The Prime Ribeye was also excellent, though it was overshadowed a bit by the Kobe.
We also shared a Tonkotsu Ramen, which they were nice enough to split into two bowls. Frankly, the portion size of the half was plenty, and I was glad we shared one bowl between us. The second time I went back, they had actually changed the menu to offer a half bowl size and a full bowl size. I guess a lot of people felt that the original size was too large!
“Do you want al dente or well done noodles?”
I’ve never been asked this particular question at a restaurant, but I was thrilled they cared. I often think ramen noodles are too soft. It was a no brainer.
“Al dente” Bryan and I both replied.
The texture of the noodles turned out GREAT. Nice and chewy, al dente, just as promised. Another friend revisited a few days later and said she wasn’t asked the same question. As a result, her noodles were “fine”, but nothing special. If they don’t ask, make sure to tell them you want al dente. It makes a difference.
The tonkotsu broth was very flavorful and overall the ramen was very good. I liked the egg, which I thought was marinated and cooked properly.
I’m thrilled there’s a new Japanese restaurant that serves very good ramen at a location that’s not too far from me. It’s a great option for a weeknight meal if we feel like something fast, reasonably healthy, and not too far away.
Shabu & Mein is located very close to the Galleria Mall in East Cambridge. They have free valet parking (I know, isn’t that crazy?), which is a bit of a relief considering how difficult it can be to find parking sometimes amidst all the crazy construction that’s going on in Kendall Square right now. The restaurant is owned by a restaurant group that also owns Fuji (1546, Kendall, Assembly), Bistro Chi, B Cafe, Yocha, and Kama Lounge.
The space is modern, bright, and comfortable with wide tables (meant to accommodate shabu pots) and lots of sunlight. It can get crowded during mealtimes, and we had to wait briefly for a table the first time we came. I haven’t really had a chance to try many of the appetizers yet, but I can at least say that the ramen is very good and the shabu is enjoyable as well.
Welcome to the neighborhood Shabu & Mein!
Shabu & Mein
148 1st Street
Cambridge MA 02142