Earlier this week, I reunited with an old school friend of mine and we went to a restaurant called Shabuway in Mountain View, CA. I had never been there before, but she raved about it nonstop on the way. She and her mother had apparently eaten at a similar restaurant during their trip to Japan and when they got home they were desperately craving it. The beautiful thing about the Bay Area is that we have so many different kinds of restaurants – so they satisfied their craving quite easily at Shabuway. When we entered, the first thing I noticed were the red walls and dark lighting. It was bustling with people and everyone seemed to be having a great time. I frequently visit Mountain View downtown and I thought I had seen it all. I quickly realized I was wrong, as I had never come to this restaurant before and it was definitely a new experience. I really love Mountain View downtown, because it has so many different kinds of restaurants, it is family friendly, and is just lovely in the evening time.
We sat at the bar because there were no tables available and it was just the two of us, so we didn’t really mind. In front of us were two small stoves and chopsticks. This restaurant is unique because it doesn’t really have many dishes, it has three categories (meat, broth, and vegetables) and you can choose what kind you would like in each. Once you have ordered, they bring you a broth of your choice along with vegetables, sauces, rice and the raw meat. You can choose the flavor and spice of your broth. Once your food arrives, the waiter puts the broth you ordered on the stove in front of you and you then cook the meat in the broth – it takes literally 5 seconds for the pink to disappear. After it is cooked, you can devour it with rice and the sauces.
I must say that the food was very good, but it is not for the faint of heart. The menu is very particular as the restaurant has a very niche group of customers. I have a relatively adventurous palette, so I enjoyed it. The meat could have had some more flavor, it would have been nice had it been marinated before hand instead of raw. I am not a chef, so I am not really in a position to make any suggestions. I did feel like it was missing something, though. The food was relatively well priced and the service was great.
All I can say is, if you are in the area and in the mood for trying something new, give this a go. You will leave full and definitely proud of yourself for trying something new. Overall I would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars mainly because it could have had more flavor.