Ganso-Shabuway, an American Japanese-style Hot Pot Franchise

Update August 7, 2012: They removed the sharing fee charge already. Yehey!

A new hot pot place is in town.

It is the first international franchise of Eiichi Mochizuki‘s Shabuway, based in the US with branches in San Mateo, San Jose and Mountainview, California. Now, it’s in Greenbelt 5 too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Shabuway is a coined term that means “the road to shabu-shabu for shabu-shabu lovers.”ย  Here, they serve high-quality beef and vegetarian shabu shabu sets.

The prices are quite reasonable at an average of P500 each for the regular and vegetarian sets.

The entire restaurant is conceptualized well — from the story behind the resto, to the minimalist menu and the hip-looking design. But beyond the “marketing” package, I wondered if the resto would deliver on food quality and overall experience…

You have two options on where to sit: the table-style hot pot or the counter-style hot pot. The table is meant for people sharing the broth, while the counter is for a personal hot pot experience.

There are limited tables (around 10-12), and during the peak lunch hour, it is quite hard to get one.

They are strict with the policy — “One meal is required per customer; side order is not counted as a meal.” There is a P250 sharing charge if you insist on sharing one shabu shabu set.

The place has good ventilation and is not too smoky.

For the soup, you can either get the Traditional Seaweed Broth or โ˜… Spicy Miso Broth. You can order Half and Half for the tables only.

Ganso - Shabuway-21.jpg
(Left) โ˜… Veggie Plate A (solo – P135). Nappa Cabbage, Carrot, Spinach, Enoki Mushroom & Tofu;
(Right) Veggie Plate B
(solo – P175)
. Nappa Cabbage, Broccoli, Bok Choy, Pumpkin, Spinach, Asparagus, Shimeji Mushroom & Tofu.

Each shabu shabu set comes with Veggie Plate A, and you can upgrade the set to Veggie Plate B for an additional P80. Set B has more vegetables and uses Shimeji vs. Enoki mushrooms.

We all loved the contrasting dipping sauces of Ponzu (sweet & sour sauce) and Sesame Sauce (sweet & rich sauce). These addicting sauces give Ganso-Shabuway an edge over other hot pot places out there.

To enhance the sauces, they recommend putting the green onions and carrots in the ponzu sauce, and the fresh garlic in the sesame sauce.

The best combination for me is the rich sesame sauce with lots of garlic โ˜…. ๐Ÿ™‚ You should try it, but I would suggest that you bring fresh mint with you or brush your teeth after…

โ˜… Meyer Natural Angus
. With Veggie Plate A and dipping sauces.

Eiichi himself chooses the best beef for Ganso-Shabuway restos to guarantee its yumminess. The Meyer Natural Angus comes from vegetarian and corn-fed cattle vs. Certified Angus, which comes from grass-fed cattle.

Meyer Natural Angus Shabu Shabu Set
(Large – P670 – 15 slices; โ˜… Regular – P599 – 10 slices; and Petite – P525 – 5 slices)
with Veggie Plate A and dipping sauces.

I would recommend the petite/regular size for one person. You can order rice on the side too.

Since sharing is not allowed, you can choose from these other Shabu Shabu Choices:

Vegetable Shabu Shabu (P485) Veggie Plates A & B;
Japanese Mushroom Shabu Shabu (P460) Assorted Mushroom Plate; and
Unagi Bowl Shabu Shabu (P720) Unagi Donburi & Veggie Plate A.

Kobe Beef Shabu Shabu Set
(Regular – P1,049 above; Large – P1,229)
with Veggie Plate A and dipping sauces.

I ordered the Kobe Beef to see if there’s a difference in taste. The Kobe Beef is naturally smoother and tender with better marbling than the Meyer Natural Angus.

At twice the price, I don’t think it was worth it (I’m not sure what grade the Kobe Beef was.). We recommend going with the Meyer Natural Angus.

The smell and taste of the broth were appetizing.

You have no choice but to share one serving of broth per table. Hope you don’t mind double-dipping your chopsticks with the people you are with.

Since the beef is thinly sliced, it only takes 8-10 seconds for the red meat to turn brown.

We noticed that a lot of diners stopped talking after the meat arrived at their tables. Everyone was just savoring the meat dipped in the sauce. Sarap!

The service needs to be improved a bit, though. Training the staff about the different meats, sauces and side orders would help.

Overall, I love Ganso-Shabuway because it is healthy (compared to fried fare), the price of high quality meat in the shabu shabu is reasonable, and the dipping sauces are superb. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you tried it yet?

Ganso-Shabuway Japanese Style Hot Pot
2/F Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City
(Beside Pepper Lunch)
Telephone Number: +632 903 6763; +63 917 5418181 (reserve!)
Website: Shabuway Website
Facebook: Ganso – Shabuway
Operating Hours:
Sunday to Thursday 11am to 9pm
Friday and Saturday 11am to 10pm

Related Post: Heart to Heart | Ganso Shabuway

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Full Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. We paid for our meals and we are not connected in any way with the owner.

NOTE: โ˜… Highly Recommended ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. Thank you to the wonderful Maven Secrets Batch #2. Lunch @ Ganso-Shabuway with all of you was fun! ๐Ÿ™‚


9 thoughts on “Ganso-Shabuway, an American Japanese-style Hot Pot Franchise

  1. Re: sauce. That is the authentic japanese sause that you will also find in shabu shabu places in japan. I’ve been looking for authentic shabu shabu place here with the sesame sauce I had in kyoto, japan and aside from tsukiji, this is the more affordable place. Thank you for featuring this restaurant. =)

  2. While the beef is good, the service leaves much to be desired. We left irritated. There were too many rules — there is a fine for sharing, we cannot get an extra table if there’s only 5 of us and not 6 even if our tables were already crowded and tables are available… The servers have attitude. For a restaurant to survive, it is not only the food that has to be good. You have to offer a good dining experience, as well.

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