I first dined at Mr Shabu Shabu in New Acton about 3 years ago and remembered it was a good cheap meal. I went back with some friends for a pre-show dinner and knew I’d want another shabu shabu as it was a freezing night. Shabu shabu is a dish of thinly sliced meat and vegetables cooked in a broth.
That night, I ordered the pork shabu shabu ($14.50). Everything came out together (impressive as there were 8 of us) so we didn’t wait long before tucking into our meals. A black iron pot filled with broth sits on a portable burner and is lit underneath with some kind of blue gel that burns slowly, keeping your broth constantly hot. There were about 6 slices of pork meat, vermicelli noodles hidden underneath, enoki and Chinese mushrooms, cold seaweed salad, a vegetable spring roll, bowl of rice and a peanutty satay sauce.
The broth is quite transparent and there was cabbage and carrots already steaming inside. Similar to a Chinese steamboat dinner, you cook your meat and vegetables in the broth. Note: don’t cook it ALL at once. One thin slice only takes about 30 seconds to cook and there’s not much room to place your cooked meat and veg in the small bowls provided. The good thing is you can take your time since your broth is always hot. I love the tartness of the seaweed salad and wanted more. The spring roll is very plain but is a nice crunchy element to the meal.
I couldn’t remember how big a serving it was (before it came out) and ordered a few more items to make sure I was full ;p The shabu shabu doesn’t come with noodles so I ordered a side of udon ($2), as well as gyoza ($3) and salmon sashimi ($4.50). I was surprised to see a whole bowl filled with udon and small cubes of tofu – great value for only $2.
The gyoza came in a serve of three with a bit of soy sauce drizzled on top. These were crunchy on the outside and the filling was stuffed with cabbage and chives.
I was happy with the three large thick-cut slices of beautiful salmon sashimi.
Most of the others ordered a shabu shabu variety too (chicken or beef). My partner ordered the beef but noticed he only received three slices. The same condiments were provided.
Another friend ordered the teriyaki chicken set ($14.80) which came with rice, seaweed salad and a spring roll.
D ordered the beef ramen ($11.80) which had enoki mushrooms, slices of radish, corn kernels and some seaweed.
Other items on the menu include various ‘don’ sets, ramen and udon dishes, nigiri sushi and Asian flavoured ice creams such as green tea, black sesame and red bean. Our large group were seated in the front half of the restaurant. There are additional tables in the back section too.
Simple fit out, friendly and quick service, and cheap food that warms you up on a cold night. What more can you ask for?