Splitting two broths, herb and original, at Chuan Shabu on Park Avenue in Worcester, MA

Chuan Shabu in Worcester offers hot pot cooking, which means you get to pick a broth then add you choice of items to create a unique dinner for yourself. Some of the broth choices are herbal, chicken, or vegetarian.  Then you have a long list of vegetables to choose from, everything from the normal broccoli and carrots to the more adventurous enoki mushrooms and lotus roots. Everything is à la carte so it’s all customizable to your choice of flavor platte. We went with the half herbal, half chicken broth and ordered Angus beef, shrimp, pork, mushrooms, udon noodles, and greens to share. I loved the sauces served with the meal and we loaded our broths up with chopped garlic and scallions.

The meats were of good quality and the vegetables were fresh and green—a big plus! The à la carte portions were plentiful in size, so you do get a lot for your money. Even ladling from the broth was fun and felt adventurous to the dining experience. Learning how quickly the meats cooked was a fun challenge we enjoyed and shared the labor among all our friends; it was a very communal and entertaining dinner. My favorite part of our Chuan Shabu experience was at the end of the meal we all put the noodles in the broth. That broth was made so flavorful from all the cooked meats and veggies, and eating the thick yummy noodles after all that swirling and mixing turned out delicious. Overall, I really enjoyed the flavors and meal, it felt very healthy and certainly this soup hit the spot for a cold winter’s night.

Christmas shopping for fine art collectibles and inspiration at Vaillancourt Folk Art in Sutton, MA