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Tuesday 26 May 2015

Eats & Treats: Bushido Shabu Shabu

It's all about healthy living these days. Trends come and go, but this is one trend I sure hope will stay because who doesn't want to be healthy and lead a long, happy life? I digress though. I've blogged about a steamboat restaurant previously and now I'm back with another one but it's Shabu-Shabu which is Japanese hotpot.

Thank you Dillon from Bushido Shabu-shabu for inviting us for a food review and thanks Jen for extending the invitation to the Ma Cherie girls! It's a lovely day for an afternoon of eats & treats with my friends. Now, it's really hard to miss this restaurant when you're driving past the main road Jalan Kuning, Taman Pelangi. It is located at a cornerlot and is below a Korean BBQ restaurant. Previously, this particular lot has been taken over by other Japanese or Korean buffet restaurants as well.

The Brand New Bushido Shabu Shabu is not only delicious but promotes a healthy regimen as well. They focus on high food quality and customer service while promoting health benefits. Many people enjoy hot pot but have the perception that it makes them suffer from internal heat. Bushido promotes this traditional cuisine while creating concept of cultural taste, quality of life, quality of food and beverages. 

Bushido Shabu Shabu stands out from other shabu-shabu restaurants because they focus more on educating consumers on health using their secret recipe. They serve new age healthy food and promotes a new trend of food consumption, but don't be intimidated by this statement. All their dishes are unique and uses only the best ingredients to make. Plus, they are tasty too! Read on and you will know what I mean. Some of the food they have here are only available exclusively to Bushido and you will not find them anywhere. That's how unique they are! The main chef has experience in cooking Japanese style dishes for over 2 decades, which he learnt from a Japanese masterchef and brought it to our shores with a little localised twist.

Do note that there is a 10% service charge + 6% GST on the bill. While the interior is great, be prepared to search for a parking spot because Taman Pelangi is a busy area and it is not easy to find parking.

You can tell they take the Bushido or Samurai culture very seriously as soon as you walk into the restaurant and see these two Samurai figures staring at you. Their eyes even light up at night!

The reason why I love Japanese shabu-shabu places are because inside, the decors are usually very nicely done up and cosy to make your dining experience more pleasant. Forget being sticky and sweaty after a meal, the whole place is fully air-conditioned! Notice there are also Samurai back-stories on the wall to keep you entertained and lets you learn more about the culture.

There is even a private dining area for people who wish to host parties or gatherings here. There's also a private room at the back for private functions or meetings. The owner explained to us that the concept of the restaurant was to be elegant enough to let businessmen host important guests and VIPs without forgoing great food.

At the sauce section, there is a great selection of sauces and other condiments. My favourite would have to be the Special Spicy Sauce (duh) because it is seriously spicy and syiok! Some of these sauces are specially made by the chef. The owner encourages this DIY sauce area so that customers can be creative and mix & match their own sauces as they wish. In his opinion, the point of condiments is to be great accompaniment and bring out the best of the food.

Dillon sat us down for an hour or so to explain the characteristics of his restaurant, the food selection and what makes them so special. Really appreciate the dedication put into letting us learn so much new information! I will try my best to share them with you. One of the specialties of Bushido like I mentioned is that they focus more on health without forgoing taste. They use specially double-filtered alkaline water in all their soup bases and fruit juices. These water with added enzyme has finer molecules and helps the liquid go down smoother without affecting the taste. We were asked to taste-test these two glasses of water and the one on the right (with enzyme) indeed tastes more smooth and is easier to swallow. :o More of these enzyme goodness will be added to other food in the menu next!

Fibre Mix Fruit Ice Blended | RM16.90 (1 litre) | RM8.90 (500ml)
From left to right: Mango, Pineapple & Lemon (Mix Fruit Juice B)/ Dragonfruit (Mix Fruit Juice A)/ Guava
I loved these juices, especially when they're ice blended! The whole fruit is blended including the skin, core and seed because that's where all the nutrients are yea? The fruits are also washed with enzymes and also has enzyme added in the juices so they will not oxidise within the next 6 hours, maintaining the goodness of the fruit and are blended at high speed to make the juice easier to absorb by the human body & aid digestion. Each of the juices contain lemon and pineapple for slimming and other health benefits. You can either mix and match the fruits or have one type of fruit only. There are no sugar added yet they taste so sweet, so you can be sure the fruits used are only the best. The chef tastes each glass of freshly blended fruit juice before he serves them to make sure they meet the standard.The 1 litre ones are great for sharing which I presume youngsters will enjoy as you can share and char over drinks while small ones are good for single serving or couples to share. The previous time I went with my family, the juices had a hint of sour plum taste in them for added flavour, so refreshing!

Complimentary Side Dishes
After the introduction, we were all starving so the waiters brought in some Japanese style side dishes for us. There are up to 43 types of side dishes available at Bushido and each is unique in its own way. These are complimentary for customers, but non-refillable. The ones we tried are the chef's special. I really liked the spicy and tangy taste of the pickled seaweed and fish cakes!

Finally, it was time to eat! But first, let us take a photo with the amazing array of food we were served :p

Sashimi Salad (Available in Normal/Spicy) | RM16.90
Japanese food will always have sashimi but this one is sashimi with a twist! Various raw fish such as salmon, tuna and butterfish are diced and added to this salad as an appetizer. We had the spicy salad and the sauce had a bit of Thai influence in it. The sourness really whets your tastebuds but the vegetables, especially the cabbage was a little bit on the raw side for me.

Yaki Gyoza | RM9.90
Guess what? These chicken dumplings are handmade by the chef as well! Crispy on the outside, savoury and juicy on the inside. You can feel the freshness of the well-grounded meat inside that have been marinated well. For the price of RM10, the serving of 5 is quite generous. As a gyoza lover, I approve of these!

Ebi Uzura Fried | RM18.90
Prawn meat, sesame seed and 5-spices are minced and wrapped around a single quail egg then deep fried in batter to create this interesting dish, It just looks like a fancy hard-boiled egg! Kids would love this.

Shake Teppanyaki Noodle | RM39.90
For people who don't fancy steamboat (impossible), there are teppanyaki too. Teppanyaki is basically Japanese grilled dishes. Each teppanyaki dish comes with a meat and noodles. You can choose either the spaghetti or golden buckwheat soba, served with the original or spicy cream sauce made by the chef. For me, I preferred the golden buckwheat soba as the thinness of the noodles goes well with the creaminess of the sauce. For this grilled salmon dish, the salmon is fresh and tender, tastes sweet with the teppanyaki sauce too.

Chicken Teppnyaki Noodle | RM21.90
Grilled chicken is one of the simplest dishes, but it is difficult to achieve the perfect level of tenderness. Bushido does it nicely and the chicken is well-marinated in teppanyaki sauce, making each bite delicious.

Meat Combination B (Chicken & Pork Belly) | RM24.90
This is how one set looks like for a steamboat meal. The serving is sufficient for 1 to 2 person. There are several meat/seafood combos to choose from and the price ranges from RM24.90 to RM85.90. This combination shabu set meal is so fresh and there are other selections to choose from. A personal pot of mini steamboat is used as it is more hygienic and convenient. It also lets you have the chance to sample the other food they have :p

Meat Combination E (Beef and Lamb) | RM43.90 

Each set comes with a soup, two types of meat, vegetables, other steamboat ingredients and your choice of golden soba, rice vermicelli, ramen or rice. I would recommend the sharing set for as it has 2 soup and a bigger portion for sharing. Bushido tries to cater to every customers' needs and also serves vegetarian sets. There are 4 sets which consists of imitation meat and two sets which have only mushrooms and vegetables.

Ramen / Golden Soba
If you're not into rice, try choosing these noodles to go with your meal instead. The golden soba is the best seller here and it is made with golden buckwheat. While it looks slightly brownish and greenish here, don't be shocked if the colour isn't the same at times as the raw golden buckwheat changes colour according to season and the noodles are all handmade. Buckwheat is high in dietary fibre and other minerals. I would say the soba is good for people who opt for health and does not fancy the oily yellow noodles or alkali taste. It has a smooth texture, with an interesting bite to it.

Check out all that soup! Bushido was so generous to offer us all their best-selling soup to try. There are a total of 10 types of soup and we tried 6 of it. The other two that we didn't get to try are the vegetarian miso soup and vegetarian kimchi soup. Bushido insists on using only the best ingredients, for their soup bases because their motto is, "If you want to do something, do it the best way you can". All the soup bases contain the natural enzyme too which helps the body to absorb nutrients easily, helps with detoxification, acts as a catalyst and makes the food crispier and tastier! Not only are the enzymes healthy, they will not break down under high heat too so the food maintains the original taste. 

Bushido Grains Macha Milk Broth
This is one of their signature soups. Sounds interesting? It tastes just as good as it sounds - creamy, slightly buttery with a hint of green tea freshness to it. It contains 47 types of organic grains needed by our body to prevent high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and is known as Japan's Okinawa generations' longevity formula. Another interesting thing to note that is Bushido Shabu-Shabu's soup are all made from grains, fish shreds or fruit and does not contain meat or ajinomoto so you won't feel thirsty after the meal. This soup is truly enjoyable and the taste is even more enhanced after you cook the meat and vegetables in it. All of us could not stop drinking this. Did I mention that all the soup are refillable as well? Highly recommend this soup, no wonder it is their best-seller!

Bushido Golden Buckwheat Miso Broth
Another best-seller at Bushido is this golden buckwheat miso soup because how can you have Japanese food without miso, right? While we know that miso is good for our health, the benefit is doubled when added with golden buckwheat. Golden buckwheat is known as the King of whole grains and is used in both Western and Eastern dining while Miso is an alkalic food which can gently wake up the nervous system. It helps to prevent high blood pressure, reduces sugar and body fat (can lose weight!). The Japanese believes that miso helps to prolong lives and can help girls to achieve nicer skin. This soup is very healthy indeed but for some, you might not be able to get used to the less salty and less prominent miso taste in the soup. To me, it tastes quite bland before adding any ingredients and the wheat taste is strong.

Bushido Miso Broth
 This is regular miso soup with a twist. No Japanese meal would be complete without miso soup. Everywhere else serves miso soup so Bushido strives to serve only the best quality one. The soup is light, savoury and bursting with flavour. Highly recommend this as well. The girls and my parents too loved this, highly addictive!

Bushido Herbal Broth
Another healthy alternative to MSG-laden chicken stock is this herbal soup which is cooked from scratch by the chef. Initially, the herbal taste is very strong though bland, but after cooking the other ingredients in it, the soup becomes more flavourful and leaves a sweet aftertaste in your mouth.

Bushido Tomyam Broth
Standard steamboat meals calls for tomyam soup as well. So Bushido cooks theirs using their own secret recipe and the result is a balanced spicy & sour combo that leaves you wanting more. 

Bushido Kimchi Broth
Kimchi is more of Korean origin but don't judge ok, cos it goes great with Japanese shabu-shabu as well! Somehow, food cooked in this sour broth tastes nicer but the best part is that it makes the soup more enjoyable.

That's how much food we ate that we could barely move after the meal! Honestly, all the soup are nice and just leaves you wanting more. My top faves are the macha milk broth, tomyam and kimchi soup! I went back there again with my family to celebrate Mother's Day and everyone praised the food, especially the soup which did not make them feel thirsty afterwards as they are made with natural ingredients. Go try it for yourselves and let me know what you think ok!

From left to right: Jen's hubby & Bin Bin, Jennifer, Kim, Amy (lady boss), Dillon (owner), head chef, Mr Ang, Ler Ler, Edlyn and yours truly.

All in all, Bushido Shabu-shabu is very different from conventional steamboat places which usually only focuses on the dishes. While their food are new age and healthy, they did not forgo the element of taste and has incorporated a little bit of tradition into the food to suit the locals' taste. But Bushido takes pride in their soup and also fresh ingredients used in their other dishes like the teppanyaki. FYI, they do serve lobsters and wagyu beef here so it's also a great place to hold business meetings. Sadly, we didn't get to try their dessert, but I will definitely be back for it as I heard that the desserts are also available exclusively here! Another thing that I like about the place is that they take their customers' feedback very seriously and are constantly changing the ingredients to cook up only the best to suit everyone's taste.

By the way, good news for you guys! In conjunction with their grand opening, you can now enjoy Bushido Shabu Shabu's lunch promotion starting from RM13++ and their sashimi and appetizers from RM6 onwards! Promo ends end of June 2015, make sure you drop by to take advantage of it. I promise, once is not enough because they will leave you wanting for more especially the steamboat sets :p

Find them on Facebook for more promotions and updates!
Tel: 07-3334668
Operating hours: 12.00pm - 3.00pm & 6.00pm - 10.00pm (Monday - Sunday)
80 & 82, Jalan Kuning,
Taman Pelangi, 
80400 Johor Bahru, Johor.

Disclaimer: Even though the review is sponsored, it has not affected my opinion in anyway. The review is based on my honest personal taste and preference after trying out the food and services.

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