The Hot Pot Experience from Chuan Shabu on Park Avenue in Worcester, MA

Located on Park Street, the energy at Chuan Shabu was fresh and new—which is possibly due to the fact that they are relatively new to the Worcester area. The bar was decent size and took up most of the back of the restaurant. The kitchen was partially open to the restaurant and you can watch the hustle and bustle going on as you sit and wait for your food to come.

The wait staff was prompt and when asked about menu items appeared to be very informed. Our waiter took the time to explain to us how a “HOT POT” works and made suggestions for ordering to feed our group. Although they have other items to pick from on a regular menu myself and my dining companions decided to do the hot pot experience. We agreed on two separate broths, the Basic broth which is a chicken flavor and a herbal broth which was very flavorful but hard to explain. It reminded me a little of a vegetable broth.

We ordered several dishes of meat and seafood, including beef, pork, shrimp, squid, sausage. All of this went into the hot pot and then was scooped out to be eaten after it had cooked to the desired state. The assortment of seafood and meat cooked incredibly fast in the hot broth. When we scooped it out of the hot pot there was dipping sauces to be used although I found the flavor of the food after having cooked in the broth to be very flavorful and several times I didn’t use the dipping sauce.

Our meal also included a variety of vegetables including, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, bok choy and mushrooms. All of the vegetables made their way into the pot of simmering broth. After being cooked we scooped out the vegetables and enjoyed them as they were or with dipping sauce. Overall, it was an interesting experience, but I felt this was more of an event then a meal. The pace was slow and allowed you to have conversations with your dining companions in a very relaxed and easy setting. I would recommend this place for a special occasion or for those who enjoy something a little different.