[Taipei] Popular among foodie circles as the Japanese hot pot restaurant that is a cut above the average Taipei hot pot experience, Orange Shabu Shabu 橘色刷刷锅 is the first to elevate the hot pot genre into a more “finer dining” experience in Taiwan.
It operates two branches in the Da’an District of Taipei.
Why Orange? Its name is derived from the colour of its brushed copper custom hot pot cookware. Unlike stainless steel, copper exudes a more modern look and has superior heat conduction.
Orange Shabu Shabu is especially known for its fresh seafood that guests will experience “sea-to-table” dining.
The Hokkaido crab, Japanese abalone, Hokkaido scallops, and Jumbo Shrimps are showstoppers that will surely delight any seafood lover.
Its black Taiwanese chicken is also getting a lot of attention.
You can’t walk more than a few blocks in Taipei without passing by a sign that says 麻辣火鍋 (spicy hot pot) or 刷刷鍋 (Japanese style shabu shabu). If you do spot an orange sign along Re’nai Road, then that’s Orange Shabu Shabu.
With its stylish interiors, Orange Shabu Shabu gives high value to its customers’ privacy as the entire restaurant is divided into sections.
Each group of diners can privately enjoy their hot pot away from the others. You may hear the conversations from the nearby sections, but your own section is spacious enough to have a comfortable dinner.
Unlike most steamboat restaurants, Orange Shabu Shabu has a great ventilation system so there won’t be any of that lingering steamboat smell after dining.
Service staff are generally attentive and helpful. Even though my table was served by a trainee (实习生), he was friendly, pro-active and knowledgeable about the menu.
Ala carte and set menus are both available, with each set meal comes with an appetiser, chosen meat with mixed vegetables and dessert.
The set with seafood is priced at NT$4980, meant for 2 diners.
The Shabu Shabu deserves the spotlight as this is Orange’s Signature Dish. You can choose from a wide selection of premium hot pot ingredient sets including prime short ribs, prime sirloin, Wagyu beef, Australian Kobe beef, prime lamb, prime pork, natural pork, black chicken.
My friends and I went for the Ala carte option as we were not feeling that indulgent.
For beef lovers, you can go for the more ‘budget’ USDA Prime Sirloin (NT$1180), USDA Prime Short Ribs (NT$1250), to Australian Wagyu Beef (NT$1320), to more premium Kuroge Wagyu Ribeye Beef (NT$4200).
I went for the “in-between” pricing of Australian Wagyu, and the whole table went a collective ”Wow” when the slices of meat arrived.
It could be that gorgeous marbling, or just that sight of the huge slices, but I think it was more to both. Cooked simply for seconds shabu-shabu style, the beef was deliciously melt-in-your-mouth tender with no additional seasoning needed.
Pure bliss, especially during winter, I tell you.
The Pork Jowl (NT$1020) slices also came in impressive big thinly-sliced pieces, with evenly distributed fats within the lean meat which enhances their tenderness.
The fresh seafood options are vast with live lobsters, live crabs, live prawns, rock cod, mussels, Yezo scallops, fish fillet, clams, shrimp balls, squid balls, yam beef balls, mini fish dumpling, and more. To simplify choice, get the mixed seafood or seafood combos.
By the way, the Shrimp Balls (NT$520) and Cuttlefish Balls (NT$520) are served not as pre-shaped spheres but come as a minced mixture inside a partially-open bamboo tube. You or the server can cut the mixture and drop a small portion into the boiling broth for cooking.
What you get are balls that are soft and springy.
The Yam Beef Balls (NT$460) were also worth the order.
Load up with veggies. There are mixed vegetables, green vegetable, Napa vegetables, taro, mushroom, fresh lily flower, enoki mushroom, bamboo fungus, tofu, and frozen tofu. For convenience, get the Assorted Vegetables (NT$32).
As for the dipping sauces, the typical and distinctly Taiwanese sauce is often made with shacha sauce and raw egg yolk. However, Orange’s signature sauce is yuzu-based and has a complex, refreshingly citrus taste. Though it is a secret recipe, it likely consists of ponzu, green onions, and radish.
Don’t forget the signature congee prepared at the end of the meal.
Using the leftover stock in your pot, the server prepares a congee that many swear it is the best congee they have tasted in their life.
I can assure you they are not that wrong about it. It was truly very comforting and tasty.
Apart from the Shabu Shabu, you can enjoy classic Japanese dishes like Sukiyaki (Prime Sirloin or Wagyu), Sashimi (Giant Clam, Mixed Sashimi, Hokkaido Spiral Shell, Toro, Hokkaido Sweet Shrimp, Mini Lobster, and Jumbo Shrimp), Hokaido Live Jumbo Scallop, Snow Crab Legs, Hokkaido Live Hairy Crabs, and Hokkaido Live King Crab.
Save room for dessert. In-the-know locals often come here for the Almond Tofu (NT$50), served with longan and mango slices.
If not, go for the Caramel Pudding (NT$50).
The first branch is located along Ren Ai street, one of the small streets from the main road Zhong Xiao Dong Lu. Without Google Map, it could be hard to find. Or you can look for the small orange sign.
The other branch is at Da’an Road, a small lane near the first branch, 2-minute walk away. Nearest MRT Station is Zongxiao Fuxing (Blue/Brown Line) and take the Exit 3. Walk south on Section 1 Fuxing South Road, and turn left at Lane 219. Walk straight then turn right at Section 1 Da’an Road. You’ll find Orange Shabu Shabu on the left side. Takes about 6 minutes to walk from Exit 3 to the restaurant.
Reservation is highly recommended as this spot is a favourite of celebrities and foodies alike. Weekend tables can require a reservation a month in advance, 1-2 weeks for weekday reservations. Plan in advance and book as early as possible.
Its sister restaurant, the popular M One Café, is located just across one of its branches. After a filling meal at Orange, just cross the street and cool down with their famous specialty, Frozen Yogurt.
Orange Shabu Shabu 橘色刷刷锅
No. 29-2, Section 4, Ren’ai Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Tel: +886 2 2771 0181
Opening Hours: 5:30pm – 2:30am (Mon – Sun); Opened for Lunch 12:00pm – 3:00pm (Sat – Sun)
Google Maps – Orange Shabu Shabu (Da’an District)