Restaurant Review: Nabe-ya Shabu-Shabu and Hotpot Cebu

Nabe-ya Shabu-Shabu and Hotpot Cebu
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Nabe-ya Shabu-Shabu and Hotpot Cebu

Looking for authentic Japanese shabu-shabu in Cebu? Maybe Nabe-ya is what you’re looking for.

Simple Interiors at Nabe-ya Shabu-Shabu and Hotpot
Simple Interiors at Nabe-ya Shabu-Shabu and Hotpot

What’s Nabe-ya? Nabe is short for Nabemono which is a Japanese term for hot pot cuisine while Ya means house. Put together, Nabe-ya means hot pot house.

Author’s Dilemma

I was actually a bit hesitant when my friend invited me to be one of the first people to eat at this newly-opened restaurant across The Space in A.S. Fortuna Street in Banilad.

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You see, I live fifteen kilometres away and the traffic condition in Cebu is slowly catching up with Manila. However, I haven’t tried shabu-shabu yet and also, how can you say no to free Japanese food?

Nabe-ya Shabu-Shabu and Hotpot Cebu
Nabe-ya Shabu-Shabu and Hotpot Cebu

First Impressions

Renting a unit in A.Y. Building by the highway, Nabe-ya basically occupies the second floor of Hamakaze.

It’s accessible via stairway and could accommodate up to 26 people.

Maki cooking the Dosui
Maki cooking the Dosui

I actually visited Hamakaze last year, tried out their ramen and made a review about it.

Basically, the interiors of Hamakaze and Nabe-ya are the same, simple and minimalistic.

Now, the same owner is extending their food offerings under a different brand. What’s even greater here is that you can also order from Hamakaze’s menu.

Dining Experience

Upon entering, each person is automatically charged PHP220 inclusive of rice, egg, sauce (ponzu and sesame) and vegetable set (spring rain noodles, mushroom, tofu, carrots, cabbage, and spinach).

Pork Belly in Sesame Sauce
Pork Belly in Sesame Sauce

As of the moment, you only have the option of either beef or pork shabu-shabu set good for two to three persons at PHP870 and PHP650 respectively. Check their Facebook page from time to time to find out when they’re releasing their Beef Sukiyaki and Chicken Collagen set.

Fun Fact: Shabu-shabu is actually an onomatopoeia referring to the sound generated when you dip the ingredients in seaweed broth.

In here, customers cook their meal on a portable stove in the dining table and the cooking times vary depending on the ingredient you’re cooking. Don’t worry, the meat is paper thin and only takes at least ten seconds to cook.

Pork and Beef Shabu-Shabu Set
Pork and Beef Shabu-Shabu Set
Eating Tip: Try and mix each ingredient in a bowl with sesame sauce and eat them all in one go
Mixed everything in the hot pot
Mixed everything in the hot pot

I promise you, each bite is heaven.

I guess I’m now a certified shabu-shabu addict. You can read my sworn affidavit on King of Sinulog.

Vegetable set, sauces and hotpot
Vegetable set, sauces and hotpot


We actually were able to eat all our vegetables and I guess we had at least three meat refills.

Oolong Tea at Nabe-ya Shabu-Shabu and Hotpot
Oolong Tea at Nabe-ya Shabu-Shabu and Hotpot

I also tried their iced Oolong Tea which was mildly sweet with sho-chu, a potato wine from Japan.

Feeling full and a bit sleepy, we were informed that the meal was not yet over.

The remaining kelp Bonirto and Kelp soup (seaweed broth) in the hotpots were then mixed with cooked rice, eggs, spring onions and sprinkled with salt.

Dosui at Nabe-ya Shabu-Shabu and Hotpot
Dosui at Nabe-ya Shabu-Shabu and Hotpot

The resulting dish is Dosui, which kind of tasted like dimsum steamed rice without the meat.

Shabu-Shabu Addict
Shabu-Shabu Addict

Thanking our hosts for the experience, we went home with full stomachs and new found friends.

Nabe-ya Shabu-Shabu and Hotpot is located on the 2nd floor of Hamakaze right across The Space in A.S.Fortuna Banilad Cebu City. They are open from 4PM to 12MN. For inquiries and reservations, call them at (032) 505 4220 or drop a message on their official facebook page.

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