Sun-Thu, 11:30am-midnight; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-2am
7 at Flushing-Main St.
For those times when slaving over a hot stove has no appeal, and a meal out sounds like just the remedy—it's best to skip Minni's Shabu Shabu. This three-tiered, invigorating eatery, appointed with a modernist mélange of mustard-yellow walls, soothing softwood accents, and shiny steel fixtures, is a haven of Chinese-influenced Japanese-style hot-pot cuisine, which requires patrons to cook their own stews in individual tubs of boiling water. Heaps of base ingredients, such as crisp cabbage, firm bean thread noodles and flavorless fish cakes, are complemented by a host of razor-thin frozen meats to spice up your soup; the lamb and beef are somewhat bland, but the plump shrimp and pork have plenty of flavor all on their own. A visit to the condiment bar is essential, since the red-hot pepper sauce, mellow sesame oil, scallions, garlic, and other trimmings are what give the stew its pep. The menu also includes scads of side dishes to add to the mix, from dainty yam noodles to less-dainty pig's blood, and barbecue-grilled appetizers as well. The pace at Minni's is hurried, especially at peak after-work hours, but those who leave unsatisfied have only themselves to blame.Recommended Dishes
Pork and shrimp shabu shabu, $12.25