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Over on Huaihai road is probably Shanghai's worst kept shabu shabu secret. It's called the "88RMB all you can eat japanese hot pot" (also known as Gokohai) and is always steamy-busy.

Of course, this being a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai, we're greeted with a slightly off tempo "irasshaimase"... and this being a beloved friend's leaving meal we're shown to one of a couple shoes-off-and-sit-in-the-floor tatami rooms at the back.

Okay, the food is not absolutely amazing but by-volume we're rolling. 88RMB basically buys you a never-ending supply of raw meat to dunk into a personal pot of bubbling soup and then into a saucer of vinegar/soy/radish/etc.

Yeah, they've got vegetables. No, they've not got quails eggs (they're reserved for pureblood chinese hot pot. Otherwise the gyoza are pretty good boiled and the rice sticks (called 'carbs' on the menu) are probably the hottest thing I've ever put in my mouth.

5RMB for draft Asahi and a free bowl of green tea ice cream and we're laughing. Well, in-fact this being the leaving meal of a spaniard we spent the most of the evening telling stories and in hysterics.

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