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Smithtown welcomes JBBQ & Shabu Shabu’s second Japanese barbecue to LI

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An interactive dining experience where the diners become their own chefs has swept into Smithtown.

JBBQ & Shabu Shabu opened at 41 Route 111 last month, continuing a push of Asian barbecue restaurants popular in New York City further east.

“I know a lot of people living on Long Island are always looking for barbecue Korean style, Japanese style barbecue, and they’re going all the way down to the city,” said Ken Yang, the restaurant’s general manager. “We try to bring the stuff to Long Island, so people can share this kind of food.”

For Yang and his partners, this is their second JBBQ & Shabu Shabu. They opened their first in Bay Shore last year.

The Japanese eatery provides a communal dining experience for families and groups of friends. Unlike hibachi, where a chef cooks for the table on their own large griddle, the diners are the chefs at JBBQ & Shabu Shabu.

Guests craving barbecue first choose from a list of beef, chicken, pork, seafood and veggie options. Then, they grill them right at their table, known as the “yakinuku” style of cooking.

“Shabu shabu” literally means “swish swish,” describing the chopstick technique employed by diners cooking their raw meats and veggies at the table in a hot pot of flavored broth. The table can choose the original broth with a chicken and pork bone base — or tomato, miso, spicy and healthy herbs broths.

The stark red and yellow restaurant is all-you-can-eat, and guests can choose to enjoy barbecue, shabu shabu or both.

Yang and his partners are planning their third JBBQ & Shabu Shabu location in Commack. He said he expects that location to be up and running in about six months.