Friday, October 23, 2009

Katte Shabushabu 勝手

I haven't cooked in a long while and this evening I wanted to all of a sudden. Being the lazy person that I am, in order to get the best of both worlds, hot pot / Japanese shabu shabu was the best choice whereby I can fulfill my desire to cook and to explore new establishments at the same time. The whole store front was transparent with a huge glass wall which I think is a good way to promote itself via the display window. The layout of the tables (or long bar table) reminds me of Restaurant City @ Facebook whereby the waiter / staff would deliver and serve dishes inside the enclosed aisle for greater efficiency. Anyways ...

Each guest has his/her individual pot in front of the "bar table." Among the choices on the menu, we picked the set dinners because we were too lazy to order individual items. The set came with a main dish (see below), the choice of soup bases and some side items such as assorted vegetables.

(1) Soup Bases
My friend picked the Clear Red Snapper soup (Left Picture) and I picked the Fish and Kelp Soup (Right Picture). Mine was more of a clear soup based which I like and the Clear Red Snapper soup wasn't as clear as I expected. I tried both soup bases from the start but realized that both were lightly flavored. Apparently, as informed by one of the owners present there that evening, it was intentional to keep the soup base rather light to start with because it will get to be more rich and strong after the meal. It was after the meal when the soup should be consumed to get the most of out it in terms of flavors. (and I did follow the advice and enjoyed the more complex flavors of he soup at the end of the meal!)

(2) Shabu Shabu Deluxe Set
As part of the main dish of the set, the star of the show was the Miyazaki Beef Flat of Rounds (A4 Grade). It was fresh and thinly sliced. A few seconds in the boiling soup would be sufficient to bring the beef its optimal eating condition according to the CHEF of the night, which is ME! The beef would melt in your mouth but due to the light soup base, I only tasted the beef and not much of the flavors of the soup. It was as if I was cooking the beef in plain boiling water. (the Clear Red Snapper Soup was better in this perspective because it started of with a stronger flavors) If you are to order my clear soup base, I would suggest to cook some vegetables using the soup first to elevate the underlying flavors of soup base. Just a tip from Chef wannabe Jason.

(3) Shabu Shabu Seafood Set
For the seafood set, it came with Clam, Prawn, Oysters and Scallops. All items were of extra large size if you ask me. They looked fresh and tasted fresh. Again, with such shabu shabu setting and with fresh ingredients, we can all be great chefs! It was fun indeed!

All items were huge, especially the oyster!

As recommended, placing the shrimp head into the soup at the start would produce a strong and rich flavors for the soup throughout the meal, give it a try to see if it works for you!

(3) Side Items
As part of the set, it came with Assorted Vegetables, Inaniwa Udon and Clear Clam Soup as well. Not much of surprises here. The way the Udon was presented was nice but make sure you cook the Udon last so to get the most out of the soup.

The clear clam soup was rather light in flavors and was not served hot but warm instead. Not what I expected (or preferred) and a few points off for serving it warm!

(5) Japanese Pork Slices
The two main dishes we shared were not enough so we ordered an extra plate of meat. Instead of beef, we opted for pork. They were fresh and without much surprises. The beef was definitely better.

(6) Grilled OX Tongue
Now this was surprisingly delicious. The grilled OX tongue was thick and firm, carrying a very chewy sensation to it. Flavors were good as well with traces of grounded pepper all over it. I was surprised because at a place where YOU the diner is the CHEF, I did not expect cooked items to be this enjoyable. Thumbs up!

  • Fun - If you want to be a chef for a night, this is a good place to start with. The quality of the items all depend on YOU! Not much skills from the kitchen there, smart way to do business indeed.
  • Grilled OX Tongue
  • Fresh Ingredients
  • Warm clear clam soup
  • Seating arrangement quite packed
Avg Spending: Above HKD 500 per person

勝手 Katte Shabushabu
G/F, 5 Caroline Hill Rd, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Tel: 2577 2628

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Jin said...

that beef looks so good i could eat it raw! and the ox tongue looks like it's grilled to perfection. another resto to add to my list! btw, next time you have that urge to cook again, you know how to reach me! hehehe :)

Jason said...

@Jin: Yes indeed! The owner of this place opened another establishment nearby which has a large beef selection. I am yet to try, o I mean Chef Jason is yet to try!

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