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Spring Shabu-Shabu, Flushing, NY

Have you ever hot potted? If not, you are in for a treat. I have enjoyed many vegan hot pot cooked meals in the states, as well as in Vietnam and China, and I can tell you that not all Hot Pot (HP) restaurants are created equal! Many HP restaurants don’t allow for seconds (and thirds), or allow the customers to choose their own ingredients. Not so with Spring Shabu Shabu restaurant in Queens, NY, where all of the plant based ingredients are fresh, colorful, and delicious, and there are too many vegetable options to count. And oh yes, multiple return trips to the “food bars” are encouraged! 🙂

We started with a broth of our choosing (we opted for the “Vegetarian with mushrooms and vegetables base” which had a nice mild flavor that didn’t take away from our side ingredients). We then created our own sauces and chose one or two house creations as well (my favorites included garlic, miso, ginger, and tahini). The dipping sauces are key, so remember to have fun, and be creative.

We then loaded up our plates with all kinds of green leafy veggies, eggplant, dried bean curd, mushrooms, broccoli, seaweed, peppers and other vegetables, and with our chopsticks, dropped each piece into the pots of boiling broth at our table. Once the veggies started to look right, we pulled them out one at a time and performed a little “shabu shabu” with the dipping sauces, and boom, we were hot-potting! (the restaurant’s manager, Melissa, taught us that the Japanese term “shabu shabu” is derived from the sound “swish, swish”). Incidentally, the broth was primarily veggies and water, and any oil that found its way onto my plate was mostly from the dipping sauces (I had to try the spicy and sweet chili oil, which did not disappoint).

The staff was friendly and accommodating, and we had the great pleasure of meeting Melissa, and the restaurant hosts Junie & Meng. They were all delightful, and indulged me as I likely spoke a bit too long on the power of plant-based nutrition, as well as our excellent dining experience. 🙂

The bottom line? Spring Shabu Shabu provides a superb vegan dining experience, and we will be back for sure. Now, if we can only convince them to offer plant-based ice cream! 🙂

Click here for a link to the Spring Shabu-Shabu website. 
Click here to learn more about Vegan Hot Pot cooking.

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