Shabuway in San Mateo

Shabuway is a fairly new Japanese Shabu Shabu place in downtown San Mateo. I have not really had any authentic Japanese shabu shabu before. My only exposure have been through the Taiwanese versions of Shabu Shabu which was very popular in Taiwan when they were first introduced there many years ago.

So when I first heard about this place, I wanted to give it a try to see if it will bring back memories of those wonderful shabu shabu I had in Taiwan.

I ordered the standard beef shabu shabu. The broth, surprisingly, was just plain water unlike those in Taiwan which were usually chicken stock based broth with flavor.

The thinly sliced beef came on a plate well arranged. The veggie plate had several ingredients such as cabbage, mushroom, spinach, tofu, and a little bit of udon noodles. All this was very similar to the Taiwanese version.

However, the similarity ended there. The beef, though nicely marbled and looked very good, was not very tender. I don’t think it is top quality beef. It was not bad but just didn’t wow me – maybe I had too high an expectation. The dipping mixture of mixed soy sauce and garlic were good, but due to the water based broth, the entire meal did not taste that good as I had remembered the Taiwanese versions. (B)

One day maybe a Taiwanese shabu shabu will open in bay area. Or maybe one of the popular Chinese hot pot chains from L.A. will come here. But for now, I’ll stick with Ninji Ma La in Newark.

I guess I’m just used to the more intensive flavors of Taiwanese shabu shabu and the various varieties of Chinese hot pot. Probably for the same reason I also prefer Sukiyaki more than the regular Japanese shabu shabu.

Speaking of Sukiyaki, is there a good place for that around the bay area?

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