A lot of the reviews here seem to think it's all the same - hotpot - shabu shabu - whatever... cooking your own food... cool!!
Please. To preface, this is a Montreal 5. There are some great shabu shabu places around the world. That is not the measure I'm using. Against the best I've tried, I'd say this place is a 4. But, as you might have gotten the sense of it already if you've visited, you don't have a lot of good options for Asian food in Montreal.
As a start, the people are nice -- but they will get short handed when busy. We were there right before the night rush, and as the restaurant filled, they could have used another pair of hands.
As to the food, they offer a number of broths. You can, for example, chose the sukiyaki base. There is also dashi and kombu as well as other options (the spicy looks more the style of a Chinese hotpot base). Among my family, we did sukiyaki and dashi. The sukiyaki base could/should have been slightly sweeter - though otherwise ok. They also served the traditional raw egg. The dashi was better - and actually tasted like dashi (we could see dashi in the water). Interesting, no pure water base. I know that seems to be going out of style, but would have been nice to see that on the menu (clearly it's not hard to do).
What generally differentiates shabu shabu places is its meat and variety of vegees. On both counts, they were solid. Vegees better than the meat (we had the rib eye) as compared to the best places, but good.
One neg is the rice. I know, you're saying "what the heck" - the rice?
If your reaction is "what the heck" - the rice - why would someone care about the rice, then this review is not for you.
If your reaction is "what the heck" - the rice - how can they mess up the rice!?!? - then we are on the same page.
The rice looks like it was scooped with a strange large ice cream scooper. It's too dense and stuck together in a bad way. I had sukiyaki and only had about 1/2 the rice.... did I mention I was eating sukiyaki....
OK - that might have gone too dark, but overall, a solid place and a good alternative if you're tired of all the cheese (literally -- montreal, not surprising, loves its cheese... and maple everything).
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