Orem Shabu Shabu House

Let me begin by saying that I love shabu shabu, and as such, I have high expectations for it.  I was introduced to it while on my mission, and it was one of my favorite dishes in Korea.  I was told at the time that it was a Mongolian dish, but most sources say it originates from Japan.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with shabu shabu, here’s a quick rundown.

You start out with a broth in a large pot, and then order what type of meat you want.  The protein is usually served very thinly sliced and is accompanied by another plate of vegetables. The vegetables can include cabbage, mushrooms, or whatever is in season.  You bring the broth to a boil, and cook the vegetables and meat in the broth.  Because the meat is paper-thin, it cooks very quickly, and by the end you’re left with a very flavorful broth.  You can then add in some noodles and eat it as a soup.

Now for my more specific experiences at the Shabu Shabu House in Orem, UT.

A plateful of napa cabbage plus two carrot sticks, two mushrooms, and a chunk of tofu does not equal “a lot” vegetables. It was definitely not a substantial amount of vegetables and once everything was in the pot it was still mostly broth.  To give you an idea, here was the pot once we added HALF of the vegetables and meat at the last shabu shabu place I went to in Korea.

Our pot looked VERY empty.  Then there was the meat.  While I was impressed with the marbling and tenderness of the kobe beef, there simply was not enough of it.  Paying $21 for the “large” sized portion, you get maybe 15 slices of beef.  Remember, that this beef is very thinly sliced, so 15 slices probably under a half-pound of beef.  Lest you think that the high price for the portion was just because it was kobe beef, even the large portion of the regular beef or chicken was around $19.

Our service was also lackluster.  We went on a Friday night, but the restaurant was not very busy.  Even so, we went 15 to 20 minutes between the waiter visiting our table.  We probably sat at the table for a half hour after having asked for our check.

The experience, however, was not without its impressive points.  The sushi was, for example, quite good.  I ordered the spider roll, which had soft-shelled crab.  The couple we were with ordered the California roll and also said it was above average.  Also, once the vegetables and meat were cooked, the soba noodles and broth made an excellent soup.

All in all, I cannot recommend Shabu Shabu House in Orem.  All ratings are out of 5

Food Quality: 4
Portion Size: 2
Service: 2
Atmosphere: 3.5
Overall Experience: 3

tl;dr: good food, but high prices for the portion size, and mediocre service.

Shabu Shabu House
73 south state st
Orem, UT 84058

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2 Comments on “Orem Shabu Shabu House”

  1. mikaroni says:

    The soup at the end was soooo good, though. I think it might be worth it to just get the vegetarian option (maybe sneak your own veggies in? Like bringing candy to the movie theater) and get the delicious noodle soup once the veggies are gone.

    But let’s leave the Bwun at home, next time. Or with a babysitter, I mean.

  2. Kate says:

    Oh my word, shabu shabu sounds amazing! I won’t make the trip down to Orem Shabu Shabu House, but I definitely want to try Shabu Shabu somewhere. Let me know when you find a great place for Shabu Shabu.

    Next time you go, you can totally leave the Bwun with me. :) I heart the Bwun!


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