The shabu shabu restaurants vary a bit from one to the other, of course. Some have the gas burner in a hollow in the the table in which they set the big pot/bowl, some bring out a little gas burning stove to set the pot on. They put a liquid broth in the pot and turn it on. They bring out a platter of vegetables, mushrooms, slices of acorn squash and other little things,
and a dish with some noodles and mandu/dumplings (mandu is not always there). Add to all that a variety of side dishes - we had kimchi, water kimchi with pickles,
You each get your own little bowl and dipping sauce, of course. With everything all together, the table is always VERY full.
Once the broth is boiling, you put the vegetables, mushrooms and such into it. You can cut up the bigger veggies (like big cabbage leaves, lettuce leaves, mushroom bunches, etc) with the scissors that are always present at most Korean restaurants. At some restaurants, they will do this for you, at others, you have to do it yourself. I had never actually done anything when going out for shyabu shyabu, as I have always gone with Koreans that would do it all. This was the first time I had to do everything. Easy as pie. As the veggies start to cook, you put pieces of meat in to cook. You dont' put it all in at once, as it would all be done too quickly. Because it is sliced so thin, it cooks almost as soon as it touches the boiling broth.
You can pick out pieces one at a time or use the scoop to put some in your own dish. It is best to have some meat with vegetables together and dip it and eat it. Mmmmmm. sooooooo good. Once you are almost finished the veggies and meat, while there is still plenty of broth, you put the noodles and mandu in to cook (you can ask for more broth if it starts to get low).
Once they are finished and eaten, they make a little bit of rice porrige with the left over broth, pre-cooked rice, some little added things such as shredded laver (seaweed) and green onions and some egg. It is so delicious.
Sergeja and I went out for Shyabu Shyabu a week ago and ate SO much. And it is so cheap for what you get. It cost us 8,000won each (about 8.50USD or 8.95CAD).