After Two-Year Delay, Tremont Hot Pot Spot USHABU Will Open October 20


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Update: There's an official date now.

Ushabu will open next week, Thursday, October 20.

For all the details of what you can look forward to, check out our original post below.


(Original story 9/1/16): Shabu-shabu fans were elated at the news that USHABU (2173 Professor Ave.) would open in Tremont. But two years have passed since Scene broke the news and diners were right to question if the hot pot joint would ever open. Rest assured, says management, the restaurant is on track to open before the end of September.

  • Douglas Trattner
Owners Hsiao Jung Liu and Haowei Chiu have been busy readying the 700-square-foot eatery, formerly home to Eye Candy Gallery, into an elegant 25-seat bistro that will serve traditional shabu-shabu and Asian-style small plates.

Each individual seat is outfitted with its own induction burner topped with a clay hot pot. The soup pot is filled with a choice of three broths – ginger-chicken, spicy miso, and kombu dashi – in which various meats, fish, seasonal veggies and noodles are cooked and eaten. Thinly sliced pieces of heritage breed pork, wagyu beef, lamb or seafood are briefly dunked in the simmering broth (the term shabu-shabu translates to swish-swish, the movement of the ingredients in the soup) to cook them. They are then dipped in sauces like sweet sesame, ponzu and soy-vinegar and eaten with rice. Udon noodles are added to the remaining broth and consumed last.

Pan-Asian small plates like Taiwanese oyster omelet, Hakka-style squid stir fry and a few other starters will join the concise menu. For the time being, USHABU does not have a liquor license.

General manager Michael Flaherty, who has worked at L’ Albatros and EDWINS, says there’s a certain beauty in the scale and scope of USHABU that attracted him to the position.

Of large, ambitious eateries, he says, “It’s hard to staff, it’s hard to train and it’s hard to put out a consistently high-level product and experience. With a tiny place and small staff you can really create a culture where you’re training people, bringing them up to be very attentive to detail, very hospitable and gracious.”

The name USHABU is a play on the phrase “you shabu.”

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