First off, I have to say I am SO happy February is finally here. I made it through no-alcohol-January and enjoyed my first glass of vino promptly on the 1st. I was in for another treat that night as well: my 1st Japanese shabu-shabu experience.
I hadn’t the faintest idea what a “shabu-shabu” dinner was, but I love to try out new things. So, when I was invited to come in to try out Queen Anne’s newest hot spot, Roaring Bowl, I was all game.
I would compare the experience to that of fondue; you pick your meat, you pick your sauce (or sauces), and they deliver everything to your table for your own creative cooking adventure (with an Asian twist). Mix and match meats and veggies in your own personal hot pot to achieve different flavors!
For my meat, I chose the Painted Hills Chuck Eye. Because we had seats right at the counter, I was able to watch the chef slice the meat right in front of me! My friend opted for one of Roaring Bowl’s most popular choices, the pork dumplings. I could see why after tasting them – I love a good dumpling and the hot pot process was such a unique way to serve them!
I wanted to try as many flavors as I could, so I opted for two sauces: the traditional Sukiyaki sauce and the Szechuan Peppercorn. They were both good choices for the beef, but I really liked flavors in the Szechuan Peppercorn.
Each shabu-shabu bowl is also served with a heaping plate of veggies, a bowl of rice and 2 more cold sauces to dip the meat & veggies in after cooking. DON’T SKIP THE SESAME SAUCE! Even with the great flavors the hot sauces offered, the sesame sauce completed each bite.
This adventure was so much fun, and my taste buds enjoyed the ride. I found the ambiance to be welcoming (loved the open kitchen – sit at the counter if you can!) and the value of the dishes to be fair. I would definitely recommend this place, especially for a fun date night or girls night out!