Sherman's Food Adventures: Shaburina


It was almost exactly one year to the day that I had last dined at Shaburina in Redmond (more like Bellevue).  So why am I blogging about it again?  Also, why did I revisit a restaurant, especially one out-of-town?  Well, we really enjoyed out last visit and just like Mr. BBQ out in Fullerton, we just had to go back.  Featuring all-you-can-eat Shabu Shabu, there are 3 options for dinner: Buffet Bar Only ($30.00), House Course ($39.00) or Premium Course ($55.00).  We went for the mid-priced option (like last time).

Included in the price is your choice of broth including original Kombu, Sukiyaki, Creamy Vegetable, Spicy Miso or the broth of the day (Mala).  I went for the Spicy Miso and yes it did have a kick, especially when it began to cook down.  I would say the spiciness did overshadow the fermented taste of miso.  Viv tried the Mala and it was less spicy and had more of a smokiness.  The kids had the Sukiyaki and Kombu where they were naturally mild compared to the spicy choices.  They weren't too salty which was good.

Similar to many hot pot-like places these days, there is a Sauce bar.  Here, you can create your own signature dipping sauce to compliment your food.  There are many options including Jingisukan, Chef's Special (looked like a sesame soy), Ponzu, Rotating Sauce (looked like a spicy vinegar) Sweet Chili, Goma Tare and various bottled items such as vinegar, sesame oil, sriraccha, chili oil and soy.  Of course, we find things like cilantro, green onion, fried garlic, fresh garlic and chili peppers as well.

Onto the meats, we actually asked for less to start because the last time, we had all 4 options per person and it was a bit too much.  They included Beef Shortplate, Beef Chuck, Pork Shoulder and Pork Belly.  I guess we were hungry this time since we got 6 sets of 4 when we were done.  We loved the shortplate as it was fatty and tender while the pork belly was just as fatty.  Overall, the meats were good.

The Buffet Bar consists of 2 sections including the predominantly vegetable and vegetarian-focused portion.  In addition to leafy greens, potato, tomato, squash and corn, we also find quail's eggs, tofu puffs, wood ear mushrooms, tofu and vegetarian wontons.  Everything here is fresh, well-organized and always refilled.

At the other side of the bar, we find an array of items including imitation crab stick, meatballs, Spam, shrimp, clams, baby octopus, bay scallops and various noodles including instant ramen, udon, mung bean noodles and egg noodles.  I believe this is a rather generous assortment of items that compliment the meats well, especially for the price.

At the end of the meal, we were served a Soft-Serve Ice Cream Cone to go.  Last time, the machine was broken, so we weren't able to try this.  I would say the ice cream was moderately creamy with a strong taste of vanilla.  It was the perfect thing to cool things down from the boiling soup (especially the spicy ones).  Overall, it was a delicious return visit to Shaburina and it won't be our last.  Prices are reasonable for the quality of food while the service is top-notch.

The Good:
- Reasonably-priced
- Good quality
- Excellent service

The Bad:
- Even though we got a bigger table this time, it is still a bit tight for space to put your plates, sauces and drinks


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