Not Your Typical Tourist

A Life Between Two Countries, And All In Between


Bye-bye Burendo, Hello Shabu Lab

Bye-bye Burendo … ลาก่อน. Burendo Shabu is an old-time favorite shabu restaurant of bf. It has been our usual shabu place for many, many years. Good food, affordable price (350 baht for a “meat” buffet), nice staff and its hidden location made it a perfect spot for a relaxing and unpretentious meal. On our last visit in late Dec 2016, we were told that they were going to close for 3 months for renovation works, and that comes with rebranding, targeting younger customers. 

Dang! Why do all good things come to an end, why oh why? Sooooooooooob, soooooooooob, soooooooooob!

Shabu Lab
Shabu Lab

Here comes Shabu Lab, one that we have been waiting for a good 3 months …

From branding-perspective, they have done everything right. They say that “Shabu Lab treats shabu like a science” .. and it turned into a lab-style dining experience .”Create your own shabu” ala laboratory experiment, a little bit of this and that. Expect lab drinking glass for your drink, lab tube for the soup base’ ingredients, etc ..

From table service to self-service, from 1 soup base to 4 different type of soup, from a ‘low profile’ turned into a ‘gimmicky’ lab-style place. 379 baht, all-you-can eat.

New Shabu Lab menu
4 types of soup
Order sheets for meat (in Thai)

Bf ordered his usual Sukiyaki soup, but I tried their Spring Lao soup.

Adding the ingredients
Tada .. soup is ready

Essentially, it is the same soup base + adding in the ingredients for the respective soup type. There were too much herbs “floating” around the soup for me to truly enjoy the soup … had to scoop the soup, sans the herbs into my bowl. I noticed one customer changing her soup type half-way into dining; possible to change soup if you want to try different type of soup.

Lab-style seating

Seats facing one direction
Front row seat is not the best, I reckon

Lab-style counter bar

Grab your own veges
Condiments according to soup type
Dipping sauce as you like

Lab-style onsen tamago

Sous-vide (pronounced sue-veed) machine
Cooking water 62.5 °C
My not-so-perfect onsen egg
Perfect way of eating shabu

The lab-style dining includes a sous vide (pronounced sue-veed) machine – grab an egg, flavor to taste, dip cooked meat into the mixture and eat .. I tried something like this back home at a Japanese restaurant, using raw eggs as a dipping sauce for sukiyaki. That, I must say, tastes a lot better than the onsen egg dipping at Shabu Lab.

Shabu Lab . same-same, but different to old-timer

To old-timers, it’s a matter of accepting that Burendo is no longer the same … or rather, Burendo has ceased to exist. Shabu Lab is a different concept altogether. You get the same Sukiyaki soup and the meat, and one or two same dipping sauce. If you are a traditionalist, you are better off somewhere.

Update Dec 2020:

Three years later, and the restaurant is still bustling with customers. Price now is 379 baht for buffet.

Update May 2022:

Shabu Lab at Siam Square is no longer in operation.

Shabu Lab
430/11-12, Siam Square Soi 10, Pathumwan, Bangkok
Tel: 02 251 7558
Business hours: 12:00PM-21:00PM
Nearest BTS: Siam, Exit 2


Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.