Restaurant review: Shabu Hot Pot and Noodle House

Kelly Rosenblatt, Editor-in-Chief

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The shopping centers along Anderson Lane are booming with business from all of the hot new restaurants popping up around the area. From Hop Doddy to Madam Mam’s, the restaurants in the area are full of people from all over the city seeking out the newest place to eat. Nestled into this new Austin restaurant meca is Shabu, an Asian noodle and hot pot house. Hot pot meals consist of a boiling pot of broth that is brought to the table along with the diner’s choice of noodles, vegetables, and proteins and allows one to cook each item in the broth and make their own entree. The hot pot option is a unique feature of Shabu’s menu that sets it apart from other Asian restaurants and noodle houses in the city. The hot pot isn’t the only option at Shabu however, the menu is full of delicious noodle and meat dishes along with tons of delicious appetizers from wantons to Asian-style calamari.

Upon my last visit to the restaurant, my family and I ordered the mushroom broth hot pot, an order of Singapore noodles and a variety of appetizers. For appetizers, we ordered pot stickers, pork wontons, Asian style pulled pork pockets and calamari. Among the four starters my favorites were the pulled pork pockets and the pork wontons. The pulled pork sandwiches consisted of sweet-teriyaki marinated pork packed into delicious sesame buns, served on a bed of lettuce. These mini sandwiches were a hit among all the diners I was accompanied by, both Asian food enthusiasts, and more conservative palettes. The pork wontons were one of my favorite dishes of the night. Not only were both the noodles and the pork cooked to tender perfection, the wontons were served swimming in a spicy chili peanut sauce which was both a perfect compliment to the pork wontons, and added an extra kick of flavor to the hot pot items later on in the meal.

As for the entrees, my family and I ordered the Singapore noodles and the mushroom broth hot pot with udon noodles, bok choy, cauliflower and ribeye. The Singapore noodles were full of flavor, with all of the flat pan-noodles and veggies cooked to the right level of tenderness, without being soggy. The hot pot however, was a great way to have an interactive dinner with the whole family. Each item ordered comes to the table for the diners to cook to their desired tenderness in the broth of their choice. Bok choy is one of my favorite veggies and was delicious when cooked in the mushroom broth. As a noodle lover, the udon noodles did not disappoint. Their thick shape and smooth texture added the perfect amount of starch to the dish and balanced the meal out. The ribeye was sliced paper-thin to allow for it to cook quickly in the broth. The nice thing about the meat coming separately is that it allows each person to cook their meat as long as they like, which is ideal when dining with a larger group of people. Overall the hot pot is a great option for dining with a lot of people because it allows for each person to cater to their own needs, while sharing a meal at the same time. This makes Shabu a great restaurant not only for family dinners or dates, but for big groups of friends, birthday parties, or even office dinners.

Shabu provides freshly prepared Asian noodle dishes along with a fun interactive hot-pot men for a collaborative dining experience to share with friends and family. If you are on the hunt for a new Asian restaurant to try out, whether with friends, family, or co-workers, Shabu has a great variety of dining options that is sure to impress any guest.