Shaburi and Kintan Buffet
4/F Glorietta 2, Ayala Center, Makati City
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) Though nothing new, restaurants that offer both shabu-shabu and yakiniku under one roof are still not that common in Manila, so we’re always excited when we see them pop up—and one great example is Shaburi and Kintan Buffet.
The Japanese concept is actually a combination of two franchises from Japan: Shaburi Shabu Shabu and Kintan Buffet. The restaurant, which can accommodate around 100 guests, is divided into two sections—one for each concept—by a central buffet with a wide selection of salads, side dishes, dipping sauces, and condiments to complement your meal. Drop by in the evening, and you can sample their seasonal seafood options like shrimp, squid, and fish. Plus there's free-flowing UCC Coffee, which you can get hot or cold. Pro tip: You can even create your own coffee float with the soft-serve ice cream at the buffet.
Come hungry, but make sure that you know what you prefer as you can’t cross-order: The yakiniku grills are only on one side of the restaurant while the hot-pot stoves are on the other. Plus, there’s a 90-minute time limit (60 minutes for plate set menus) for diners. We think that just gives us a reason to come back.
For yakiniku, head to the Kintan Buffet section, where each table has its own smokeless grill, which uses Japanese technology to make the smoke magically dissipate. First, you have to choose an unlimited course—we recommend you splurge and go for the Special Wagyu Buffet (P1,899/lunch, P1,999/dinner) as this will get you Wagyu Steak and Wagyu karubi (beef short rib) as well as shimofuri (marbled Kobe beef) and nakaochi (rib finger) that’s served in a tsubo or a special ceramic pot. The set also comes with pork belly, pork shoulder, rosu, and karubi (boneless pork short rib) sourced from the U.S. or Australia. But even their most "basic" course, the Regular Buffet (P649/lunch, P749/dinner) is more than enough for your meat cravings, with a set that includes chicken steak, pork belly, pork sausage, rosu, and karubi marinated in three sauces: teriyaki, double pepper, and garlic butter.
But if you’re satisfied with just two plates of beef, you can opt for the Plate Set Menus (P419 to P895), which lets you choose two plates from any of their four courses.
Once cooked, wrap each slice of protein in a lettuce leaf or pair it with Japanese steak rice. You can opt for any of the homemade dipping sauces (original, garlic, spicy miso) to add another layer of flavor to it, though their barbecue is tasty even without this addition. For the chicken, we suggest that you ask for the cheesy curry sauce.
They also offer a slew of side dishes to add variety and excitement to your palate. Take your pick from fresh salads, chicken karaage, fried gyoza, sushi rolls, and carbonara udon, among others. You can also pair your yakiniku with a bottle of Asahi Japanese Beer (P180) or a small bottle of either Red or White Wine (P500/375ml).
On the other hand, at Shaburi Buffet, you get your own pot of preferred soup which you can then customize with your chosen accoutrements. First, select your buffet course—again, if you're looking to splurge, get the Shaburi Wagyu Set (P1,599), which has Wagyu beef plus the regular offerings of chicken, beef, and pork.
Choose from five signature broths: Original Konbu, Sukiyaki, Beef Pepper, Chicken Collagen Paitan, and Hot Miso. It would be best to get the twin pot so you can get a taste of two different soup bases at once. Try the Original Konbu (which comes with a complimentary refill), a basic dashi broth that is rich with calcium and minerals, and pair it with the Chicken Collagen Paitan, a creamy, flavor-rich soup made with chicken bones turned into collagen.
Cap off your meal with a good cup of coffee—Shaburi and Kintan Buffet is, after all, from the folks who brought UCC Coffee (as well as Coco Ichibanya and Mitsuyado House of Tsukemen) to the Philippines, Universalalliance Dining Concepts, Inc. They partnered with Tomoyoshi Nishiyama, Dining Innovations Ltd. chairman and founder of yakiniku chain Gyu-Kaku.
There’s no downtime at this buffet place, which means you can eat at any time of day. Just be mindful of their time limit and time extension fee of P190/30 minutes per person. Also, customers seated at the same table are asked to order the same course. Kids below three feet in height are free of charge, and they have a discount for children below four feet for the all-you-can-eat menu.
Photos by Marikit Singson