The Daily Feed: Do You Shabu-Shabu?

Many families return to the same few restaurants time and again, but the rewards of fleeing one’s culinary comfort zone can be immeasurable—for adults, and especially for kids.

Last night we experienced our first shabu-shabu, a Japanese dining style where pots of bubbling broth are brought to the table with platters of raw meat, tofu, and vegetables.  A variety of dipping sauces is served alongside.

We swished wagyu beef and funky enokitake mushrooms in seasoned broth as plumes of steam enveloped the table. Younger children should be closely supervised, but my 8- and 10-year-old sons got into both the food and the drama. When the check arrived, my older son said: “I wish we could start dinner from the beginning and do it all over again.” High praise, indeed.

Looking for more unique experiences? 

*At Ethiopian restaurants, diners eat with their hands and dip pieces of spongy injera in zesty stews. 

*Many Moroccan restaurants offer low tables where diners can sit on colorful cushions right on the floor. 

*Some Persian restaurants hire belly-dancers on the weekends.  It’s dinner, and a show. 

It’s perfectly understandable to crave the familiar. But for the price of a simple meal, why not experience the world in all its delicious glory?


Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule.

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