Party of one? No problem at this Yakiniku Like.

Yakiniku Like, a restaurant chain that serves up sets like solo yakiniku and solo sukiyaki, has started selling solo shabu shabu hot pot at one of their restaurants in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood.

The Solo Domestic Beef Shabu Shabu Set at the Shinjuku Nishiguchi branch costs just 1,280 yen (US$9.20), and it comes with Japanese beef, rice, udon noodles, kimchi, and a tare dipping sauce set. Our Japanese-language reporter Mr. Sato made the journey to Yakiniku Like to test it out.

▼ He was pleased to discover that for a limited time, you can get free refills of rice with your shabu shabu set order.

Tables at Yakiniku Like normally have a grill in the center of the table to cook your yakiniku, but when Mr. Sato put in his order for shabu shabu, restaurant staff removed the plate to reveal a personal shabu shabu pot.

▼ Yakiniku Like’s yakiniku set table configuration

▼ This is what the shabu shabu set looks like.

Mr. Sato’s order came ready for him to prepare: the beef, the rice, the kimchi, the tare sauce mixture, and some udon noodles to finish it off. His personal pan was also full of broth, cabbage, and mushrooms to accompany the beef.

Not sure what to do? No worries! At the table there’s a helpful instruction card for shabu shabu newbies that explains how to prepare the meal. First let the broth in the pan come to a boil, then dip in the beef until it’s cooked. When all of your beef and most of your vegetables were gone, add your leftover tare dipping sauce to the broth , then add the noodles for a closer. It’s like two meals in one: shabu shabu and udon!

▼ The card also explained that Mr. Sato could ask for rice refills using the touch panel at his table.

Mr. Sato quickly got to preparing what Yakiniku Like calls their Legendary Tare Sauce, which has green onions, seaweed, and chili pepper flakes in there along with the egg yolk.

▼ Mr. Sato waited until the pan contents came to a boil as per the instructions, then dipped in the beef.

▼ When the beef was cooked, he lifted it out of the pan and then transferred it to his personal tare dipping bowl.

Delicious! He felt like it warmed him from the inside out. The garlic and chili flakes in the sauce overpowered the rest of the sauce, though, so maybe it would be better to let customers adjust the tare ingredients to their taste, he thought.

Still, it was a perfect pairing for rice. It made him wonder if the tare sauce was flavored more to accompany rice than to bring out the beef’s flavor. If you’re a rice lover, this is the ticket.

Finally, he finished off his meal with the included udon noodles.

Mr. Sato purposely left some room in his stomach for the udon, though it was hard to resist ordering more rice. The noodles only took one minute to boil to perfection.

▼ Your stomach definitely won’t be empty at the end of this.

Mr. Sato thought this was the best part of the meal. The juices from the beef had flavored the broth even more, so it was a super-rich meal. He began to regret not saving some of the meat to eat with the udon .

All in all, it was an ultra-satisfying meal for Mr. Sato. He hopes they do solo udon next time. It seems Yakiniku Like is just testing out the solo shabu shabu for now, so it’s only limited to one store at the moment. If you want to try out this solo shabu shabu, head over to the Shinjuku Nishiguchi branch!

Restaurant information
Yakiniku Like Shunjuku Nishiguchi Branch | 焼肉ライク 新宿西口店
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 7-11-17 Blessten Nishi-Shinjuku 1F
Open: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. (last order 10:30 p.m.)

Photos ©SoraNews24
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