With the thermometer dropping and winter just around the corner, there is no better time to warm up with shabu shabu. Cash City fits the bill, with no-frills hot pots served individually.
Cash City’s extensive menu features everything from pork, beef, lamb and chicken to seafood. Patrons choose their meat or seafood (or both), which are served with a second plate heaped full of vegetables, tempura, tofu, fishballs, mini sausages and dumplings. An uncooked egg and a choice of white rice or dried vermicelli noodles accompany each order.
I decided on the whole shrimp and lean pork combo (NT$220) and added kimchi (NT$50) for a spicy zing. While the broth and kimchi were coming to a boil, I went off to assemble my dipping sauce.
Opinions vary on which ingredients should be added to make the best sauce. Mine consisted of chopped garlic, spring and regular onion, garlic, red chilies, minced white radish and black rice vinegar. Peanut powder, soya sauce and shacha (沙茶) — a savory paste that is de rigueur with shabu shabu aficionados — were also available.
By the time I returned to my seat, the pork and shrimp had arrived. Asked which ingredients should be cooked first, my server said that there are two considerations: the broth’s flavor and food’s texture. Once a decision is made to cook either the seafood or meat first, stick with it until the whole serving is finished. The taro and squash should be added first because they take longer to cook.
With most of the ingredients eaten and about half the broth left, I added the vermicelli noodles and let them simmer for over a minute and then cracked the egg inside. It was a nice “instant noodle” finish.
Cash City’s decor is nothing special, but it is clean, bright and spacious, allowing lots of room for patrons to run over for unlimited cups of tea or soft drinks, or scoops of ice cream — all included in the price.