All You Can Eat always sounds appealing, because it gives you the opportunity to eat all that you can and just plain stuff yourself silly. Unfortunately, most of the time, the quality of the food itself is rarely very good. Cafe Mum’s is no exception to the rule. It’s the first all you can eat shabu shabu place I’ve ever been to, and for $24.95, you get all the beef, veggies and noodles you can scarf down. Mark up the tab to $42.95, if you’re looking to add on all you can drink sake and beer. It’s smack dab in the heart of Japantown next door to Hotel Tomo.
For those of you that have never had shabu-shabu, it’s Japan’s version of Chinese Hot Pot where you’re cooking everything in a boiling pot of water. Unlike the Chinese who like to use every protein under the sun, from seafood to meat, the Japanese solely use beef. I also find that the dipping sauce and overall general flavor of shabu-shabu is not as yummy as Chinese Hot Pot, where you can mix all sorts of ingredients together and cook in a variety of different broths. Sometimes, the ability to mix willy nilly can lead to disastrous effects on your taste buds, but if done right, you can have a tasty spectrum of sauces to go with your shrimp, beef, meatballs, fish, etc….
In Mum’s case, not surprisingly, neither the beef or alcohol is that good. The meat seems pretty low quality and kind of reminds me of those all you can eat Korean BBQ places. Admittedly, I was pretty hungry so I chowed down quite a bit before I reached a sound state of mind and realized the food was not so good. Peter ate even more and faster than I did, yet in spite of that, he complained way more about it. In fact, the complaining continued until the next day or maybe it was day after that… when we finally had a good meal, and he could put Mum’s meal behind him. I’m starting to see the correlation of how bad the food is with how much he complains.
All in all, I imagine if you just want to get the most bang for your buck and end up fully-fed and wasted, this would be a good place to go. However, it goes to show how you have to sacrifice QUALITY for QUANTITY.
Price 2 stars
Ambiance 1 ½ stars
Food 2 stars
Overall rating 1 ½ stars