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About Culinary Slut

We are not professional chefs, nor are we professional food reviewers. We are, however, food obsessed. Food is more than fuel; it is tradition, history, family, celebration. It brings us together, it reflects the world we live in and where we came from. In many ways, food defines communities and our cultures. It can be creative, joyful and comforting. Food is life.   

We come from humble backgrounds and that allows us to appreciate humble noshing; at the same time
, we have achieved some small measure of success that allows us to travel and gives us access to culinary artistry. We both come from cultures where food is central to community and family and is symbolic of friendship.
 

You will not find negative reviews on Culinary Slut. While we may poke fun at times, it is as much at ourselves for risking food that we know is not haute cuisine as it is at the food itself.  If we don't like something, we just don't post about it. Instead, we’re here to have fun and share our wonderful experiences with you.

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Shabu Shabu

There are few dining experiences more social and more experimental than Shabu shabu!  This is one of Japan's most popular styles of hotpot dining and is otherwise not available in Saskatoon. The owners of Japa Bowl, Steve and Jessica, have purchased the tools just for our event! Japa bowl will prepare a made-from-scratch broth, select and cut the meats and vegetables, and prepare all the sauces and dipping bowls for each table. 

The name "Shabu Shabu" is an onomatopoeia - to the Japanese this is the sound of chopsticks swishing in the broth. You and your friends will cook the food together at the table, sharing a bottle of sake (or Japanese beer if that’s your preference) and explore your favourite combination of dipping sauce and condiments to bring out the flavours of the meat and veggies. We'll teach you the pleasurable and simple art of enjoying a Shabu shabu feast! Tables of four (4) will share a single pot of broth so come ready for a social evening with friends (or meeting new friends) in an intimate setting.

We'll teach you the pleasurable and simple art of enjoying a Shabu Shabu feast! This is a meal that encourages conversation, laughter and drinking. You'll love it so much, you'll beg Japa Bowl to bring it back for you to enjoy again!

About The Event

Quality meats are cut thinly, requiring only a few minutes of cooking time. As a result, it is more practical for diners to cook at the table so they can still enjoy them nice and hot, straight out of the broth. Once the vegetables and meats added to the broth have cooked through, diners grab them and place them in individual bowls.  Their selections are then dressed up with the condiments and dipping sauces provided, allowing for some playful experimentation.  As the meal continues, the broth evolves, changing flavor and becoming more and more complex. The bottom of your individual bowl will become a wonderful mix of broth and your chosen sauces to create a delicious sippable delight, different in flavour each time, before digging into the broth to refill.

 

At the end of the meal, soft and silky udon noodles are thrown in until they're cooked through, and now the broth is ready to be enjoyed as a soup! Condiments at the table can be added to your small soup bowl as well, allowing for each bowl to have its own unique character.   
 

The Menu

Sake

Each table of 4 will be sharing a 750 ml bottle of Gekkeikan Straight sake.

 

A "pure rice sake". These tend to be full-bodied, with pronounced earthiness and rice-influenced flavors. 

Beer and additional sake are available at an extra cost to be paid at the end of the night.

Broth

Made-from-scratch chicken broth. This is the preferred Shabu shabu broth of Jessica and Steve (the owners).  They take their broths seriously at Japa Bowl; this broth is cooked for 48 - 72 hours until peak flavour is achieved!

Meats 

Thin slices of: pork belly, beef blade, and beef strip loin.
Steven selects  and cuts the meats himself.

Vegetables

tofu, green onion, enoki mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms, chrysanthemum greens, Chinese cabbage, and gai lan cabbage (a favourite of the chefs!)

 

Some of our favourite combos:
-  We particularly loved the various vegetables with the jalapeno gyosho sauce and wasabi!
- Mushrooms and green onion paired wonderfully with the beef, sweet soy dipping sauce and chili oil.  
- chrysanthemum greens, with pork, egg dip, and jalapeno became addictive

 

 

Dipping Sauces


After pulling out your selection of vegetables and meats from the broth and adding them to your individual serving bowl, you can choose to dip them into one of the following two choices:
 

Raw Egg: Dishes served with raw egg are very common in Japan.  Each person will be provided with a raw egg which diners beat with their chopsticks until they are well mixed. Then meats and vegetables are dipped in and returned to the individual serving bowl and topped with any of the condiments provided.  This provides a mild but very rich flavour - lovers of over-easy-eggs and poached egg dishes will love this!  Near the end of the meal you can pour your remaining raw egg on a bowl of freshly cooked rice and give it a toss.  This is a popular breakfast dish in Japan, but when we're having Shabu shabu, it's like a savoury dessert for us! 

Tare:  This is Jessica's unique take on Japan's tare sauce. This sweet soy-based sauce has marinated white and green onion in it. Not only is the sauce lovely as a dip, but the marinated onions are also a delicious addition to the mixing and matching of flavour combinations.

 

 

 

Condiments

Condiments will be placed at the table for everyone to share.

Wasabi: Most of you are familiar with Japanese horseradish. You'll want to treat Jessica's with respect, it packs quite a wallop. 

Gyosho: The Japanese version of  Vietnam's nam pla. It tends to be milder in fragrance, has a more mellow flavour and a delicate sweetness. We particularly loved this on the pork and vegetables.

Jessica adds jalapeno  to provide an extra dimension of flavour

Chili Sauce: An earthy, smoky chili sauce that spicy food lovers will find mildly to moderately hot.

We quite enjoyed it paired with the tare dip.

Udon Noodles

 

These wheat flour noodles are something of a mainstay in Japanese cuisine. They have a pillowy, silky texture and are often enjoyed in soups. 

 

At the end of your meal, noodles are added to the pot for a few minutes until cooked through. You can then ladle the broth into your bowl along with some of the noodles. You can flavor your broth by adding any combination of dips and condiments - or even your leftover egg (a favourite technique or ours). Because your individual serving bowls are small, you'll have the chance to experiment a little.