Shabu Shabu is a Japanese cuisine that my wife and I really enjoy. Recently we were in Banff and were pleased that this was on the menu of Samurai, a Japanese restaurant located in the stunningly beautiful Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. While the price was somewhat steep for outside of Tokyo, our hunger won the debate and reservations were made.
The location of the restaurant in the hotel seemed to be an after-thought, perhaps added to meet the demand of the growing number of Asian visitors to the hotel. The space was fairly small and perhaps not overly attractive, other than the sushi bar in a separate room that looked warm and inviting.
When checking in the host indicated that they had a special tonight on Shabu Shabu. Yes? Please tell us more. At a nice discount off the Shabu Shabu menu price we had soup, steamed rice, a variety of sushi, a variety of tempura and of course the main star Shabu Shabu.
This turned out to be a very enjoyable dinner. The sushi was excellent and we understood that it is flown in from Vancouver. The tempura was fairly typical and included a nice variety from shrimp to vegetables. The Shabu Shabu was also excellent although I think the broth was somewhat weak and could have used a little more sizzle. I found myself using salt on the meat, something I have never done previously in a Japanese restaurant.
The lady server we had that evening was excellent. She was both friendly and professional and she made sure that our evening was enjoyable.
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