A pot of boiling, steamy broth waiting to be flavored with various meats, vegetables, seafood and so many other things… that is the type of comfort food no tomato soup and grilled cheese could ever replace. Accompanied with a bowl of rice or noodles, you can taste your uniquely flavored soup at the final stage of the meal with a feeling of accomplishment; you made that broth, top chef!
If you are a “hot pot” or “shabu” first timer, here’s a quick run down of what you’re missing out on. This style of cooking comes from either Mongolia or China (still unknown) where you have a pot of simmering water or stock and an assortment of raw vegetables, meats and seafood. You cook them by dipping the foods in the hot water or broth and dab on some soy dipping sauce and other yummy condiments after; minced garlic, chilies, soybean paste, green scallions, and more. Life is all about enjoying simple pleasures, and there is nothing easier than dipping raw food in hot broth. Really!
I went to Swish Shabu in Fenway for lunch with some lovely Yelpers: Nicole V. and Alex B. (They have some great recommendations if you’re looking for good eats) As always, they picked a fantastic place for lunch. Although I usually go to the buffets because it’s $20 per person, all-you-can-eat, the quality is mediocre and the quantity is the only thing it has going for it. Over time, I learned with the right amount of people and a couple orders of high quality ingredients, you pay the same price or less compared to a buffet.
Vibrant and fresh greens, beautifully marbled red meat, and you know- other stuff, like ostrich meat and cow tongue. Can you do me a favor before you start to feel squeamish and freaked out though? Give it a shot. The cow tongue was one of my favorite plates and you won’t even think about feeling taste buds against yours at all. I’m sure that didn’t help, but that was for my personal amusement. Anyways, all the dishes were not portioned to fill you quickly, but sized in a great way that allows you to enjoy a variety of foods. For us, we were very happy with every dish and the massive amount of vegetables accompanying them. As for the ostrich meat, it was delightfully game-y and incredibly lean. It’s always fun to try something new.
When I looked at each dish’s price, I was ready to spend some money- $20 for a beef plate? Eek! But no, not that bad at all. Somehow, our table of four was very content and completely satisfied, all with a $66 bill. Not too shabby!
On top of the great food and surprisingly great price, our waitress was wonderful. She always had a smile on her face, filled our waters when they were half way through, and asked if we were enjoying our meal without being overbearing. It seems like the staff at Swish Shabu are all sweet, friendly, and accommodating while being efficient. Perfect.
All in all, I really enjoyed having hot pot here. Thanks to Nicole V. and Alex B., I now have another restaurant that I can happily recommend to others!
I double dare you to try beef tongue at Swish Shabu.
Total Meal: $66
Servings: 4 people