▲ Lots to choose from at the Cheonhaecheong shabu shabu all-you-can-eat. Photo by Alexis Oesterle
In the area of recent development near Halla College, Shin Jeju, there sits a new “shabu shabu” restaurant that stands out from the crowd. No run-of-the-mill shabu shabu here - this is an all-you-can-eat joint with a difference.
The price at 천해청 is slightly steep at 34,000 won for dinner (27,000 for lunch), so you’ll want to go on an empty stomach. For the price you will be asked to pick two from four types of broth including spicy Chinese, spicy Korean, Japanese style and BBQ hot pot.
The sauce is the only thing that will be served to your table, everything else is self-service. A glass-doored refrigerator around the corner from the tables offers a choice of meats and there is also an open cooler filled with all imaginable combinations of veggies, seafood, and noodles.
▲ The seafood shabu shabu with the meat fridges. Photo courtesy Shallow Blue
▲ The restaurant floor with children's area. Photo courtesy Shallow Blue
There are at least 10 different sauces and seasonings that sit on a counter for you to look over and choose. If you have questions about what might work best with your choice of broth and meat, the staff are more than willing to give recommendations.
So, why was I okay with laying down 34,000 won to eat at this restaurant? Along with the shabu shabu they offered a hot and cold buffet with pasta, pizza, fried shrimp, dim sum, some of the tastiest fried chicken I have ever had, plus fruit, salad, and an array of traditional korean side dishes.
Here is where it gets really good: The beverage bar includes sodas, various gourmet coffees, teas, and draft beer -- all considered “all you can drink.” For dessert there is a soft-serve machine with cones, and there are also two coolers full of Haagen Daaz ice cream! It’s the real deal folks!
▲ Them's the rules. Photo by Alexis Oesterle
Tip: You are allowed to sit for 2 hours max. I do recommend you go when you have enough time to slowly enjoy all the tastiness. The restaurant closes at 10PM and they will ask you to leave, so get there early enough!
What is shabu shabu?
Shabu shabu is the popular boiled meat and vegetable dish made famous in Japan and now everywhere in Korea. Related to the Chinese hot pot, which was originally a Mongol dish, the name is onomatopoeic for the sound the meat and vegetables make as they are stirred in the bubbling broth.
Lunch: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. / last entry 2 p.m. / 27,000 won
Breaktime: 3 - 5 p.m.
Dinner: 5 - 10 p.m. / last entry 9 p.m. / 34,000 won
Weekends and holidays: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. / last entry 9 p.m. / 34,000 won
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