after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Shabu Shabu

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t says:  I have a confession to make.  g and I don’t spend enough time in China town.  Like WAY-little.  We rarely do dim sum.  We [regretfully] miss out on hand-drawn noodles.  And certainly we haven’t shabu-shabu’d it (or “hotpot” as it’s referred to by our friends).  Fortunately, one very persuasive friend of ours made an excellent case to go: she had been, she knew what to do, and she was going …  So off g and I went – an adventure to Chinatown’s Hippot Shabu Shabu (most recently mentioned here).  What was it like?  It was insanity.  I don’t have many pictures of the pot, as my battery managed to very-nearly die.

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g’s side of the table went for a vegetable free-for-all.  personally, i felt that this method lacked the precision of perfectly cooking individual items, but i guess that’s just how they roll …

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on the meat side, we went for their “bone broth” (which i neglected to photograph.  we also went for thin slices of lamb and beef, as well as a variety of dumplings and balls.

In all, the meal was quite delicious.  For a bunch of neophytes like us, it was quite also quite the experience: dip, boil, slather, eat, and repeat!  Thanks to our shabu-master for organizing the outing because we would have been completely lost (there was a lot of speaking in tongues with which I was not familiar).  g and I also loved the social experience of gathering around a pot of food – much like a fondu … just with more exotic flavors.  Oh – and the “sauce bar” was good fun – I’m pretty sure I re-created General Tso’s sauce.  BUT, I have to let me Korean-ness shine through for a moment: I confess that I like Korean BBQ a bit more.  There’s something about the sizzle that I miss in hotpot.  And when you put that almost-burnt-outside-but-still-soft-inside cow in your mouth with a crisp leaf of fresh lettuce and a slice of cold kimchi – now that is heaven (so much so that g and I made some ssam at home tonight before I wrote this piece).  True, shabu gets major points with variety – I mean they had a whole page of balls for crying out loud!  But I’d never bring those balls to a kalbi fight …

After shabu-ing it for dinner, we hit up a place I have heard so much about but hadn’t had the chance yet to visit (because, you know, we never go to Chinatown …): Audubon Bakeshop.  So when you walk in, you think “oh, macarons … i like macarons – i’ve had them before” (and for a snob like me, add on: “i ate at a new macaron vendor every single day of our trip in Paris … if there’s only one thing i know, it’s eating macarons”).  So I sashayed my way up to the counter …

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I began to notice that these were not macarons of a single flavor, rather, combinations.  What gives?  Is it simply that the exterior is a different flavor than the filling?  …

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Nope!  It’s because there are two fillings!  Interesting!  While I have no idea how unique this is, I was intrigued.  It was time to taste some … so naturally, I bought 1 of each … you know, “to share” …

And of course, I pretty much ate them all by myself.  They were as addictive a potato chips.  As soon as i ate one, I knew I had to eat another – I just had to know what it tasted like, because the flavor combos were so much fun!  It reminded me of wanting to try ALL the donuts at FedNuts … except that I hated myself far less afterwards (6 donuts vs. 6 macarons …)  In the end I’m not sure which was my favorite, but what I can say is that I’m definitely putting down this place on the short list of “desserts to bring from Philly” when we attend parties in the south Jersey suburbs.  These small bites packed a slightly more profound punch of flavor than a typical macaron – I can’t wait until they make new flavors!

So a successful Chinatown outing.  I’m sorry we neglected you.  We’ll be back.

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Written by afterdinnersneeze

7 April 2015 at 8:25pm

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