Shabu Sai

March 15, 2016 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Shabu Sai
181 Orchard Road
#08-09 Orchard Central

1 Woodlands Square
#05-14 Causeway Point

5 Changi Business Park Central 1
#B1-28 Changi City Point

3 Simei Street 6
#03-06 Eastpoint

3 Temasek Boulevard
#B1-172 Suntec City

6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#02-17 The Central

Selection Of Items

Good Variety Of Soup Base, Average Buffet

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 5
Ambience & Setting: 6
Food & Beverage: 4
Service: 6
Value for Money: 5
Spent about SGD $32 per person.


Opened in December 2012 and operated by Creative Restaurants Holdings, which also manages several other Japanese restaurant brands across Singapore, Shabu Sai is their shabu-shabu and sukiyaki buffet hot pot concept. Designed to appeal to the masses, dining at Shabu Sai is passable, but nothing to shout about. There is good variety, but not as much as elsewhere, and even the general taste of food here is less tasty than elsewhere.

Ambience at Shabu Sai is open, spacious, and brightly lit, with ample seating areas, and modern, functional furniture. Suitable even for large groups, the hot pot cooking smell does tend to stick to your clothing, even though the ventilation is adequate enough that it doesn't feel stuffy or uncomfortable. The place is also noisy and feels slightly messy, especially with the crowds during peak periods.

Service at Shabu Sai is passable. Staff engagement is minimal, beyond seating diners, you won't be interacting much with them. The entire buffet is self-service, although I note that staff regularly come around to clear away empty / dirty tables frequently, which is good. They're also prompt in serving meat orders to your table, and will quickly assist with changing gas canisters if needed. However, it's difficult to attract their attention.

Food at Shabu Sai is Japanese shabu-shabu or sukiyaki hot pot buffet style, where you choose 2 soup bases. Pick your vegetables and sides from a selection of around 30 items, then place your meat orders with staff. Everything is free-flow here. You can even change soup bases throughout your meal with some creativity! Prices are designed to attract the masses, budget about SGD $32 per person for a meal here. I find taste to be passable at best.


Shabu Sai Banner

Shabu Sai Prices

As a Japanese concept buffet dining, the soup bases naturally are Japanese inspired, with several other Southeast Asian flavours of soup bases as well. The variety of soup bases is the main highlight of dining here, as everything else is just passable. My personal favourites would be the Soup Base Sukiyaki and Soup Base Yuzu Collagen, in that order.

Soup Base Descriptions

Soup Base Descriptions

Soup Base Variety

Soup Base Sukiyaki

Soup Base Yuzu Collagen

Soup Base Tonkotsu Shoyu

Soup Base Tom Yum Miso

Soup Base Spicy Dashi

The free-flow buffet here offers a variety of over 30 vegetables, non-meat / fish paste items, and side items including eggs, noodles, and tofu. While fresh, these are really just sidekicks to the main star, which is the soup bases and meat items.

Selection Of Items

Selection Of Items

All 3 meat items (chicken, pork, beef) are served in trays, and are free-flow. Generally, most diners here order many of these meat items, and only pick a small selection of vegetables and sides to go with their meal. But a sauce I always get with Japanese shabu-shabu / sukiyaki hot pot is the raw egg, because dipping the cooked meat in it makes it so much tastier!

Tray Of Meat

Tray Of Chicken

Tray Of Pork

Tray Of Beef

Tray Of Vegetables

The range of sauces allows you to customise to your heart's content. Personally, I prefer 1 to 3 flavours at most in my sauces, so I usually don't mix that many items.

Selection Of Sauces

Selection Of Sauces

Ponzu Sauce, Dashi Soy Sauce With Spring Onions

Sesame Sauce With Sesame Seeds, Sesame Oil, Chili

The signature item here, the Bamboo Pork is usually quickly snapped up whenever it's available. The soft minced meat texture absorbs the flavour of your chosen soup base really well, making it even more tasty than it already is.

Bamboo Pork



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