A pleasant breezy afternoon, a faux waterfall adding to the soothing ambience, great friends and healthy piping hot comfort food accompanied by lengthy conversations – these are all you need to make your day memorable. We were happy that Hyatt Pune Kalyaninagar invited Food-adda India team including us bloggers for a fantastic review of the Shabu Shabu festival that is currently being hosted at their restaurant, Baan Tao. The festival started mid Jan and due to its immense popularity among Puneites has been extended till the 12th of Feb.
The fun part of being a food and lifestyle blogger is the vast range of experiences our kind is exposed to. I was of a mind to savor Japanese cuisine and had often seen shows on TLC that had a series featuring Japanese street food and how a nice big bowl of broth looked with yummy meats and veggies swimming in it. It looked delish and I bet it tasted the part too. Little did I know that this concept of cooking was also termed Shabu Shabu and I was going to try it out here at Baan Tao in Hyatt Pune Kalyaninagar. It would be the TASTIEST HEALTH FOOD I’ve ever tasted to date. If it was not for an invite from Hyatt Pune Kalyaninagar I’d never have had this opportunity to check out this wonderful form of Japanese cuisine.
For curious souls like myself, desiring to learn the meaning of the name Shabu Shabu led to an interesting discovery. It’s derived from the sound the flames make as they come out of the stove, which in this case is a traditional one, something you might find in use decades ago. Times have changed and we now have high tech gas stoves that can easily occupy a place on your table to boil the flavored broth.
So a Shabu Shabu experience at Hyatt Pune Kalyaninagar would be something like a live barbeque, I assumed. I remember seeing a gas stove placed on the table with a cooking pot full of broth. You may choose between chicken and vegetable broths and also pick your preference in spices; the chef here had quite a few options handy. You are then served a platter of fresh raw meats and veggies and sides of par boiled noodles and select dipping sauces.
Since we were at Hyatt Pune Kalyaninagar for a review of the Shabu Shabu festival, the chef made it a point to interact with us and helped us make our Shabu Shabu. All you need do is add your choice of veggies and meat in the boiling stock along with some glass noodles and wait out the 4-5 minute time frame. You can then serve yourself big helpings of this broth along with the meats and blanched vegetables. We tried everything from shitake mushrooms, baby spinach, pak choy, Chinese cabbage, spring onions, white fungi, black fungi, green and yellow zucchini, basil, mild beetle leaves, tenderloin chicken, salmon, prawns, squid and lots more. As you already see, there were endless options for veg Shabu Shabu too.
The soul behind Shabu Shabu lies in its broth. If the broth is perfect, all the raw vegetables and meats are going to absorb the right flavors and come out tasting amazing, adding to the overall zest and quality of this cuisine type. Then of course comes the slicing of meats and dicing of vegetables. It needs to be cut to perfection so that it doesn’t take more than 4-5 minutes for the ingredients to cook in the pot.
You must try the Shabu Shabu at Hyatt Pune Kalyaninagar if you want to have an absolutely awesome family time and a great meal to go with it. For me, the concept was all about connecting with fellow diners. While the broth was boiling and the ingredients cooked live at our table and then when we poured those ladles of delicious lip-smacking soup into our bowls and began to savor it, we could tell it was gonna be a long fun afternoon. And it was.
I can’t stop raving about Shabu Shabu, one of the reasons being I want to take Umesh to Hyatt Pune Kalyaninagar to enjoy this experience before the festival ends. And then someday, I plan to host a Shabu Shabu dinner at my place for friends who love healthy food and lengthy conversations. J
P.S. Let me mention something important. Hyatt Pune Kalyaninagar stands at a different location and is not to be confused with Hyatt in general. Pune has two Hyatts in the same area and people often confuse this with the other or mistake it for Ista. You’ll find I have listed the address and rates for Shabu Shabu below for your convenience.
Shabu Shabu – Japanese Street Food Festival
15th January to 12th February, 2014
Hyatt Pune Kalyaninagar,
Adjacent to Aga Khan Palace
88, Nagar Road, Pune
Landmark: Next to Pulse Mall
What you pay
(One platter will suffice for 2 people)
Veg Platter– INR 700 + TAX
Non-veg Platter– INR 800 + TAX
Seafood Platter –INR 900 + TAX