The first mistake we made was to look at the wrong menu online (the Raleigh version) and then get excited about several dishes that they didn’t offer at the Durham location. Conspicuously absent, considering the restaurant’s name, was Shabu Shabu. Once we adjusted our expectations, though, we got a pretty good meal (but perhaps not worth the price).
We started with the sashimi appetizer (six pieces, $8.49), which was very fresh.
The chicken red curry ($13.99) was also good–it was a bit light on vegetables, but the sauce itself was rich and tasty (though we didn’t like it any more than nearby Twisted Noodles’ version, which costs five bucks less). We’re still searching for “the bomb” Thai curry in the Triangle–any suggestions?
We also got the Pla Sam Rod (fried red snapper with a spicy sauce and vegetables, $14.99), which was my favorite dish of the evening. The dish wasn’t exceptionally spicy, and in fact most of the sauce was very sweet and needed to be cut with the spicier sauce on the side, but the two mixed together was a nice combo. This dish also had plenty of vegetables, which were fresh and well cooked.
This place is definitely going for atmosphere–it was very dark, the music was loud, and there was even a dj perched high above the dining area–all a bit over the top for our tastes but well executed for what it is. Our service was less than ideal (for some reason our entrees came out about 10 minutes apart), but we won’t hold that against them just yet since they were newly opened when we went. Maybe if they get enough requests they’ll even start offering Shabu Shabu! All in all it was a nice evening–we’d go back if someone else was paying or if they added their namesake dish to the menu.