Sunday, September 22, 2013

Gokudo Shabu Shabu Hotpot

Many months ago, J bought a Social Shopper voucher for a 2 person meal at Gokudo Shabu Shabu Hotpot in Richmond. The voucher included hotpot for 2 which included the following: 4 orders (40 pieces) of select meats, select soup bases to choose from, 2 vegetable plates, 2 drinks, and 2 desserts. We finally got around to using the voucher this weekend. 

The restaurant is located in the middle of Continental Centre, across from Pearl Castle. Parking at that mall is always a bit of a challenge, but it usually doesn't take too long to find a spot. We circled for a few minutes before getting a spot and making our way to the restaurant. 

Inside, most of the space is occupied by a U-shaped bar. By the entrance to the restaurant are the only 2 tables in the dining area, each with seating for 4. Since we had reservations, we were seated at one of the tables. The restaurant specializes in individual hotpots, so each seat has its own element carved into the tabletop so the pot can be lowered under to save space. 

Typically, you would order a hotpot combo which includes one type of meat, their house special soup base, a plate of vegetables, and a drink (I don't remember if it includes dessert). With the voucher we had, we were allowed to pick 40 pieces of meat from basic beef, chicken, pork, and lamb. On the menu, they also had premium cuts of meat available. We ordered 30 beef, 5 chicken, and 5 lamb. J ordered the satay soup base and I got milk. For our drinks, J ordered an herbal tea and I ordered Taiwanese Sarsaparilla ("root beer" on the menu). 

While waiting for our food, we received 2 plates of sauce for the hotpots. There were no options, but the amount of sauce was more than sufficient. Based on my limited experience with deciphering ingredients, the sauce consisted of light soy sauce, sweet soy, fresh ground garlic, and chives. As expected, the pots and the raw food came pretty quick. The frozen ingredients were still cold but no longer frozen, and the raw ingredients were clean and fresh (no limp veggies). 
The beef "sirloin" that came was at least 50% fat. It was definitely tasty, but way too fatty for us. I would not recommend ordering it if you're health conscious. The lamb was good and so was the chicken. The soup bases were tasy as well. My milk soup was flavorful without being too milky or salty. Since we cooked the food ourselves, there isn't much else to say about the food.

We did encounter one problem while we were there. The element for seat was not working properly. The control knob was broken so the only options for that element were full blast or off. To make matters worse, my milk soup pot came about 80% full. I put a few items in and when it started boiling soup started flowing all over the table. A server noticed and tried to fix it with no luck. I ended up moving my pot to H's seat and just reaching over to cook.
Service wasn't bad, but it was a little strange that there was only 1 server at first. We arrived at 12:30pm so I expected more, but the restaurant was mostly empty at first so it wasn't a problem. Do keep in mind that after serving the dishes, there really isn't much maintenance needed from diners. 

As my appetite shrinks with age, I would definitely consider revisiting because the prices aren't bad when compared to similar establishments. AYCE hotpots typically run $20+ per person while at Gokudo Shabu Shabu Hotpot, you get a sizable meal for under $20. I would have been satisfied with half the amount of food (read: meat) I had (which would be the equivalent of the regular combo). The voucher was a bit overkill in my opinion. 

Food: Good. Great sauce and fresh ingredients. I can't bring myself to rate it higher because I did the cooking. 

Service: Good. Not much more to say about it. 

Setting: Average. Parking is okay, but the layout of the restaurant isn't great for larger numbers. 

Value: Good. Hotpot is always pricey unless you do it yourself at home. No complaints here.

Gokudo Shabu Shabu Hot Pot 極道涮涮鍋 on Urbanspoon

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