Shabu-shabu, the art of cooking raw meat, vegetables and tofu in tabletop pots of boiling broth, is usually a casual affair. Shaburi is attempting to go upscale with the concept. In a series of elegant dining rooms, you’ll find mahogany tables with built-in ranges; on the menu, you’ll find beef a cut above kobe (yes, such a thing exists). But the concept doesn’t always work. The extra-wide tables make for an uncomfortable dining distance between you and your date, plus a cloud of steam hovers over the broth, making eye-gazing unthinkable (if you’re wearing glasses, you’ve got even bigger problems). The restaurant takes pride in its top-quality raw materials—as in the tomato and tofu salad —but we were left brokenhearted when we kept our $65 matsuzaka beef in the broth a second too long and ruined it. At that price, we think a professional should do the cooking.
125 E 39th St
|Cross street:||between Park and Lexington Aves|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu 11:30am–10:30pm; Fri, Sat 11:30am–midnight; Sun 1–10:30pm|
|Transport:||Subway: 42nd St S, 4, 5, 6, 7 to 42nd St–Grand Central|
|Price:||Average main course: $20. MC, V|