Shabu-shabu – that misunderstood import of Japan often times synonymous with “old people food” where you’ll find the lolos and lolas, the titos and titas quietly enjoying an afternoon lunch or dinner while cooking their own food. Why would you even pay to cook your own food?
Shabu-Shabu Ichiban, a direct import from Nagoya, Japan, recently opened its doors at The Circuit Makati this 2016, bringing along the mantra of freshest and finest of ingredients this side of the Land of the Rising Sun. So, what makes Shabu-Shabu Ichiban different from the rest of shabu-shabu restaurants around the metro?
Skewered Bean-Paste Flavored Pork Cutlet – Php120 for 2 pieces, Php200 for 4 pieces
Japanese-style Fried Chicken Wings – Php180 for 4 pieces, Php220 for 6 pieces
They’re very family-friendly. Let’s face it: kids are just very hard to feed these days and no matter how delicious the dishes are at Shabu-Shabu Ichiban, it will be a really hard sell to feed your kid fresh raw fish and good luck with the vegetables unless they are also adventurous foodies. Luckily, they have ala carte meals, the juiciest pork cutlets and the tastiest fried chicken, and we all know that kids understand pork and chicken!
The variety of dishes! Sushi, sashimi, edamame, and ebi tempura – they have it! We’re not even at the main event yet!
Of course, they also have shabu-shabu, which is a luxurious Japanese nabemono hotpot dish or “one pot dish” often served with thinly sliced meat and vegetables. The best part is that Shabu-Shabu Ichiban has several ways of serving it that makes them a cut above the rest.
First, you’ll have to choose the stock and you’ll have 24 – I repeat: 24!!! – soup bases to choose from. We chose the tonkotsu base and the spicy miso to give off a contrast in flavor profiles.
Then you choose the package. Package A – for Php488/Php588 (weekdays) and Php688 (weekends/holidays), which is perfect for first-timers who want unlimited beef, chicken and pork. They also serve US beef short plate and US pork loin with a free set of chicken wings or pork cutlet skewers – you will definitely get your money’s worth here! You can also add a hundred pesos more for Package B, which has all the edamame and ebi tempura you can eat!
Package C – for Php 688/Php788 (weekdays) and Php888 (weekends/holidays), you can take everything from Package B and throw in some US chuck eye (Angus beef), sushi, and sashimi finished off with some fried ice cream!
Package D – Oh, Package D! Everything on the menu is thrown in and, in addition, Shabu-Shabu Ichiban is the only place I know in Manila that serves Alaskan king crab! The pièce de résistance is everything I imagined it to be: meaty, juicy, sweet, succulent and tastes unlike any crab you have tasted to this point. I finally understand why the Alaskan King Crab is such a premium item and why men are willing to die for it as seen on HBO’s Deadliest Catch!
For about Php1,788Php1,888 (weekdays) and Php1988 (weekends/ holidays), the price is not so bad, considering Package D is an eat-all-you-can package and yes, this also includes the Alaskan king crabs!
Shabu-Shabu Ichiban has something good going on here. Founded 5 years ago in Nagoya with 7 branches in Japan and now expanding with their first shop in the Philippines, they offer what the Japanese have been enjoying for years: luxurious dishes at reasonable prices! With 4 more branches opening on our shores soon, Shabu-Shabu Ichiban is definitely something to look out for whenever you want to dine not just with your lolos, lolas, titos and titas, but with your close friends, as well.
I know you want to bite it!
Here’s more good news: they are still on soft opening! Shabu-Shabu Ichiban offers a 20% discount for dine-in (cash only) customers! Follow them on social media to find out how to avail of it!
Shabu-Shabu Ichiban 一級棒日式火鍋
Circuit Lane, Circuit Makati
11:00AM – 2:30PM, 5:30PM – 10:00PM