During the March holidays, my friends and I had lunch at Shabu Sai at Suntec City. It is an authentic shabu-shabu and sukiyaki all-you-can-eat buffet. A quick search on Google defines ‘sukiyaki’ as a form of Japanese hot pot, served with meat, vegetables, and other ingredients such as tofu. Shabu-shabu is similar, but is less sweet as compared to sukiyaki, which is made with sugar, soy sauce, and a sweet rice wine known as mirin. For our meal that day, we had the privilege to enjoy both types of hot pot, we chose sukiyaki and tonkotsu shoyu as our soup bases.
A peek into the restaurant is immediately rewarded with a wide array of dishes spread out for the buffet, including eggs, tofu, ramen, glass noodles, rice, various types of vegetables, and many Japanese condiments. There was even a sauce bar where patrons can create their own sauce concoctions. For an extra charge of $1.99++, one can enjoy a free flow of soft-serve ice cream and soft drinks too!
A price of $19.99++ per person for lunch on a weekend or public holiday lets you enjoy the fragrant aromas and mouth-watering buffet spread for 70 minutes. Customers can choose 2 among 6 soup bases and any of the 3 meats offered: beef, pork, or chicken, as well as the buffet spread. It was extremely affordable and price-appropriate, as we ordered more than 50 pieces of thinly-sliced beef and more than 30 pieces of pork strips, in addition to lots of noodles, vegetables, and egg. Although most people may feel that buffet food is usually not on par with that of a restaurant specialising in that food, it is safe to say that the dishes offered at Shabu Sai exceeded expectations!
The beef was soft and sufficiently marbled and went well with the sukiyaki broth, while the pork was leaner but tougher, but was a pleasant combination with the tonkotsu shoyu broth. The broths were placed in a traditional Japanese hot pot, with a divider through the middle to ensure that we can enjoy the best of both worlds. I was surprised to note that the tonkotsu shoyu broth tasted very similar to the ramen broth I had enjoyed in Japan last year, and was not choked full of MSG and other artificial flavourings.
I definitely recommend this amazing restaurant to you! Why not take a trip down to any of its 6 outlets after the mid-year examinations?
Chua Wei Ting