Jin Pot (5158 Geary, between 15th & 16th Aves.), celebrated its soft opening last weekend, roughly five months after Shabu House closed its doors. Hoodline spoke with co-owner Teresa Yu to learn more about the Richmond's newest eatery.
“We had been thinking of doing shabu-shabu for a long time,” said Yu, who owns the restaurant with boyfriend Kimi Lee.
Both Yu and Lee share a background in the food industry. They opened their first restaurant in 2012, a Taiwanese food and bubble tea bistro called Tea Papa, in Fremont.
"We learned a lot from that business," Yu said. Tea Papa did well, and has since been handed over to another owner, giving Yu and Lee time to focus on their new endeavor.
The couple traveled to Japan several times previously, and fell in love with shabu-shabu, a cuisine characterized by thinly-sliced meats and fresh vegetables cooked in hot broth.
In preparation for opening their new restaurant, Yu said, "we stayed in Japan for two months to learn the authentic Japanese shabu-shabu [style].”
Customers will notice that signage for Shabu House is still visible, but Yu and Lee have begun work updating the location's exterior appearance. The interior has been revamped as well, with new seating, lighting, and an array of cat-themed art and pillows.
Regarding the decor, Yu said it's a personal touch, inspired by the couple's two cats, Miruku and Tako. “They were both found in the streets on Kimi and my birthdays, so we think they were meant to be with us.”
The two all-you-can-eat options on Jin Pot’s menu borrow their names from the two beloved felines.
The $28 Tako option includes 100% certified black angus beef, 100% certified Kurobuta pork, as well as premium lamb shoulder and chicken breast. For 100% certified Wagyu beef, Premium American Kobe Beef, and seafoods, customers can opt for the $34 Miruku meal.
“We understand that in San Francisco there are already many shabu places,” Yu said, but Jin Pot hopes to stand out in terms of quality and innovation. “Meats are the main character in shabu-shabu, so we really put a lot of effort into looking for good quality meats.”
“We also provide all-you-can-eat side dishes such as edamame, takoyaki fries, and spicy kimchi because we saw that few shabu place offer starters," said Yu. "It gets boring that every shabu is only meats and vegetables. So we really want to make something new here.”
The menu also includes a la carte dishes, desserts, and several beer options.
During its soft opening, Jin Pot is offering several promotions; customers will receive discounted meals for taking a survey or using the hashtag #jinpot on social media.
Yu and Lee plan to announce a grand opening at the beginning of October.
Jin Pot (5158 Geary Blvd.) is open every day from 11:30 to 2:30, and from 5pm to 10pm.
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