Ebisu is one of those food joints that everyone is starting to discover, and there are three very good reasons to try out this hidden gem over on Pontiac Ave in Providence: Asupara Maki (bacon wrapped asparagus), Chili-Garlic Edamame and Shabu Shabu.
Shabu Shabu is Japanese for “swish swish”, and that’s precisely the work that goes into preparing your own little hot pot / fondue meal at Ebisu. In addition to plenty of other satisfying dishes that are on the Ebisu menu, Shabu Shabu still maintains the most fun you can have with raw meat.
So take a seat and pull up to a boiling cauldron of “dashi” (aka broth). Dump a bowl of fresh veggies in it and pick your Shabu Shabu dish. You can order a plate of raw beef, chicken, or a combination of beef and chicken. The next step means grabbing your net and picking up a thin slab of meat.
Now – drop your net into the pot of broth and get swishing! In less than 30 seconds, your meat is cooked and you have a variety of mustards, soy sauces and spicy additives to create your own dipping sauces.
Edamame, Bacon and Quail Eggs, Oh My!
Ebisu easily has the best edamame in Providence, and their patrons won’t let you forget it. Their garlic-chili edamame is both flavorful and a perfect amount of spicy. It’s a perfect appetizer before the Shabu Shabu or whatever meat, noodle, soup or rice dish you decide to get.
Speaking of appetizers, it’s a far cry from Dim Sum, but Ebisu has an impressive array of Robata Yaki (Japanese Tapas), including the $2.50 “Kawa” (aka chicken skin) to the $6 “Hotate Bacon” (aka scallops wrapped in bacon).
They also have over a dozen other items including fun things like quail eggs, beef tongue and squid legs. Not into that kind of fun? They have less adventurous tastings like chicken meatballs, chicken wings and shrimp too. Check out their entire menu.
The most raved about item on the Robata Maki menu however, is the Asupara Maki. For just a few bucks, you get two skewers of chopped asparagus, wrapped in bacon and topped with a perfectly salty-sweet Japanese soy sauce. Don’t plan on sharing—you’ve been warned!
Despite the unlikely location of this hidden gem, and the unimpressive blue awning that greets you at the door, Ebisu is a very clean and modern establishment. They also offer an assortment of drinks including Saki and a Lychee Martini.
You have to wonder if Ebisu (one of the Seven Gods of Fortune) is looking over this little dining establishment. Placed on Thayer or Wickenden street, Ebisu would surely have already been a Providence hot spot. In the meantime, catch them at 38 Pontiac Avenue while they’re still modestly priced and seats are available without a waiting list on most nights.
All images used with permission from Ebisu.