By John Carter
If you want to try good quality meat savored the Japanese way, then Shabu Kichi is the place to go. The shop is nicely hidden from the busy business street of Chuo-dori and a mere 3 minutes’ walk from Honmachi Subway Station.
This homely looking restaurant is easily missed, so try to look out for the words “しゃぶ吉”- Shabu Kichi, on the small entrance’s faint colored curtain or the black signboard on top of the shop. The restaurant has counter seats for up to 6 and a space with four tables enough to fit about 20 people. I particularly like the cozy and at-home kind of feeling of this 33 year old restaurant.
Shabu Kichi is run by a young couple and they are very particular about the ingredients that goes into every dish served. This small restaurant serves Shabu-shabu and Sukiyaki with one of the highest quality A4 and A5 ranked Saga beef and Miyazaki pork. Shabu-shabu and Sukiyaki are two very famous hotpot dishes served in Japan. The freshness of the other ingredients like the fish and vegetables also are guaranteed as the owner chef himself handpicks them daily from Senshu Market in the southern part Osaka.
I was here for dinner with my friends and we ordered the Beef Shabu-shabu course dinner. The course came with a starter, a dish of fresh sashimi, shabu-shabu and rice at the end. The starter for the day was a “chawan mushi” steamed egg custard dish. After living for more than 7 years in Japan, I can say this is one of the best chawan mushi that I’ve ever tasted!! The creative owner had a big chunk of sea urchin and fresh crab meat as the toppings. I am not a big fan of sea urchins but the creamy blend of sea urchin with the softly steamed egg with the crab is indeed a masterpiece! The starter changes daily depending on the fresh ingredients available and the creativity of the chef!
And yes of course, the star of the day was the Shabu-shabu. The premium beef is thinly sliced and to eat, just dip and lightly “wave” the meat a couple of times in the boiling stock. Just a few “swishing” in the soup is good enough so as not to overcook the beef. To eat, slightly dipped the meat in restaurant’s ponzu sauce with some daikon oroshi (grated radish) for a magnificent combination! The meat literally melted in my mouth, and it tasted very smooth, with a subtle tang of sweetness that lingers on the tongue. The Shabu-shabu came with a big dish of vegetables, shiitake, udon, mochi and tofu. Shabu-shabu is indeed very healthy as we do not use any extra oil and you just relish the taste of the meat and other ingredients in the pot.
After finishing all the vegetables and meat, what is left is a very sweet and delicious pot of broth. The rice that comes in the end is put into the broth together with an egg and seaweed to make Zousui- a kind of porridge, a perfect end to a big and healthy meal!
Shabu Kichi is open for lunch too. Besides their Shabu-shabu and Sukiyaki, there are 3 types of daily lunches (Higawari). You can choose from dishes that include grilled fish, simmered vegetables, fried food and various fritters with rice and miso soup. The owner tries to create original dishes with the best quality of ingredients and even fits foreign taste bud without losing the traditional Japanese taste.
I really do recommend coming here not only for the great food and the very relaxing atmosphere. If you have 2 or 3 friends together, it is indeed a fun experience eating in front of the hot pot while chatting about what ingredients should go into the soup next.
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Hello, I am from a small town called Tangkak in Malaysia. It was my dream since young to come to Japan and I was given the opportunity in 2005 to come to Japan for a 3 year graduate program. But little did I know that I would I end up extending my stay here. Since, I’ve lived in Tokushima, Tokyo and now Osaka. I was and STILL am mesmerized with the culture, beauty and mostly the people here in Japan. I love travelling and just be absorbed with the uniqueness in Japan. It’s always fun to discover a new place or find a nice restaurant to dine in, and I hope to share them with you here. Let’s discover Japan with JapanTourist.jp!Contactemail: firstname.lastname@example.org ID: jeannieganfacebook: JapanTourist-Osaka