I was treated by a friend to a late (because I was late for our meeting time) lunch of Shabu-Shabu at Thousand Cranes in Trinoma. We were both very excited since it was our first time eating shabu-shabu and also eating in thousand cranes.
Shabu-Shabu is a Japanese variant of hot pot. It is similar to sukiyaki in style but is more savory and less sweet. It roughly translates to "swish-swish" (the swishing sound it makes while submerging the thin slice of meat or a piece of vegetable in the pot of dashi, back and forth) where it got its name. --- Wikipedia
The crane in Japan is one of the mystical body or holy beasts (include the tortoise and dragon) and is said to live for a thousand years. An ancient Japanese legend promises anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life, recovery from illness or injury. --- Wikipedia
Since shabu-shabu is considered a winter dish, it was 'bout right to eat it that day, when it was raining hard outside.
It was very cold outside, more so inside the restaurant, that eating something hot was truly appreciated.
Since it was just us two, we ordered the Meat Deluxe P760 from their Super Shabu-Shabu Special (good for 2 persons).
It has U.S. Angus, Australian Lamb, Beef Tenderloin and Pork Loin. It also has an assortment of vegetables (mushrooms, tofu, corn, cabbage), hawker stuff (lobster balls, squid rolls, crab sticks, etc.) and noodles (vermicelli and egg)
And since it was our first time, we don't know what to do and how to do it. Fortunately the staff were very helpful, teaching us how to do it step by step, apart from the how-to guide on our table.
And here's how:
First, boil the special soup.
They use native chicken broth. They also have an assortment of finely chopped chilis, garlic and onions, half of which are mixed together with half of the BBQ sauce and their special sauce in the soup. The other halves are to be put on the dipping sauce.
An egg is also cracked and swished around at this point.
Second, Put the ingredients one at a time. Put first the items that take the longest to cook.
In our case, it was the corn and taro.
Third, submerged the thin slice of meat or a piece of vegetable and swish it back and forth until cooked (doneness varies according to your preference).
Don't forget to dip the cooked meat into the special sauce for a better taste.
Fourth, put the vermicelli and egg noodles, cooked up to the point of doneness (also based on your preference).
It was an enjoyable experience for both of us, even if as Bill Murray's character said on a scene in Lost in Translation of "what kind of a restaurant makes you cook your own food?", in our case we enjoyed cooking and especially eating our food.
The broth was very tasty, especially when dashed with a little bit of their special sauce. The meats though thinly sliced were tasty and flavorful even sans the sauce.
The menu said that it is good for two people, personally I think it should be 3-4. We had more than a quarter of it left.
Though it was our first time eating shabu-shabu, we both enjoyed the experience and the taste, we can't wait to have it again (maybe this time with lobsters =) ).
Level 4 Trinoma,
North Avenue cor. Edsa