Shabu-GO is yet another(!) Japanese hotpot place, but I ain’t really complaining. A lil’ competition never hurt anyone, plus variety IS the spice of life. Unfortunately they are NOT a buffet hotpot (booooooooo!), but they do have a few sets to get you started on your pothead adventures.⠀

I’m gonna cut to the chase and be brutally honest here: the salmon kaisen set ain’t really worth the $23.90++ price tag. Unless you’re a seafood diet extremist who refuses to eat anything that doesn’t breathe underwater, you’d get way better value from ordering Shabu-GO’s meat sets. I enjoyed the seafood, sure, but I was definitely left wanting a second helping.⠀

To Shabu-GO’s credit, the sashimi grade slices of salmon were fantastically fresh, while the pair of prawns & scallops were suitably sized & passably fresh. The most noteworthy item in this set is the chicken tsukune (chicken meatball) paste, which has a crisp, clean and slightly meaty taste profile even without any sauce.⠀

The singular element carrying the entire business on its back is definitely the Nourishing Ginseng Tonkotasu broth. Sure, it’s an additional four buck surcharge on top of any set, but this might just be one of the best returns on my investment ever. It’s essentially a delightfully fatty & redolently rich pork bone ramen broth that’s been turbocharged with ginseng. The lovechild that results from this heated mating is a scintillatingly sapid, full bodied & heartily herbal soup.⠀

Yes, it gets EVEN BETTER. Stew the radish & carrot in the soup, cook off some of your meats, and this broth is absolutely breathtaking. Forget chicken soup for the soul, Shabu-GO’s Nourishing Ginseng Tonkotsu is all any wounded soul needs to heal his/herself.