Veggie medley from Chuan Shabu on Park Avenue in Worcester, MA

Winter 2014 – so cold, so in need of something to warm the body and soul. Savory broth, fresh vegetables, chicken, beef, fish, whatever you crave… All in one super-hot pot, this is–Chuan Shabu.

Shabu means Chinese hot pot, and why I have never taken the plunge (no pun) to try this delectable food and method of preparation is beyond me, as this is right up my food alley.

The décor is chic and fun. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and offered some great suggestions. I was slightly overwhelmed in a good way with the menu, but he really took the time to help us make some educated decisions.

We ordered the scallion pancakes, so delicious. Not too heavy, just the right amount of scallions and the flavor was fabulous! Will definitely order them again.

If you have never had Shabu – oh you must, just for the mere involvement. This is the ultimate “sharing” experience and even a germ phobic person like myself was ok with it, (perhaps it was the boiling broth that put me at ease).

We selected the satay broth, a mixed vegetable platter; I selected chicken and vermicelli for my noodles. You have the option of ordering your vegetables separately; I will definitely do that next time, great options on the menu.

I loved the flavor of this broth, it is hard to depict, it was not like Pho, and it almost had an ever so slight peanut flavor, just enough spice. Loved it!

You cook your items right in the broth for it felt like 30 seconds, you can use a little strainer (sorry Joe for knocking ALL your stuff out!), and then you move the items to your bowl to enjoy. It can be messy, although I think it was our space issue because the table next to us looked like professionals.

Shabu is super fun, healthy and crave worthy. I really cannot wait to go back and have been raving about it to everyone. Please try Chuan Shabu, perfect for this blistery weather and you will not be disappointed.

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