Gonbei is the only Japanese restaurant in Cameron Highlands and is a sister location to the Gonbei in Starhill Gallery. This restaurant boasts an open dining concept, making it ideal for steamboats. Incidentally, that was what rif and I had that night – shabu shabu.
Priced at RM110++ per person, it is a bit steep, but you get better quality and overall freshness of the meats, seafood and vegetables. The sashimi from the buffet bar was prepared in small batches, so the salmon and tuna slices were fresh and succulent.
Unlike many shabu shabu places in KL, Gonbei’s broth is clear and tasty, with little or no MSG. I guess that explains the price tag. I didn’t feel thirsty at all after the meal, even after four soup refills. The vegetables were fresh and lent a sweet flavour the broth.
I especially enjoyed the thinly sliced lamb as it gave the broth a deep flavour. Skip the chicken, as it was tasteless.
You can also choose to have sukiyaki or teppanyaki for the same price, but feel shabu shabu goes best with the chilly weather. The fried garlic with oil and special chilli sauce deserves a mention – they packed quite a punch and went well with the meats.
Remember to leave some stomach space for the large strawberries. I helped myself to plenty. They tasted heavenly with custard sauce, mixed with assorted nuts. So good I tell youuuuu!!
To date, this is by far my best steamboat experience. The food wasn’t particularly fantastic, but the combination of cold weather, good soup base and fresh ingredients makes a whole lot of difference.
Food: 7/10 (halal)
Verdict: Best steamboat experience I’ve had so far.
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Cameron Highlands Resort
By the Golf Course,
39000 Tanah Rata,
Cameron Highlands, Pahang