Underneath Unilodge in the new ANU development.PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
While Canberra may not be lacking in sushi places, there are few authentic Japanese restaurants that specialise in well-priced and filling hot meals. In this Mr Shabu Shabu, which is situated in the new development on the edges of the ANU campus (underneath Unilodge 2), breaks the mould. On any given weekday lunchtime you will see a mixture of students, academics and business people making the most of its offerings. Part of the attraction for the latter is undoubtedly the fact that the restaurant is five minutes’ walk from Northbourne and within easy walking distance of many businesses and government departments.
The mood at Mr Shabu Shabu is unlike other sushi places in town and much more conducive to a working lunch or a long meal. Diners are seated, rather than herded, and given a complimentary pot of tea to start – something more or less unheard of at other restaurants in the price bracket. As the restaurant’s name suggests, shabu shabu, a Japanese hotpot, is a signature and available in several flavours. This is a fun choice as diners cook their own food in boiling soup, adding ingredients they want, in the proportions they want. There are also many different udon and ramen dishes available as well as don sets, sashimi and a variety of side dishes. The sashimi at Mr Shabu Shabu is some of the best I’ve tried in Canberra. Try the mixed sashimi set which offers a good choice of fish. The don sets offer good value for money and many choices like unagi
(barbecued eel), curry tonkatsu, pepper steak and the ever-popular teriyaki salmon. Put simply, Mr Shabu Shabu is a step-up in comfort from many other Japanese restaurants in town and guarantees there will not be a day-old, plastic-wrapped hand roll in sight.
Elizabeth Hall, June 2010