are three different broths to choose from; the Nagomi signature broth which is the base for the other broths, a chicken broth, or a spicy one. There are three at our table and so we agree to each get a different broth to see how different they taste. I go with their signature broth and I click my hot pot on and I wait for it to boil.
Instead of watching it boil and teasing our growling tummies we ordered a few small dishes to keep our hunger at bay. We got the mango salad, the soft shell crab maki, salmon sashimi and the kisu karaage a small battered deep fried fish. The mango salad is refreshing with strips of juicy sweet mango tossed with crabsticks, succulent prawns and thin strips of salmon sashimi. The soft shell crab is crisp with sushi rice and seaweed wrapped around it. The kisu karaage are crunchy and wonderful when dipped in the variety of dipping sauces offered. Everything is fresh and the delicate presentation of the food is true to Japanese culture.
Once the broth starts to boil, the raw vegetables and meat arrive. The vegetables are arranged and cut in intricate designs and the paper thin strips of meat are fanned out beautifully. I’ve ordered the rib-eye, the duck strips and meatballs and for a little luxury, the Kobe beef. The rib-eye is a rich red and perfectly marbled. All of the minced duck is formed like a volcano and a raw egg cracked into the middle of it. The server expertly mixes the egg with the minced meat and forms the meatballs with two spoons. The Kobe beef is a deep pink with excellent marbling promising to be a tender treat.
There is a little leaflet provided to every customer that teaches you how to get the best flavour out of the whole experience. First you have to put the cabbage, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and leeks into the broth and let that simmer for a while to flavour the soup. Next you pick up your meat of choice with your chopsticks and swish it back and forth in the boiling broth till your preferred done-ness. After that you dip the meat in the different sauces; Ponzu, Goma, or chilli.
I greedily put my vegetables in the pot and as soon as they start to cook I swish my meat around getting them to a perfect-medium done-ness. I’m so excited to try the meat that I ignore the fact that is it literally boiling hot…despite scalding my tongue a little I can’t help but smile. The meat is sublime…it doesn’t even need the accompanying sauces. Once I’ve finished the meat and vegetables I read over the leaflet which tells me the last step is to pour some rice into the leftover broth and let it simmer. The soup at this point in time is rich with flavour and nutrients; simply wonderful!
Shabu-shabu is a Japanese treat that is not only delicious but very healthy as well since there is no oil or frying involved. This is certainly something I’ll be going back for.