Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SooChaeHwa - Fusion & Well-Being Restaurant

Shabu-shabu is a Japanese hot pot meal (nabe) similar to sukiyaki. It is considered the dish for winter in Japan. This means that you will be cooking a stew over the gas stove in the middle of your table. The size of the meal means you will need a minimum of 2 people in any Nabe restaurant, and SooChaeHwa is no exception. SooChaeHwa adds a few Korean elements but essentially this is the same shabu shabu I've eaten all around Japan, but with some kimchi on the side. This is a clean, family-friendly restaurant, and the staff will help you with the various stages of cooking the shabu-shabu.

They serve several varieties of shabu-shabu, including beef, seafood and mushroom.

We opted for the Hanushabu (12,000 p/p) which, despite being one of their middle of the road options, is a very generous meal with more than enough food for two people.

As you can see from this giant pile of beef slices.

Although, looking at this heap on your left, you might think shabu-shabu is entirely beef, there is also a plate of assorted vegetables and mushrooms. The broth starts with some odeng and tofu in it as well.

Shabu-shabu is cooked in stages. First one adds portions of meat and vegetables to cook. Once they are fully cooked, ladle some broth into your bowl, pick out the most delicious looking items and eat them with the sauces, while you drink the broth like a soup. Then top the soup up with more meat and vegetables, and wait for it to cook again. You should find each stage is more delicious than the last.

As the stew boils down, the waitress will periodically top up the broth and recommend which components to add next. After all of your giant pile of meat and vegetables has been consumed, SooChaeHwa gives you another 2 dishes cooked in your remaining broth. The first is a fat spinach dumpling with fried noodles. Once you have managed to consume this, the final dish is a thick fried rice and egg combination with the delicious treasures that line the bottom of the empty stew pot. I would have taken a picture of the golden moment when this appeared, but unfortunately I was too full for thinking.
SooChaeWa makes great Shabu Shabu with quality ingredients. The paradox of shabu-shabu's deliciousness which grows exponentially over the course of the meal will mean that you will leave with a stomach so full you better not plan on doing anything for at least an hour or two after your meal. Come hungry and leave stuffed and happy.
Location: 5 minutes from Goejeong Subway Station (Line 1), take exit 8 and walk past the Goejeong Market. Continue past the Market and New Core outlet. Keep going on past Pizza Hut. SooChaeHwa is on a corner on the left side of the road.

Phone: 051-201-1953

English Menu: No, but a good picture menu. Staff speak no English.

Seating: Floor.

Vegetarian Option: None.

Price 8,000-18,000 per person.
Drinks: Beer 3,000. Cider 1,000

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