While shabu-shabu and hotpot spots that dominate the metro have Chinese influences, Shabu Shabu Shogun, a new Japanese restaurant in Makati, commands delicious presence with their simple authenticity of quality meats, broths, and sauces. Located at Creekside in Amorsolo, Shabu Shabu Shogun is eager to educate you about 'syabu-syabu' versus the more popular 'steamboat' and hotpot restos we're more familiar with.
Shabu Shabu Shogun
Authentic Japanese Shabu-Shabu is now in Manila
'The reason why we called it 'shogun' is that in here, you guys are the generals, and the one in charge,' shares owner Lucas Britanico. Shabu-shabu is the Japanese term for 'swish-swish,' the sound one makes when using the chopsticks to mix the ingredients back and forth in the hot broth.
'The focus here, and the focus on any authentic Japanese shabu-shabu place is the quality of the meat,' Lucas adds. Unlike Chinese hotpots where there are a multitude of veggies, proteins, sauces, and other add-ons to dump into your broth, Shabu Shabu shogun goes Japanese minimalist rather than feeding you fancy, offering only either pork or beef (no seafood) to go along with a set of vegetables, and rice or udon noodles.
Sets are priced according to the type of pork (selected pork or Kagoshima Kurobuta) or beef (selected beef or Special Wagyu). Each set has 150g of the chosen meat, and you can also have half servings of each type of pork and beef (75g+75g) to taste the difference.
Thinly sliced meat and vegetables for your shabu shabu or sukiyaki
You can choose among two kinds of hotpot sets: 'Syabu syabu' (or Shabu-shabu) and Sukiyaki. These two styles of Japanese dishes are similar with their thin slices of pork or beef, tofu, and vegetables, and that they are prepared and boiled at your table. Shabu-shabu fills the hot pot with kombu dashi broth, while sukiyaki is swimming in a soy sauce based sweet sauce in a smaller amount (not as soup), hence a more shallow pot.
Syabu Syabu Sets for pork come in Special Selected Pork (P490), Kagoshima Kurobuta & Selected Pork 75+75g (P750), and Kagoshima Kurobuta (P995)
Syabu Syabu Sets for beef come in Special Selected Beef (P550), Special Wagyu and Selected Beef 75+75g (P995), and Special Wagyu Beef (P1,700)
Also, before the sukiyaki meat is eaten, they are traditionally lighlty dipped in a bowl of raw egg that you beat with your chopsticks. No worries on salmonella, folks--the heat on your cooked ingredients kills bacteria. Or if you're not too keen on the texture of raw eggs, you can always skip it. You're the shogun here, after all.
Sukiyaki Sets in Beef come in Special Selected Beef (P580), Special Wagyu & Selected Beef 75+75g (P995), and Special Wagyu (P1,700)
Sukiyaki Sets in Pork come in Special Selected Pork (P520), Kagoshima Kurobuta & Selected Pork 75+75g (P750), and Kagoshima Kurobuta (P995)
Britanico's Japanese business partner, Yosuke Boingo Kawada, is behind formulating the broths and the sauces to give your shabu-shabu experience a unique flavor. There are three kinds of sauces for every order, and each sauce, according to Lucas, represents one of the owners: the dark sauce represents Kawada-san, the brown peanut sauce represents Lucas, and the other Japanese owner, Susumu Sakai, gets the red spicy sauce.
Spicy, dark, and brown sauces, and a bowl of raw egg
'The sauces are something we formulated by ourselves. We traveled to Tokyo to try the restaurants, and also went all over Manila. We just couldn't find the sauces that would fit what we wanted,' Lucas adds. His favorite thing to do is to mix all three sauces, each lending different profiles: salty, sweet, nutty, and spicy. If you're going for the sukiyaki (a must-try with its excellent combination of sweet-salty broth), you need not dip the meat in any of the three sauces, actually, as the flavors are already pronounced.
And as you reign supreme at this shabu-shabu spot as its hungry general, you get to mix and match to please your palate just the way you like. Instead of a sword, your Shogun self gets the mighty chopsticks as weapon of choice, and an impressive arsenal of quality meats, broths, and sauces, so you can swish-swish your way into a delicious, Japanese feast.
Shabu Shabu Shogun is located at Creekside building (near Makati Cinema Square), Amorsolo Street corner V.A. Rufino Street, Makati. Open Monday to Friday for lunch (12nn-2pm) and dinner (6pm-11pm), open Saturday and Sunday for dinner (5pm-11pm). Like them in Facebook (/shabushabushogunmakati) for more information.