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“Shabu-shabu restaurant in Tremont”
Review of Ushabu

Ushabu
Ranked #434 of 1,998 Restaurants in Cleveland
Price range: US$ 23 - US$ 30
Description: Regionally-focused Japanese restaurant with elegant, finesse-driven mains and small plates, as well as shabu-shabu, or traditional Japanese hot pot. Reservations recommended!
Restaurant details
Description: Regionally-focused Japanese restaurant with elegant, finesse-driven mains and small plates, as well as shabu-shabu, or traditional Japanese hot pot. Reservations recommended!
Reviewed 29 May 2018

For those that don't know, Shabu-shabu is hot pot dining where you are given ingredients (beef, fish, veggies, tofu, etc.) and you cook them in a communal tabletop pot of boiling broth. At Ushabu, each person is given their own pot of broth, making the selections of protein, veggies and broth custom tailored for each individual palate.

Our server explained the choices we had and how we would go about cooking our food. She also brought a trio of sauces and explained each one to us. We placed our orders and only had a short wait before the ingredients to our dinner found its way to our table. The food was delicious and cooking it in our own pots was a lot of fun. We traded food back and forth with each other, trying different combinations of broth and sauce. At the end of the meal we were all pleasantly full.

This is a very small restaurant so reservations are encouraged. Ushabu also has a special 13-course meal which requires prepaid reservations a least a week in advance. You can make your reservations from the restaurant’s website.

While Ushabu isn’t super expensive, it’s not for the budget conscious diner. Dinner for 4, which included 6 glasses of wine but no dessert, ran us $280 including the tip. But for a special occasion, this fun and flavorful choice is a good bet.

Thank Debbie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (9)
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2 - 6 of 9 reviews

Reviewed 14 January 2018

Half the menu is 6-8 shabu-shabu dishes, cooked (by you!) right at your table...Seemed like too few udon noodles at the beginning, but I ended up quite filled. Very fun experience... The meat cooks in 5-10 seconds! The other half of the menu consists of appetizers and a few seasonal mains... The food and decor are exquisite... Sadly, because the wine and sake are overpriced (and misidentified?), I could not give this place five stars. But it is definitely worth trying again sometime.

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Thank AdventureTraveler113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2017

I love the chic design and bathroom of this cozy restaurant/izakaya in Tremont. I have been twice for dinner and think it is mediocre shabu shabu. I thought the service was spectacular, however, and will continue to come back, hoping that the dinner keeps getting better as it is a newer restaurant. The last time I was there I even opted out of the shabu shabu and got appetizers instead and it seemed that it was not well-received by the restaurant. I have had people I was with like it and others think it was very average for the cost involved. I like a more traditional style (ginko) down the street than this one in terms of food.

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Thank laurney13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2017

This is a traditional Japanese noodle restaurant and they change the menu every few months to explore the different culinary cultures of Japan. The physical facility was beautiful and relaxing, although a bit noisy. We were treated to the Okinawa culture. I would imagine there are only two seatings per night. We arrived at 7:30 for 8 pm reservations and our table did not clear until 8:15, and there is no place at the bar to have a drink, so we walked down the street to another restaurant for a drink before dinner. I counted 25 seats (three tables for 4, one table for six and the others at the bar). There is no ability to accommodate another person at a table because each setting has a heating element built into the table.

There is limited alcohol (wine, sake and beer); which is clearly not a focus of the meal. This is terrific if you want a vegan or gluten free meal.

We started with appetizers -- my wife and I had their version of a seaweed salad (Kaiso Salad), which was unique and terrific --- different than what you would get at most sushi places. For the main meal you can select one of a few non-noodle entrees (none of us selected these items). For the noodle dishes you selected one of three broths and then your protein. My wife selected the simple vegetable broth while the rest of us selected the spicy miso. The spicy miso was quite spicy and although the heat toned down near the end of the meal it was uncomfortable for the other couple and they brought some of the plain broth to tone it down. I liked it spicy. The broth is brought to the table in a huge metal bowl, which is seated into the heating element. A bowl of vegetables with two large pieces of tofu are then brought to the table and we were given instructions how to cook these. I would advise to tear apart the cabbage, otherwise when you try to eat it you will need to tear it apart with your chop sticks or with your teeth. The protein is then brought to the table --- one of several types of meat or the fish selection. My wife and I got the fish selection: a lobster tail, two large shrimp, a pressed fish cake and sushi grade salmon. I also got a 2 ounce (plenty) side of Ohio Wagyu beef. You are then given instructions how to cook the protein (beef and pork for 5-10 seconds, salmon from 5 seconds to a minute and the shell fish from 1.5-2 minutes. We loved our fish selection, the beef was good but our friend's pork belly was outstanding. So the food was great. The cost of 4 appetizers, 4 meals (without the expensive wagyu) and two wines, two side orders of protein, before tip, was $180.

You need to be aware that it is not possible to have dinner here in less than 2 hours, and we did not finish our meal until about 10:45, two hours and 30 minutes after sitting down and 2 hours and 15 minutes after placing our order ---- the service is NOT slow, but the process takes time. There is some work involved and timing your cooking time is not everyone's idea of a good time. It was a little messy --- taking a lobster tail or shrimp out of the hot broth (the miso broth contains oil too), and then having to hand-peel the tail is messy and the red pepper/oil coating on food will stain clothes --- this is not something that can be done with a chop stick as you have to use your hands. I did find this a bit annoying (despite the process being traditional). This ends up being a great place for a social meal with friends that you are comfortable with. Do not come here if you are in a rush. If you like to sit around after dinner, I would avoid that first sitting because someone will be waiting for your table. Because there is a need to keep an eye on your food and interact with the food, this is not a great place for a first date.

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Thank BruceC844
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2017

We went with our friends from Japan and they confirmed how authentic it was. Everything but each person gets their own hot bowl which is nice to not be sharing. For appetizer we shared Takoyaki, octopus fritters and loved them and Hiyayako - the best tofu I have ever eaten. The Kombu dash broth is the traditional and was fantastic, subtle and tasty. I had the Ohio Wagyu beef and it was so tasty but my husband had the pork and it was equally terrific. We were too full to try dessert. The service was very instructional which of course we needed for our first visit. We look forward to going again soon. I'm curious how the restaurant will keep it cook in the heat of summer, but we were never warm with 4 hot pots going. Great job

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1  Thank cwithp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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