Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

SHABU-TATSU, 216 East 10th Street (between Second Avenue and First Avenue), East Village

There’s no question that the star of the show at Shabu-Tatsu is the DIY shabu shabu, yakiniku, and sukiyaki dishes. Imagine fondue meets Korean BBQ and you have this interactive Japanese meal. Shabu shabu (which translates to “swish swish”) comes with a monster plate of vegetables, noodles, and thinly sliced raw meat. It’s up to you the diner to choose what you want to swish into a boiling pot of water in the center of the table to cook up. Then dip it in ponzu sauce and enjoy. Swish swish indeed.

You can partake in this unqiue dining experience at a few places in New York, but judging from the long lines outside the East Village Shabu-Tatsu, this is might be the most popular (or just the smallest). It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a lot of fun and the ribeye ends up being quite flavorful with all the sauces.

Most people might not even notice that Shabu-Tatsu also offers a long list of appetizers, side dishes, and Korean entrees. But I’m sure glad we noticed because the Pork Kakuni is a must order. Even more so then the namesake dish.

Pork Kakuni at SHABU-TATSUThe pork belly must be simmered for a very long time (as the menu suggests) because the meat doesn’t stand a chance to the touch of a chopstick. Textures are soft and crisp without a hint of that unpleasant fattiness that often accompany pork belly dishes. It gives off a meaty caramelized flavor which is balanced by the garnish of hot mustard and the potent green onion slices.

Perhaps the line of people outside Shabu-Tatsu are waiting not just for the playful culinary experience, but for the undersung appetizer list as well.

SHABU-TATSU
216 East 10th Street (between Second and First Avenue),
East Village
(212) 477-2972
shabutatsu.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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