Spicy Beef Wok from Chuan Shabu on Park Avenue in Worcester, MA

Chuan Shabu is one of the newest restaurants to emerge in the Worcester in winter 2014. The restaurant has a nice modern design with a large bar area and cooking tables throughout. On a previous visit I tried the hot pot experience that Chuan Shabu has brought to Worcester and I found the wait staff were very friendly and helpful in explaining the hot pot options. While Chuan Shabu‘s main theme is the hot pot experience they also feature a large menu of other foods, which I opted for during this visit.

After a review of the menu I opted to start with a small bowl of wanton soup and a spicy beef wok that was served over its own cooking wok. The wanton soup was a very simple broth and wantons. While it lived up its name, I had higher expectations for a restaurant known for soup. Fortunately, the spicy beef wok more than made up for the soup. I asked for it to be prepared with a moderate to medium heat and it was just the perfect spice. The beef was thinly sliced and tender. Accompanying the beef were onions, cauliflower, green peppers, and red peppers and a brown sauce that were a perfect pairing to the dish. Surprisingly, the cauliflower was the key ingredient that gave it just the right texture and variation from the more common broccoli that usually accompanies similar dishes.

Overall, my main course was a strong contender and great alternative to the hot pot. The hot pot experience is definitely worth a try as a social form of eating that allows you to try different combinations and is a interesting experience to share with friends. Yet, I was pleasantly suppressed by the other side of the menu. My suggestion is don’t forget “the other side” of the menu when you visit Chuan Shabu.

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