If you're looking for a unique dining adventure in Midtown Sacramento, look no further than Shabu Japanese Fondue. This is not your typical Japanese restaurant because it specializes in shabu-shabu. You can still get sushi or noodles or salads or curry, but cooking your own meal at the table is what makes this restaurant special. And it's good for your health, too.
First, you choose your broth. You can have miso or a soy sauce based broth. It can be spicy or original. Chicken broth or kelp based. If you share a table and your dining partner's choice in broth differs from yours, you can order a split pot. They actually put this pot in the middle of the table with a divider in the center that separates the two types of broth (see photo). We ordered spicy. My husband prefers the miso while I chose the soy sauce. Little red and white chili pepper seeds floated in our sauces.
There isn't much to do while you wait for your broth to simmer. You can stick your chopsticks into the broth and stir it around, which seems to speed up the simmering process. Taste the chili seeds. Drum on the table with your chopsticks. Or, you can do what we did which was order a side of edamane to munch on while you wait.
Sometimes, my husband will order shabu-shabu when it's on the menu at a Japanese restaurant in San Francisco. But it's not a menu selection that's always available at Japanese restaurants. It's nice when you can find it. In a traditional Japanese restaurant, your pot is brought to the table and heated by a mobile propane burner. At Shabu Japanese Fondue, the burner is built in to the table and to the long bar.
I say it's a healthful meal even with the noodles, but I ordered mine without noodles and without a side of rice. Low carb. A plate arrived with vegetables, consisting of shitaki mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, tofu, spinach, some sprouty things that were probably enoki, and bok choy. As my veggies cooked, another plate arrived with thin slices of American Kobe beef. The server brought a scoop for spooning the soup into a bowl. A little dunk into the broth with the beef, and dinner was ready. It takes about 2 seconds to cook the beef, swish-swish.
You can order a bunch of different types of sides if you don't like beef. You can get chicken, lamb, pork, or a variety of seafood. You might think that eating soup, which is essentially what shabu-shabu is all about, is not enough for dinner. But let me tell you, I pretty much had to roll out of that restaurant.
Shabu Japanese Fondue
Corner of 16th and R Streets
Photo: Elizabeth Weintraub, Midtown Sacramento agent
Certified HAFA Specialist
Sacramento Real Estate Listings
Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying columnist for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a Land Park real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 35 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. DRE License # 00697006.
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