Shabu Tatsu Downtown

08. February 2003 East Village, Japanese 0

216 East 10th Street between First and Second
about $75 for two prix fixes, with two drinks, without tip
♥ ♥ ♥

Shabu in Japanese means “to swish,” and when you’re at shabu-shabu, swishing your chopsticks to mix in fresh minced ginger and scallions together with the cabbage, watercress, mushrooms and thinly-sliced ribeye beef in a steaming pot of broth is exactly what you do. Pick up a few slices of raw beef using your chopsticks, swish in the broth for a few seconds, pick them up and dip in a sesame-based sauce and eat them with sticky white rice. Before your meal ends, small cups are provided so you can ladle the broth, which now tastes like beef extract, and slurp it like soup with thin or flat noodles and seasoned with salt and pepper.

A prix fixe of shabu-shabu for two with salad and ginger dressing, rice and ice cream is about $20 per person. It’s even better if you’re with a big group because the whole concept of swishing and sharing becomes more fun. I crave eating at Shabu Tatsu in the summer even if it’s too hot to slurp hot broth, but I especially pine for it during the cold winter months when the only comfort I can turn to is a comforting bowl of soup.