Monday, May 30, 2016

Arashi Shabu-Shabu @ Gurney Plaza, Penang.

Warm your body up in this rainy season by enjoying Hot Pot at the newly opened Arashi Shabu Shabu, Gurney Plaza. The Hot Pot chain is well-established in southern Malaysia but this is their first branch in Penang. Their concept is simple- one Hot Pot per diner (you may opt for sharing nevertheless) but the real pull factor is probably the unique Japanese-influenced broth; from sweet to savory, Sukiyaki to Kelp or Curries. Each Hot Pot package is carefully thought of, to cater both carnivores and herbivores but unfortunately, they come with hefty price tags too. The relentless queue over the weekend was horrible but lucky for us, we had to queue for 10 minutes only (we were told that some had to queue for more than half an hour). 

Mix Pork and Beef Combo (Rm 28.90) with Hot & Spicy Milk Broth (additional Rm 2)

Grilled Beef Bibimbap (Rm 22.90)

Amongst the ten broths available, we opted for the most exclusive type- Hot & Spicy Milk Broth. It may sound unusual at first but the flavors are familiar. We had a sip and it instantly reminded us of White Curry Mee. The Mix Pork and Beef combo carried the quintessential meat slices and some Meat Balls with crunchy Greens, Glass Noodles, Crabsticks, Mushrooms and crispy Beancurd Sheets. We thought they could be more generous with the meat, we only got a few thinly sliced Beef and Pork. The note-worthy requisite sauce- Arashi Shabu Shabu's home-made signature Spicy sauce was a beautiful complement to the meat. Though it was lip-numbingly hot, the acidic-element in the sauce makes it addictive and especially refreshing to be used a dip for the meat.

Arashi Shabu Shabu's Bibimbap is probably modified to suit the local palate. The Korean-origin dish has many crunchy greens but Arashi's rendition had some julienned Black Fungus, Bak Choy, Kim Chi and some Grilled Beef; doused over a sweet-savory Japanese sauce. The concoction was delicious but they may have overdone with the sauce. As a result of that, the Bibimbap was overly moist and the crispy crust could not be formed at the bottom of the Stone Pot. I would not say the Beef was entirely tender but it was  brilliantly marinated to the right dot. We added in some of their sweat-inducing signature hot sauce and boy, it was brilliant. Our only possible criticism is the price, which does not justify the portion. 

Chawan Mushi (Rm 6.90)

Taste: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 6/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Service: 6.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Parking: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 6.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: Yes 6%

Additional Information:
Address: 170-03-85, Gurney Plaza, Persiaran Gurney, 10250, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 10:30 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 229 8688