Amid New Haven’s dynamic dining landscape, Dashi is the newest “hot spot” to emerge. A play on words, hot spot denotes Dashi’s house speciality of Shabu~shabu, which is sometimes referred to in other Asian cultures as hot pot.

You ask what is Shabu~Shabu?

It is a fun, interactive Japanese dining experience where pieces of thinly sliced beef or chicken are cooked quickly with vegetables in a boiling broth and then dipped into a sauce before one devours it… “Dashi” is the Japanese word for the “savory broth” where the magic begins. You eat shabu~shabu by bringing the broth served right at your tabletop, to a boil, and then you take expertly prepared raw ingredients and gently swish them back and forth in the broth until cooked. As the finishing touch, Dashi gives you a ponzu, ginger and a creamy “secret sauce” to choose from to dip your bite into, thus creating endless flavor adventures for your tastebuds!

Partners for many years, Dashi is the latest venture for chef Hiro Nagata, and manager Dion Liu. Born in Japan, chef Nagata began honing his food knowledge by working at the Nagoya Fish Market, second only in size to the world’s largest market in Tokyo. Eventually Hiro made his home in Connecticut, and opened his first traditional Japanese restaurant, Plum Tree in New Canaan. Amongst Plum Tree’s numerous accolades over it’s 21 years in business (a real feat for restaurant longevity), was a coveted “very good” by N.Y. Times critic Patricia Brooks. Dion began his hospitality career aboard Carnival Cruise lines and upon his move to the U.S, worked in many Asian restaurants before teaming up with Hiro to create the also successful Papaya Thai in South Norwalk, and Tombo Hibachi & Tiki Lounge in Fairfield. The duo feels truly excited and honored to join the New Haven community which they say “is both cutting edge and diverse, especially in the expansiveness of it’s Asian cuisines”.

Dashi will also serve a variety of Japanese comfort foods like ramen, curry, sushi rolls and Izakaya, which are Japanese small  plates, such as dumplings and and spring rolls. Island cocktail lovers will also be happy to know that Dashi will be equip with a  full bar serving Tiki inspired concoctions as well as beer, wine and sake. At over 5000 square feet, plus an expansive, string-lit outdoor patio planned for the summertime, Dashi will be one of New Haven’s largest dining venues, but will maintain an intimate feel in it’s bar, lounge and two sunny dining rooms. Additionally, it will have a grand party hall that will be able to accommodate private occasions and shabu~shabu parties for up to 100 people!

Meanwhile, restaurant designer Veronica Haynes has used vibrant colors throughout saying “I wanted to bring forward a Japanese modern flair, while at the same time infusing the space with a happy, zen- like vibe that lifts peoples spirits and elevates their dining experience.”

Dashi a shabu~shabu hot spot, can be found at 754 State St., New Haven, CT.

More info available at or 203-691-9185.