Friday, November 07, 2008

Do the Swish!

It's deadline week and I've been bogged down with I'm posting one of the reviews I wrote for the magazine :)

Often when we think about Japanese food our minds go straight to sushi, sashimi, or even Teppanyaki. Shabu-shabu is the lesser known style of Japanese cuisine; a term which translates to swish-swish and this refers to the action when cooking the thinly sliced pieces of fresh meat (beef, chicken, salmon or duck) in pot of boiling homemade broth. Nagomi, a place whose name means ‘come and relax’, specialises in shabu-shabu with each table having personal built-in hot pots and control dials.

As I sip on my fresh all natural cooling cucumber juice a server stops at my table and pours the broth of my choice from a kettle with a long spout into my hot pot. There are three different broths to choose from; the Nagomi signature broth which is the base for the other broths, a chicken broth, or a spicy one. I go with their signature broth and I click my hot pot on and I wait for it to boil.

Instead of watching it boil and teasing my growling tummy I order a few small dishes to keep my hunger at bay:

Mango salad, refreshing with strips of juicy sweet mango tossed with crabsticks and salmon sashimi

The soft shell crab Maki, crispy deep fried crab with a blanket of sushi rice and seaweed rolled in vibrant fish roe. Excellent!
The salmon sashimi, perfectly sliced and incredibly fresh. Wonderful when dipped in the soy wasabi mix
Everything is fresh and the delicate presentation of the food is true to Japanese culture.

Once the broth starts to boil, the raw vegetables and meat arrive. The vegetables are arranged and cut in intricate designs and the paper thin strips of meat are fanned out beautifully.

I’ve ordered the rib-eye and I'm happy to see it is a rich red and is perfectly marbled

The duck strips and meatballs. All of the minced duck is formed like a volcano and a raw egg has been cracked into the middle of it. The server expertly mixes the egg with the minced meat and forms the meatballs with two spoons.

and for a little luxury, the Kobe beef. It is a deep pink with excellent marbling promising to be a tender treat.

There is a little leaflet provided to every customer that teaches you how to get the best flavour out of the whole experience. First you have to put the cabbage, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and leek into the broth and let that simmer for a while to flavour the soup. Next you pick up your meat of choice with your chopsticks and swish it back and forth in the boiling broth till your preferred doneness. After that you dip the meat in the different sauces; Ponzu, Goma, or chilli. The meat and vegetables are extremely tasty once cooked in the broth and paired with the sauces. I would urge people to splurge and go for the Kobe beef as it is a whole experience in itself.

When you’ve finished all the meat and vegetables pour some rice into the leftover broth and let it simmer and soak up the broth. The soup at this point in time is rich with flavour and nutrients; simply wonderful.

Shabu-shabu is a Japanese treat that is not only delicious but very healthy as well since there is no oil or frying involved. It is a great interactive experience for the whole family to enjoy.

Nagomi Shabu-Shabu and Sushi Bar

Menara Hap Seng
Suite 1-19, 1 Floor Podium
Tel: 03.2141 6332

Hartamas Shopping Centre
Lot G11A & 11B, Ground Floor
Tel: 03.6201 7130

Jaya 33
PG-02B, Ground Floor
Tel: 03.7956 2330


Janet said...

dont leave out the pork, very thin sliced pieces of pork at heavenly cooked too.

Anonymous said...

mmm... yums!!!
i'm quite shure the hot pot thing is delicious! fer shure!!! but i'm more for the raw stuff! *drools*

but really interesting place, will def bring my jap friends when they come over!

Lorraine E said...

They arrange the meat so perfectly and prettily!

SteveDanger said...

I have no idea what Kobe beef is.