After “falling in love” with the cuisine while living in California, Mark Silber opened Tabu Shabu, a Japanese hot pot restaurant, in McKinney.

The McKinney location is the first Texas restaurant for the California-based franchise, Silber said, adding that he and his wife, Hayli, opened the restaurant after moving to North Texas because they felt the area lacked “high-quality” Japanese restaurants.

The restaurant opened in September 2022, and Silber said many diners become loyal patrons after visiting the restaurant for the first time.

“It’s not just the food,” Silber said. “It’s a cool layout and a fun environment.”

What’s special about it?

The style of restaurant is known as shabu shabu, Silber said, which translates to swish swish.

“That’s really how you cook your food in our restaurant—piece by piece, swishing it in the hot broth—and it cooks very quickly, sort of like Japanese fondue,” Silber said.

The restaurant also focuses on high-quality ingredients, the owner said, adding that the broths and condiments are made in-house.

“It’s a really cool vibe,” Silber said. “It’s just a different experience. It’s really fun and interactive.”

What’s on the menu?

Diners can choose one of five broth options as the base—unseasoned seaweed, miso, smoky chili, sukiyaki or tonkotsu. They then choose between white and brown rice; a noodle type, such as udon or ramen noodle; and a protein option, such as ribeye, chicken or salmon. Premium protein options are available as well, such as prime rib or beef belly.

The menu also includes spicy salmon rolls, chicken dumplings, cucumber salad and more.

Lastly, the restaurant also serves a number of beer, wine and sake options as well as nonalcoholic drinks, such as tea.

Quote of note

“It’s a different kind of restaurant,” Silber said. “The food is amazing and it's healthy. You get to come in and make your own experience, and you don't get to do that in a lot of places.”