Gokudo Shabu Shabu is one of the oldest Taiwanese personal hot pot restaurants in the lower mainland. They have been around for about 15 years, and their second location just recently opened on Kingsway, Burnaby. This is their original Richmond location. I’m happy to see they’re still around among all the competitors opened recently. Also, the staff told me Gokudo Shabu Shabu Richmond is going to be renovated in a month.
Hot pot is usually shared among 2 to 10 people with a communal pot with boiling water in the middle of the table. Raw food are scattered around the pot. Everyone put whatever they want to eat into the boiling water and fish it out after it’s cooked. A lot of times, you cannot find the food you put in. It can either shrink too much, or someone else has taken it. This is a problem.
When it comes to hot pot, I prefer personal hot pot like they serve in Gokudo Shabu Shabu. I don’t have to guard my food in the communal pot. Not having to exchange saliva (cooked or not) with others in the table is definitely a bonus.
Narrow store with innovate layout
Gokudo Shabu Shabu has a narrow space. They have a U-shaped bar area, and a couple of tables scattered on the side. This innovative layout was designed 15 years ago, and still work really well for them. The U-shaped bar works with their narrow space, and it also make serving customer sitting at the bar more efficient.
The downside is the bar makes it difficult for staff to interact with customers not around the bar. The day I was there, I only saw 2 staff on outside (the rest in the prep kitchen). They served approximately 30 customers at the bar, and provide really good service to me.
Half Price Lunch Groupon for Two
We came here for the Groupon Deal. It’s $33 for $66 worth of food for two. Normally, we spend $45 for two if we order combo. $66 might be a bit of a stretch but it’s a good deal regardless.
Pre-mixed dipping sauce is already at our table when we sit down. It doesn’t have a lot of customization options like some of the newer hot pot restaurants. I like the simplicity, and not having to be charged additional $3 for this. The sauce is authentic to Taiwan. Some would add an egg yolk to it.
Every combo at Gokudo Shabu Shabu comes with a vegetable platter. We got two of these, one per person. I’m not a big fan of vegetables with hot pot, but the lady likes it.
The Groupon deal comes with meatball platter enough for two. This is very filling, and usually cost about $10.
The standardized layout includes a paper menu acting as table mat. A colander and a spoon on your left. Two pair of chopstick for raw and cooked food on your right. The pot is located at a lower level and further away to protect patrons.
Beef platter looks fresh enough. My sliced meat has a good thickness. They are not see-through. There are 2 layers to the meat. The top layer is beautifully marbled. Unfortunately, the lower layer contains more fat. They are most likely of poorer quality. I wouldn’t consider this cheating. It’s just smart presentation. The 16 Oz is quite a bit of meat for 2 people (regular size is 7 Oz).
I ordered the milk tea to go with my spicy pot. The Groupon deal includes unlimited refill of your beverage. This is a bonus for me because I normally finish mine and wanting more.
The combo included a dessert jello. They are not seasonal desserts as stated on the menu, but it’s a cute little bag to take away.
This is a view from under the bar. It’s an ugly picture you don’t normally see. I want to showcase the hanger for your belongings. It’s a very thoughtful design. The foot rest is a little too high for me. I’m sure someone shorter would appreciate this.
The service is superb after you sit down. They came around to add soup base for me twice, refill my milk tea, and give me napkins when they see I’ve used up mine. At this busy environment, kudos to the staff for being attentive.
604 Food Critic Assesment
Gokudo Shabu Shabu is a good place to go if you like hot pot, but do not enjoy sharing a communal pot with everyone at the table. You can order the meat by itself, but usually, the combo is more worth it. Nevertheless, without promotion, the combo can get a little pricey. The Groupon deal has really good value. I encourage everyone to take this opportunity to try this restaurant.