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Thursday, May 30, 2024
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HomeFood and BeveragesShan Shabu Shabu: Brought up by broth

Shan Shabu Shabu: Brought up by broth

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When Shan Shabu Shabu opened its first outlet in 2017 the shabu-shabu rage was already well-entrenched in Bacolod.

Shan, however, offers something novel. It’s a DIY shabu-shabu, and unlike the other all-you-can-eat restaurants, the customer not only has the option to choose from the ingredients they want, they also get to pay for them beforehand.

Not only does this give the customer control, it also prevents unnecessary wastage (of course, why would you waste something you already paid for!).

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And the flavor. Every single bowl of broth tastes divine — the distinct umami flavor of the soup base, with just a hint of salt and sourness, which goes well with all the other ingredients in the bowl. Perfect after a stressful day, best paired with a cold glass of cola. Or when nursing a hangover.

egg wtih noodles

People flocked the place, and soon the rather nondescript eatery occupying the corner of the Food Court in 888 Mall became a household name, attracting a diverse clientele ranging from professionals hankering for a bowl of hot soup, or clerks and tenants from neighboring stalls on their breaks.

And the queue just kept getting longer and longer.

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Pretty soon, Shan opened another branch in Ayala Malls Capitol Central, and another in SM City Mandurriao (which has since closed), and then at Marymart Center in Iloilo.

Now, Shan Shabu Shabu has opened yet another branch this time in Gaisano Grand Mall in Bacolod City.

Singapore in my mind. Shan Shabu Shabu broke through the foodie scene silently yet slowly a few years ago in a local mall in Bacolod. With ingredients ranging from Asian soup balls (lobster, squid, fish, etc) to fresh local vegetables like okra and pechay, Shan became quickly popular because of its shabu shabu meets turo-turo style. Now, the Singaporean-style outlet has opened its new branch at the new Gaisano Grand Mall along Araneta Street. | Photos by Hannah A. Papasin
Singapore in my mind. Shan Shabu Shabu broke through the foodie scene silently yet slowly a few years ago in a local mall in Bacolod. With ingredients ranging from Asian soup balls (lobster, squid, fish, etc) to fresh local vegetables like okra and pechay, Shan became quickly popular because of its shabu shabu meets turo-turo style. Now, the Singaporean-style outlet has opened its new branch at the new Gaisano Grand Mall along Araneta Street.

The power couple behind the brand, John San Oo and Ma. Lourdes Lacson, are international travellers, and had lived parts of their lives in Cyprus and then later in Singapore.

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It was their experiences in Singapore however that led to the opening Shan Shabu Shabu, bringing the distinctly Asian flavors of the country to the city.

“We are promoting healthy lifestyle with our food, which is soup with fresh ingredients,” John tells DNX.

He notes that people have become quite conscious with their health especially when the pandemic struck in 2019. And that’s exactly what Shan is offering, healthy food to bolster a healthy lifestyle.

Squid with rice

The ingredients are everything and anything one can think of that would taste good in a soup. There’s the seafood soup balls — lobster, squid, fish, etc — along with hotdogs and kani sticks and tofu squares cut to manageable pieces. Boiled eggs and fried dimsum are also among the choices. Then the leafy vegetables – pechay, kangkong — along with onions, chili peppers, carrots, corn, mung sprouts.

The customer has the option to mix and match the ingredients according to their preferences, then all dunked into a bowl of piping soup. They can also have a choice to have their bowl with noodles (sotanghon, rice, etc) or without. Or with rice.

The choices are endless.

And the best thing is that you know it is cooked fresh, not languishing in a pot for days before it is served.

John’s wife and partner, Lourdes tells DNX the ingredients are sourced in a local market to ensure freshness.

Shan is now also offering Singaporean style set meals, including Chinese Fried Rice, Fried Noodles, Seafood Fried Rice, and Prawns. The customer also has a choice to have their proteins cooked with Japanese curry or sweet-and-sour style.

And judging from the never-ending queue in its latest branch, it seems like the Bacoleños hunger for Shan Shabu Shabu has not been satiated, not one bit.

Higop na!

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Hannah A. Papasin
Hannah A. Papasinhttp://facebook.com/hannah.mariveles
Writer. Critic. Professor. She started writing since primary school and now has two published textbooks on communication. A film buff, she's a Communication, Media Literacy and Journalism Professor of the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod, and has a Master's Degree in English.
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