Looking for something new to try? Well we at Eat Sxm suggest this neat new spot: Rick's Shabu Shabu, located in the Carrefour shopping center on your way to Philipsburg.
Shabu Shabu is basically a Japanese Hot Pot. Almost exactly like one of my favorite dishes; Thai Fondue! Usually Hot Pots are served with all the ingredients already added to the broth, but the joy of Shabu Shabu is cooking the ingredients yourself in the savory broth.
At Rick's you have a choice of 5 flavored broths to choose from, including the traditional seaweed broth, but my favorite is definitely the Tom Yum Kung, which is actually a Thai soup base, and yes, it's me, so yes it's spicy, and yes, I made it spicier.
After you choose your soup base, you choose your protein. The usual suspects are here, Chicken, Pork, Beef, Shrimp, Fish, Vegetable and Seafood. I've tried the chicken, pork and beef so far and my forks-down favorite is the Beef!
Your server will bring the pot of flavored broth, the raw ingredients, the sauces and some tools to your table and what a table it is. Imbedded in your table at Rick's are 4 induction cooktops (an induction cooktop only heats the pot, not table) and a center smokeless grill, yeah baby, you are gonna be cooking!
Once your pot of savory broth has reached a rolling boil, you can start to add and cook the ingredients. Add firmer items first, like the corn, mushrooms and celery. At this point I also add garlic, ginger and yes chili oil. Don't like spicy food? Don't get the spicy broth and don't add chili oil.
Ok, so now you're ready to add your protein of choice, keeping in mind that the meats are thinly sliced and require very little time to cook. The name of this dish, "Shabu Shabu" is actually the Japanese onomatopoeia for "Swish Swish", the sound the food makes when you swish the meats through the broth to cook.
Once cooked, move your ingredients to your bowl or dish and add any of the flavorings you like. Soy sauce is a must. Plus ginger, garlic, chili oil, green onions, and more. Chef it up however you like and remember not to overcook your meat! When I'm about halfway through my protein of choice, I usually add in the last ingredient, the noodles.
Now while you were cooking all those ingredients, you were actually flavoring the soup with all those delicious, delicious ingredients, and that's right baby, you have made some crazy good savory noodle soup to finish the meal. This is my favorite part! So savory, so spicy, so UMAMI!!!!
Allright, calming down now.
Now I highly recommend the Shabu Shabu if you are going to a Shabu Shabu restaurant, but in addition to this awesome hot potting, you can also fire up the Grill! Located in the center of your table, the grill produces almost no smoke, but cooks up your choice of Chicken, Pork, Pork belly, Beef, Beef short ribs and Squid in pretty short order. Your choice of protein is accompanied by a selection of veggies for your grilling pleasure. I only tried the spicy pork, but it was very good and we enjoyed the whole grilling experience.
But, My kids won't eat that. In addition to the Shabu Shabu and Asian BBQ, there are Chicken wings, Wakame salad, Fried Calamari, Rice bowls and a few other items on the menu, but more importantly if your child is very misbehaved, I would not suggest this eatery. The soup is literally boiling hot, I mean hot like the sun hot, and a poorly behaved child could hurt themselves or others. The BBQ grill however is at the center of the table and in my opinion easier and safer for kids. Just keep an eye on doneness.
The service was good, friendly and helpful, the interior is clean and understated, the simple uncluttered aesthetic is Japanese in it's sparseness if not theme, which serves to make it all about the Shabu Shabu and Grill.
The restaurant does have a liquor selection, but does not have a bartender, since I generally pair spicy food with beer, it was not a big problem for me.
Parking is in the Carrefour Shopping Plaza lot, and there should be ok parking for lunch and plenty of parking for dinner.
Will I return: Absolutely.
EatSxM Approved Badge Score: 8 out of 10.
Date Night: Yes, share the Shabu Shabu or the Grill. (The smell of meat grilling is an aphrodisiac*.)
Kid Friendly: Depends on age and individual child's behaviour.**
Safety: Located in a well lit shopping plaza, next to a very busy street but you can never be too aware of your surroundings.
Location: Very Easy to Find.
Points of Interest:
There are ATM machines on both sides of the shopping center.
There is a Gas Station across the street.
The shopping Plaza is located at a busy Roundabout Intersection.
*This is from purely personal anecdotal evidence. :)
**See above: "But my kids won't eat that."