Shabu Shabu on Norwegial Pearl

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#1
21 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
I love hot pot (or Shabu Shabu). Can anyone confirm that this is still available in the Lotus restaurant on the Norwegian Pearl? Do they bring out a big boiling pot of broth and allow people to cook the meat themselves? Was it good?

I was really surprised when I saw on a previous post that hot pot was available. No offense to y'all, but hot pot with it's raw meat and boiling broth seems a bit too "ethnic" for the majority of Americans. I suspect that NCL dumbs down the dish by cooking the meat for you and brings it out in a soup bowl rather than letting people cook it themselves.

Anyway, would love to hear some feedback about this. I was about to book a cruise for our family on Princess, but now I'm seriously considering the NCL Pearl. To be honest, the hot pot thing was what made me re-consider. This would be my first NCL cruise. Thanks all!
#2
Dallas, Texas
5,895 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
I was on the Pearl last year and can't confirm that your preferred dish is still available. I would think it would be a liability to bring boiling pots to a table on a cruise ship, regardless of Americans or not. If that is your only criteria for switching from Princess to Pearl I would not do it.
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#3
NY, NY
5,870 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
coup,
I can't imagine why there wouldn't still be shabu shabu on the Pearl as they have special tables just for it that you reserve.

They do not carry the boiling pot to you. Rather it is done just like in Japan where the burner is turned on at your table and you do the cooking. There are vegetables (including things like enoki mushrooms) and thinly cut beef (or chicken, shrimp or whatever you want) which you swish swish in the seasoned broth and eat with rice.

After you're finished, they will remove everything and add noodles in the galley to make you a bowl of soup. We've usually been too full to enjoy this.

Of course, appetizers & desserts off the Lotus Garden menu.

We found it to be a fairly authentic tasty meal and a fun experience! The servers are standing by to control the burners and help you, especially if you're not familiar with shabu shabu.

If this is a dealbreaker for you, avoid the Gem. Someone forgot to put shabu shabu tables in the plans.
#5
156 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
last year when we were on it.

I am not surprised if NCL goes away from it; we eat in the pan-Asian family of NCL restaurants multiple nights every cruise, and I think I have seen only 1 or 2 tables ever doing shabu-shabu.
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#6
NY, NY
5,870 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
NoVa,

Quite true. They don't "promote" it and a lot of guests don't even know about it. Even if it's in the Freestyle Daily, many people don't have a clue what it is or what they'd be paying for.

But as long as they have those special tables with the "well," I hope they continue with it. We've done it on Jewel and Pearl and it was one of our favorite evenings.

The broth is not highly seasoned though so it's not a spicy dish. For a little more flavor, there are a couple of dipping sauces before your food hits the rice.
#7
21 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Thanks, all! It sounds like it is still available, just not terribly popular. I suppose that's good for me so I don't have to wait too long for a table. I really was surprised that they offered it because it's a very specific niche of Asian cuisine - rarely enjoyed by regular white folks.
#8
43 Posts
Joined May 2009
Hi, I've had the Shabu Shabu on the Pearl. It wasn't very good. Of course this was about a year ago, so maybe the chef has changed or the recipe. The broth was very bland. The items were for dipping were ok, we enjoyed ourselves dispite the lack of flavor. Hey, we're on a cruise! The other side dishes included were not remarkable. I 've had much better Shabu Shabu elsewhere. I will continue to eat in the Asian restaurant, but just the sushi or the other Asian items. I recommend the Godzilla roll!
#9
208 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by snorklin'barb
coup,
They do not carry the boiling pot to you. Rather it is done just like in Japan where the burner is turned on at your table and you do the cooking. There are vegetables (including things like enoki mushrooms) and thinly cut beef (or chicken, shrimp or whatever you want) which you swish swish in the seasoned broth and eat with rice.
What kind of seasoned broth? Dashi?
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#10
Emerald City
1,005 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
We did it on the Pearl last October and we though it was rathed good, it's true the broth is not too seasoned or spicy but if it was you would loose the taste of what you were cooking and not everyone like the seasoned or spicy taste. There is a pot of broth on a warmer at your table and you cook the items right there. They kept refulling the items until we couldn't eat any more.

Here's a link to copies of NCL's menus. Shabu-Shabu menu is on page four.

http://travel.webshots.com/album/570368358ShRfwS
#11
Sacramento, CA
1,713 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
I just got off the Pearl last month.

The Shabu Shabu IS available in the Lotus Garden Restaurant. They only have 4 tables that are set up for it, with seating for 4 at each table. It was wonderful and so much fun. You have your choice of which type of broth...a nicely seasoned water based broth...and a more spicy oil based broth. Both were good. They bring out heaping plates of noodles, vegetables and chicken, beef or seafood. We ended up throwing everything in (we did chicken and beef) and then just making a wonderful pot!

You will enjoy it, it's fun, tasty and different!

MAKE NOTE: Watch your FreeStyle Daily. Sometimes they offer two-fers in some specialty restaurants..and the Lotus Garden and Shabu Shabu are part of that usually.
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#12
NY, NY
5,870 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
BeadBabe,

Thanks for that info. I never knew there were 2 types of broth to choose from. Always have had the "dashi" (as someone asked - bonito flakes) one which is quite bland.

But with the dipping sauces it's really quite tasty. This next trip on the Jade we will ask for the spicier broth.

BTW, we've never needed another plate of beef (or whatever) but they will give that to you readily if you need more.
#13
Sacramento, CA
1,713 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by snorklin'barb
BeadBabe,

Thanks for that info. I never knew there were 2 types of broth to choose from. Always have had the "dashi" (as someone asked - bonito flakes) one which is quite bland.

But with the dipping sauces it's really quite tasty. This next trip on the Jade we will ask for the spicier broth.

BTW, we've never needed another plate of beef (or whatever) but they will give that to you readily if you need more.
I had three guys at my table with me...we ordered more meat. HA HA
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#14
208 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by snorklin'barb
Thanks for that info. I never knew there were 2 types of broth to choose from. Always have had the "dashi" (as someone asked - bonito flakes) one which is quite bland.
Dashi is supposed to be 'bland', to not add too much flavor to the food. The flavor is supposed to be in the food itself, complimented by a dipping sauce. If it didn't start out bland(ish), then the final soup would taste of whatever the starter was rather then being the sum of the meal.
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#15
Northeast U.S.
4,513 Posts
Joined Nov 2000
I wanted shabu shabu once and the people I was with did not. I wanted shabu shabu on a different sailing and the people I was with did not. The third time my travel-mate wanted shabu shabu too! We were on the wrong ship. So, if you see some gal by herself at the shabu shabu table next time, that will be me. I do not care what anyone says anymore. I am going to try it and I am going to like it.

coka
#16
Washington State Ellensburger
14,300 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
ROTFLMAO-Coka, I doubt there's a snowball chance in h-e double hockey sticks, that you'll have to eat alone (unless you so choose-it's freestyle afterall)

Originally posted by coka
I wanted shabu shabu once and the people I was with did not. I wanted shabu shabu on a different sailing and the people I was with did not. The third time my travel-mate wanted shabu shabu too! We were on the wrong ship. So, if you see some gal by herself at the shabu shabu table next time, that will be me. I do not care what anyone says anymore. I am going to try it and I am going to like it.

coka
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