[eat] All you can eat hotpot at 레타스 Shabu-Shabu (Let Us Shabu-Shabu) @ Hongdae, Seoul

Yo I’m on a roll. 2 entries in 2 days. Either I am on drug or I don’t have a life, or both.
Anyway, yesterday, me & two amigas from Finland decided to meet up after weeks of not seeing each other. We skipped all the greetings/ hugging/ being emotional after eons of being apart and went straight to business: lunch, right now.
Being ever resourceful, I already came up with a place for us to try: 레타스 Shabu-Shabu (Let Us or Lettuce Shabu-Shabu) in Hongdae. I am not a fan of Shabu, the hardcore woman in me prefers the tongue-numbing piquancy of Sichuan hotpot, but upon learning that at Let Us one can eat ALL one wants in 90 minutes… well, quite a no brainer that it is da place to go.

For a buffet resto, Let Us/Lettuce (geez I still can’t get over this name) actually looks quite upscale; the atmosphere is chillaxing & the smell is not overwhelming with all kinds of food. Guided to our seat by a sweet cute girl, we comfortably sat down and looked at le menu. And then we realized: fuck…

Okay fret not. Let Us can be quite reasonable. For lunch (weekday only), the prices go like this:
7800 for pork; 9800 for beef; 19800 for Wagyu beef; and 25800 for Hanwoo beef (wondering what the differences among the the 3 last choices are? Educated yourself by google because if you don’t know hanwoo beef you don’t know beef ’nuff said).
BUT for dinner & any meal during weekend, you are required to add 10000 for all the choices of beef, while for pork you need (only) to add 7000 extra.
Us poor souls (figuratively and literally) went to Let Us hoping we could satisfy our thirst for beef for less than 10000… so imagine the shock when we realized the biggest mistake of our life we have ever made.

Flabbergasted is an understatement.

Anyway, silently swallowing our painful tears, we proceeded to nicely ask the sweet cute girl to bring us normal beef with sukiyaki broth (you can choose from 5 different broth, some more adventurous choices are tomato-based and curry-based; we were not in an adventurous mode though). After a bitter recovery from the shock, we managed to get back on our feet to the buffet section. Quite an extensive range of options there indeed. We, however, stuck with some green leaves (lettuce!), the really cool chicken balls in a wooden thingy (which I did not take photos), some fried chicken, and LOTS, LOTS of mushroom. There were many different kinds of noodles, vegetables and random things (tteok, fake crab stick etc.) available, so the following photo is just an example:

But the coolest thing about this place? Free beer on tap. Yep. Free beer on tap everyone. Free soft drink, green tea, coffee is SO 5 years ago. Free unlimited beer is the new black. Huge plus point.
(Of course being conscious [poor] customers we resisted the temptation and only got some humble diet coke)

The beef & broth came before we dragged ourselves back to the table. And boy did it look good.

The traumatic event earlier quickly evaporated and we started to go down… I loved everything. Fresh veggie was fresh. Mushrooms were abundant. Beef was tender and awesome. The broth was a bit salty (to my other friends it was extremely salty but they are not hardcore so their arguments are invalid) but you can always add water to balance the taste. Obviously, though, the best bit was that beef was free refill. I’m not gonna lie, in 90 minutes I had 6 plates of beef. Yep, the slices are as thin as a razor but hey, they were actually filling (after 6 plates, though, if you don’t feel full Idk what makes you full).

They gave us different cuts:

A 20000 KRW experience, but worth it, kind of.

3/4 way through the meal. One friend already gave up but I still persevered.

The dessert section was so-so. But then they had ice cream. Nice touch.

I ate too much. It’s not okay but it’s okay.

Somehow we managed to finish our meal in 90 minutes, after topping it off with some ice cream & hot choco. For 20000KRW, it was okay, I think. Try, however, going to Let Us for weekday lunch though. It is 10000 cheaper. 10000 cheaper!

Let Us Shabu-shabu, Hongdae station exit 9. Opening time from 11:30am.

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