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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Shabu Shabu Sensations @ Saboten Dining IMM

Its been a long time since my last food review so here I am back with a vengeance! A number one tonkatsu chain in Japan, Saboten Dining (Saboten) has decided to anchor at IMM to unveil a whole new dining concept. Boasting more than 500 branches around the world, Saboten is now a popular place for katsu lovers, wooing them with their best-selling deep-fried pork / chicken cutlets. But now, get spoiled with more choices such as shabu shabu and teppanyaki items, without burning a hole in your wallet as set meal  prices start from $14.90.
Pic credits to owner
Lucky for you West-enders, only this IMM branch will be offering the 18 new meals for you to choose from!

I am not a fan of Chawamushi, as I don't like the strong steamed egg smell. But assured by the host for the evening, its a must try dish to have as it is served and tastes different. Feeling adventurous that night, I gave it a shot and was glad I did. While the usual Chawamushi has a custard texture, this was more like a soft tofu consistency. A soupy-like base gave it a homely touch to the taste.

Next, we have the chilled shredded cabbage appetiser to whet the appetite. The creamy Goma sauce is served in a separate saucer, and is in my opinion, a lighter alternative to the western Thousand Islands dressing. Drizzle it all over, and mix well before eating; a refreshing prelude to our rich meal to come.

The wait was relatively quick given it being an evening in a work day. My choice was a no-brainer, I mean who can resist wagyu beef and their popular pork katsu? It was a recommended as well; and the Wagyu Beef Shabu Shabu and Half Loin Katsu set (S$17.90) was as glorious as it sounds. The beef is sliced thinly —so that each slice melts in your mouth— and you can marvel at the glorious marbled quality.

The Ebi Mentai is presented as a larger than usual prawn that spans the length of my plate! Griddled to an appetising orange hue, the flesh was soft and tender without losing its chewy texture. The taste was thoroughly enhanced by the fragrant ebi mayo sauce slathered ontop of it.

So how was their must try Tonkatsu?

I must say that while there is only 3 slices served, that itself is filling enough with its crunchy breaded crust and the white meat fibers are tender to the bite. Unlike some Tonkatsu places I've been to, I did not see any oil pooling at the bottom which was something I appreciated. To maintain the cutlets' succulent quality, Saboten eschews use of frozen mean in favour of importing the meat from Indonesia instead. 

Ah Wagyu beef, we meet again. Let us take a moment to appreciate the premium marbled quality of the slices, with a rich red color and fatty parts (which adds to the delicious  savory factor). And trust me the taste, I assure you is as good as it looks. I am very particular about my meat being medium-rare, so I would cook the beansprouts and carrots before layering the beef ontop and tossing it to cook together. 

I love the slight smokey and peppery sauce that goes well to the softness of the fresh beef. The moment I see the pinkness go out of the beef, I'll stop the fire to let the meat simmer in the piping hot sauce. It definitely does not disappoint.

You also have the option to add some fragrant seasame seed condiments to your rice or sprinkle over your Shabu Shabu for abit of extra flavor. Simply grind the sesame husk with the Shiso wooden grinder; alternatively you can also add the Katsu sauce available and have it as a dip for the cutlets.

I left Saboten IMM a throughly stuffed woman; the portions were all so generous! Especially for those with a more heartier appetite, you will not be disappointed, that's for sure.

 A great place for catching up with friends and dinners with the folks, here is yet another address to get your quality and value-for-money Japanese fix!
Saboten @ IMM is located at 2 Jurong East Street 21, #01-19, IMM Building | Singapore 609601 | Tel: 6898 3432  


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