Best thing I ate this week: Wagyu beef shabu-shabu buffet

Best thing I ate this week: Wagyu beef shabu-shabu buffet
PHOTO: AsiaOne, Candice Cai

What: Japanese Wagyu Beef Shabu-Shabu buffet ($59.90, all prices stated before taxes)

Where: Shabu Shabu Gyu Jin, #03-10, 100 AM Mall, 100 Tras Street

If you love beef and you love hotpot, then this 90-minute Japanese wagyu beef extravaganza is for you.

Gyu Jin offers several varieties of meat for its buffet, with beef as its main focus. We opted for the A5 Japanese wagyu shabu buffet ($59.90 for dinner, $41.90 for lunch) which uses knuckle meat, simply because it was on promotion.

For comparison, the regular price of the 'first class' Japanese wagyu buffet is $72.90. The Australian wagyu option is $41.90, and American beef is $31.90.

You can choose two soup bases for a sharing pot - among the five flavours, we picked the kelp and yuzu salt, with the latter's citrusy tinge being the perfect foil to the meat-heavy meal.

The buffet we paid for includes kurobuta pork collar, regular pork belly and chicken thigh meat as well. Unfortunately, our server informed us that the pork collar had run out for our dinner on a Sunday. No matter, the recommendation is to focus on the beef.


Photo: Candice Cai

So for about $71 inclusive of taxes, is it worth it?

Well, I must say that the first few rounds of wagyu were superb - featuring excellent marbled meat and soft fresh slices which required just a split second in the boiling broth to be ready.


Photo: Candice Cai

However, subsequent rounds given were frozen, albeit large, shavings - which we half-joked were the deep storage back-up. Though chewier than the earlier cuts of meat, we still enjoyed it enough to order plate after plate (we racked up 15 plates of beef alone).

We were so focused on the meat, we did not care much for the other shabu ingredients at the buffet bar, although the greens and dou miao in particular were very fresh. If you can't live without your carbs, there's udon, and even rice with Japanese curry at the side. But with such quality meat, I say why waste precious tummy space on carbs?

If you're on a budget, going for lunch is a good idea, but note you'd only have 50 minutes to finish your meal.

candicec@sph.com.sg

The writer paid for the meal reviewed.

Purchase this article for republication.

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