When you plan to go on a food trip in the historic town of Angkor temples and have no idea where to hang out in Siem Reap, you should consider going to the ever famous Pub Street for different food choices. In there, you’ll get a taste of authentic Khmer cuisine among other international food cuisines. However, there’s also one restaurant in Siem Reap that you shouldn’t miss – that’s if you are into buffet meals and unlimited ice cream all rolled into one affordable eat-all-you-can meal.
Just when you make that right to turn to Sivatha Road when travelling from the National Highway in Siem Reap, you’ll probably notice Lucky Mall, a 3-story building on the right side of the road. Hidden on its third floor is a restaurant called Lucky Shabu House, which serves Japanese, Thai and Khmer cuisine among others.
What’s so special about this place is that for $6.50 you get to dine buffet style and get access to the unlimited supply of all the food and drinks in the restaurant, not including bottled drinks you’ll see in the fridge though.
Once you get inside the Lucky Shabu House, you’d immediately see a a long stretch of moving plates like those you see in Japanese sushi restaurants with conveyor belts. Feel free to seat wherever you want. There’s a singles hot pot where you can mix your own shabu-shabu food. There are also tables good for 4 heads where you can share each other’s version of cooked shabu meals.
Angel & I showing off our shabu shabu ingredients; Ed getting a facial steam bath; us playing w/chopsticks
Shabu-shabu is a Japanese variant of hot pot. The name shabu-shabu is derived from the “swish swish” sound of cooking the meat in the pot. The dish is related to sukiyaki in style, in that both use thinly sliced meat and vegetables and are usually served with dipping sauces, but it is considered to be more savory and less sweet than sukiyaki. It is considered a winter dish, but is eaten year-round.
This Khmer style shabu shabu hot pot has a different taste from other shabu-shabu meals because of the presence of different spices and seasoning that you add on your hot pot. Once you reach your seats, the staff will immediately ask you what broth flavor you want. Bland, sweet and spicy are your options.
Once the broth arrives, you can start swish swishing your food ingredients into the pot, add flavoring, wait for a couple of minutes for the meat and veggies to get cooked and dig in. When the staff sees that you are almost out of broth, they won’t hesitate to refill your hot pot.
Lucky Shabu House also serves different kinds of maki, few sushi variants, some vegetable salads and appetizers. There’s also a few Thai looking Khmer cuisines but I never got the chance to ask what those were since my mouth got busy eating them all. hehehe. There’s also unlimited soda, iced tea and lemon/orange juice available.
Some cheapskates (like me) might find the $6.50 a little bit expensive for an eat-all-you-can shabu-shabu buffet but my friend, Ed, thinks otherwise. And he got me convinced on this one too all because of their ice cream.
Are you an ice cream addict? Well if you happen to travel to Siem Reap, a scoop of ice cream will cost you $1-$2. Buying a pint or those bigger ones will cost you more since ice cream is kinda expensive in this side of town. However, in this shabu shabu restaurant in Siem Reap, you’d get unlimited supply of ice cream! So when we crave for one, or when we feel the need to reward ourselves after a week-long fasting/diet, or perhaps when there’s something that needs celebrating, we dine at Lucky Shabu House. And when we do, we make sure we get to eat as much ice cream as the rest of the food available in there.
Ed, eating out his 15th scoop of ice cream; Angel enjoying his yummy chocolate flavored ice cream
Reminders when eating at Lucky Shabu House:
- You don’t have to dress fancy to eat there.
- You have to eat everything or else you’d be fined $1 (I think). But you can always hide/drop your leftovers in the hotpot. Just make sure it still has broth in it. hehe
- Taking photos is not allowed and there are signs plastered all over the wall to remind you of this but you can politely ask their staff to take your solo/group photo. As for souvenir shots of the place, you can always sneak out.
- There are 3 flavors of Nestle ice cream – chocolate, vanilla and taro.
- If you decide to dine eat-all-you-can style in there with ice cream as your number one priority, be sure to ask if they have stocks of ice cream first coz sometimes they ran out of it.
- On our last pig out there, we were reminded that we only had 20 minutes more to stay in the restaurant. I didn’t know they had that kind of policy after eating there a couple of times. I guess they got threatened by our countless trips to the ice cream fridge.
I could no longer count the number of times I dined at the Lucky Shabu Housem, which is located inside the Lucky Mall Plaza in Siem Reap. On our last food trip, our good friend Angel of Lakwatsero.com came to visit us. We really had a blast enjoying the shabu2x meal and all the good food Siem Reap had to offer including where to buy cakes at 50% off. Will tell you bout that next time.
As for the Shabu Shabu meal, try it out if you have all the time to explore Siem Reap and better go there with friends for an enjoybale dining experience.
Lucky Shabu House is not open all day long but I’m sure they open at 6pm to cater to their evening diners.