Along with sukiyaki (thin slices of beef cooked with various ingredients), shabu-shabu (thinly sliced meat and vegetables that are boiled quickly and dipped in sauce) is a famous hot pot dish that represents Japanese cuisine. There are many famous shabu-shabu joints in Tokyo, but below are the five shops that are highly recommended!
1. Ningyocho Imahan Honten
Founded in 1895, Ningyocho Imahan is a famous shop that has been operating in the area since 1952. It is particular about the pedigree of the cow, as they only use special branded beef from farmers that put passion and love into raising their cows. This shop exclusively uses cow meat, as it has softer fat and meat than bulls, as well as a melt-in-your-mouth goodness thanks to its low melting point. Here, you can enjoy meat with refined flavors to your heart’s content. English menus are available.
Sample menu: Shabu-shabu Tokujo (Special Shabu-Shabu) (8,100 JPY (incl. tax, excl. service charge)), etc.
2. Ginza Shabutsu Yoshinosasa
This is a shop that is famous for its relaxing space, which has a view of the nightscape in Ginza. Their orthodox shabu-shabu is popular, but the Mushi Shabu is what’s highly recommended. It consists of beef and vegetables that have been put into a seiro (steaming basket), and then steamed. Eat it with refreshing ponzu (sauce made from soy sauce and citrus juice) or thick gomadare (sesame dip) that is flavored with more than 20 spices. English menus and English-speaking staff are available.
Sample menu: Matsusakagyu/Kurobuta/Aigamo Sanshu no Mushi Shabu (or Shabu-shabu) (Steamed Shabu-shabu with Matsusaka Beef, Berkshire Pork, and Duck) (7,000 JPY (incl. tax, have to pay service charge for dinner)), etc.
3. Seryna Honten
Seryna Honten is a famous shop with a refined atmosphere. It uses the world-famous Kobe beef, but not just any Kobe beef, as it is particular about using only beef from cattle with superior bloodlines. Enjoy the pleasant feel of the meat in your mouth and savor its sumptuous taste. The Kani Shabu-Shabu (crab shabu-shabu) (10,800 JPY (incl. tax, excl. service charge) that comes with plump and succulent crabs is also popular here. English menus and English-speaking staff are available.
Sample menu: Kobe-gyu Shabu-shabu (Kobe Beef Shabu-shabu) (19,440 JPY (incl. tax, excl. service charge)), etc.
4. Zakuro Ginza Branch
Zakuro is a famous shop that boasts prime location, as it is just a minute’s walk from Ginza Station. Here, the beef that is used is limited to special Japanese Black or Kobe beef with a grade of A4 or higher. The shop’s original gomadare sauce brings out the supple texture and full-bodied goodness of the beef. English menus and English-speaking staff available.
Sample menu: Shabu-shabu Teishoku (Kichi) A4-tokyu (Grade A4 Shabu-shabu Meal) (13,000 JPY (excl. tax)), etc.
Shabugen is a shop that boasts such high popularity due to its stylish atmosphere. Shabu-shabu is normally put in a large pot and eaten by a number of people, but at this restaurant, they serve shabu-shabu for solo diners. The freedom to eat at your own pace appeals to a lot of customers. You can dip the shabu-shabu in a special ponzu sauce or spicy gomadare. English menus are available.
Sample menu: Matsusakagyu Course (8,800 JPY (excl. tax)), etc.
There are many shops that offer casual-style shabu-shabu buffets, but you must try and experience the authentic taste by visiting any of the shops featured in this article at least once!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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