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Sabu J.R. Shake takes on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Thank You from the Shake Family Businesses
The late Sabu Shake, Sr. was a hands-on restaurateur who founded the Old Fisherman's Grotto. www.sabushakesr.org Today, Sabu's sons continue in their father's footsteps, serving innovative, internationally-inspired cuisine in an atmosphere of superb, genuine hospitality. Download a PDF to view family history and photos. We are proud to be part of this community for over 50 years. With your help, we have been able to lend support to organizations helping people in need. Download a PDF of the organizations.
The Shake Family
Smiling for the Salvation Army
Shake's Win Puts Best Chowder Debate to Rest
Monterey Herald, By Make Hale, Herald Food Writer, 06/16/2010
Sabu Shake is remembered for his big heart, big hat and big ideas. All three came into play decades ago in a defining moment for the gregarious, cowboy-hat-topped owner of Old Fisherman's Grotto, who decided to greet Wharf visitors with a smile and a free sample of his cream-style clam chowder that would one day help put his restaurant on the map - and help build a legacy for his six sons.
To read the whole article, download a PDF.
Monterey County Weekly
ONLY GOOD FISHES...Another nice piece of info floating around (mild pun) is about the most recent local restaurateurs to go sustainable regarding their seafood choices, joining Passionfish, Montrio and Portola Cafe. The Shake Brothers (now if that don't sound like a '70s soul band, nothing does)-Chris & Sabu Jr.-are making the change in all of their restaurants: Fish Hopper, Old Fisherman's Grotto, and Peninsula Fish Market and Oyster Bar.
As I'm sure you're all aware, the whole sustainable seafood thing is about trying to only fish and sell those species that are in abundance, without using methods that are devastating to other species.
Without overdoing the morality, it's a no-brainer for enlightened businesses. The conscious dining-out population is going in that direction and the unconscious population needs to be educated about it. The Shakes are doing both. They'll be handing out little pamphlets explaining the whole thing to their customers. This is a commendable move by one of the more quick-thinking restaurant groups around, a move that will increase their costs overall. You've got to give them kudos.
Fish Hopper Contributes to Hurricane Relief Efforts
Monterey Herald, September 28, 2005
Fish Hopper employees, owners raise $5,000. Sabu Shake, Jr. and Chris Shake, co-owners of The Fish Hopper Restaurant on Cannery Row, have announced that 152 employees, with matching donations from the co-owners, have raised about $5,000 for American Red Cross hurricane relief efforts.
Carmel Pine Cone Newspaper
A review by Morgan, a la carte, September 17, 2004
IF YOU haven't been to The Fish Hopper on Monterey's Cannery Row for a while, you're in for a very pleasant surprise on your next visit. Not only have they partially enclosed the side terrace overlooking the bay and the small, sandy beach below, but the menu has been vastly improved by Executive Chef Mo Tabib.
He received his training in Lucerne, Switzerland, worked at the Hyatt Monterey for over 14 years, and joined the Shake family at their Old Fisherman's Grotto Restaurant on Monterey's fisherman's wharf for two years before moving over to The Fish Hopper.
Chef Tabib believes not to take advantage of the abundant natural riches of the Monterey Peninsula is unthinkable: "God Bless Monterey," he said. "It's a chef's dream."
He has added nine fish dishes to the menu, and serves fresh produce from Carmel Valley. He kept only four "fish fry-ups" on the menu for longtime customers who crave deep fry, but the other fish on the menu are grilled, broiled or sauteed. And it's all from sustainable sources following the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program.
The Fish Hopper was really jumping at lunch time on Sunday. Most of the 308 tables were filled, and as we had made a reservation, our table was waiting. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we were glad we'd chosen to sit on the covered terrace. Half-windows protect patrons from audacious seagulls and allow the sea breezes to waft through the covered dining area, carrying with them the susurration of the surf below. We watched as a few children waded on the beach, otters cavorted, and kayaks were paddled bravely through the kelp beds. The atmosphere was almost identical to summer days spent on the Adriatic in Italy many years ago.
As there were four of us, a Chef's Sampler ($13.95) was ordered while we waited for our entrees: A grilled half artichoke, a crab cake and deep-fried calamari quelled our hunger pangs nicely.
One of our group ordered a hot crab sandwich served on a Francese roll - fresh, sweet crab meat combined with a bechamel sauce - accompanied by French fries and chef's garni. It was delicious, we were told, and I made a mental note to order it on our next visit. Fresh crab sandwiches are hard to come by, even in Monterey.
I opted for the most sumptuous item on the menu, a Captain's Platter ($32.95) made up of half a butter-roasted Dungeness crab, half a California spiny lobster, a sauteed prawn and scallops. The chef's potatoes served with it were superb, and a sampling of many fresh vegetables, prepared in butter, were outstanding.
The Captain's Platter was too much to eat at one sitting, so the lobster was packed up for takeaway. We probably should have ordered the Cannery Row Platter for $19.95, which has everything on it that the Captain's Platter has but the lobster.
Another member of our party ordered sesame seed-crusted marinated chicken breast salad ($14.95) which looked appetizing with its grill marks adding to the already excellent flavor. A ginger-soy dressing used in the tossing completed the melange of Asian flavors. A garnish of fresh orange slices and sliced almonds complemented this appealing dish.
The most popular item on the menu, Chef Tabib told us, is the Ultimate Seafood Pasta ($28.95), consisting of lobster meat, scallops, prawns and Dungeness crab meat sauteed and combined with a rich cream sauce with asiago cheese served over fresh spinach fettuccine. This is one of seven seafood pasta dishes on the menu.
And yes, steaks are served, also: A choice of filet mignon, rib eye or petite filet are all available, and if you're on a low carbohydrate diet, Chef Tabib offers three low carb dishes: herb crusted seafood ($17.95), broiled chicken breast ($16.95), and filet mignon or rib eye steak ($23.95).
Appetizers, salads, soups and sandwiches abound on this menu which is far too lengthy to detail here. But we can't fail to mention The Fish Hopper clam chowder ($3.95 a cup, $7.95 a bowl) which is so good, on any given day in summer they sell over 160 gallons of it.
Sabu Shake, owner of The Fish Hopper with brother Chris Shake, should be extremely proud of this restaurant - one of five the Shakes own here - especially since Chef Tabib has done wonders with the menu and kitchen.
From any table in the restaurant, you'll have a vast view of Monterey Bay. The service is friendly and excellent, and the decor - from the entrance foyer, with its ceiling painting of an underwater world to the octopus lighting fixtures throughout the restaurant - are clear indications you're in Monterey, California.
Try The Fish Hopper soon.
Boys & Girls Club of Monterey County
Boys & Girls Club of Monterey County presents a Certificate of Appreciation to all the employees of The Fish Hopper Restaurant with sincerest appreciation for their dedication to our youth in the communities.
Coast Weekly Article
A special Weekly look at some local families thriving in the Kitchen.
Reprinted in part from Coast Weekly May 6-12, 1999
The Shake brothers are no strangers to the business. They both started working at an early age at their parent's place on Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf, the Old Fisherman's Grotto. Chris quit school in seventh grade to work there full time. In 1995, he and Sabu Jr. opened the Fish Hopper on Cannery Row. When they're asked how they explain their success, a few words sum it up. "You gotta be there," Chris replies.
Setting yourself apart from your rivals can be a real bonus in an industry where your closest competition can be just a few steps away. And when you're not working with huge advertising budgets or corporate backing, simply being accessible to the clientele becomes an important part of establishing credibility. Seasoned restaurant owners know that the personal touch is integral to winning loyal, repeat customers-the bread and butter who define the difference between surviving and thriving.
"Our father would be at Old Fisherman's Grotto all day, come home and rest for a couple of hours, and go back and close the place, seven days and seven nights a week, "Chris recalls. Sabu Shake, Sr. passed away last year after more than 40 years in the restaurant business. "He had the energy for it. He was a natural in front of the house, meeting people, and the customers came to expect it. If he wasn't there, they would ask for him. He loved that whole part of it, and we both really enjoy serving the public.
Monterey Herald Go! Magazine
A review by Martin Meursault, printed in part August 21-27, 1997, Go! a weekly publication by The Herald
We walked down Prescott Street to Cannery Row. The Fish Hopper sits on pilings, in the same building that houses the Wax Museum and the Bargetto Winery Tasting Room. In an earlier in- carnation this was the location of the Mark Thomas Outrigger. The restaurant itself is built like a windowed hockey stick; the short limb sticking furthest out into the bay, affording diners who sit in this area an 180-degree view along the shore of the whole bay. The long leg of the stick runs along the shore, with elevated booths on the inland side. The view here is likewise spectacular.
The Fish Hopper Restaurant is the creation of Chris and Sabu Shake Jr. - whose parents started Old Fisherman's Grotto on the wharf in the early 1960's. Chris started working at the Grotto washing dishes when he was 11, gradually learning to work every station in the kitchen, and then learning management as well. Sabu also started in the business as a youngster, mostly working the front of the house before graduating to management. Both are now familiar fixtures in local community organizations and activities, as well as being involved in businesses as diverse as charter boats, commercial real estate, a motel, retail enterprises and film and television production.
The two purchased this site in 1994. They gutted the place, the redecoration leaning toward a casually rustic motif with vague undersea accents (don't miss the custom-made octopus lighting fixtures). It looks deceptively small from the front, but the Fish Hopper seats 300 and requires a staff of 150 during the busy summer months.
I'm generally not a fan of tropical rum drinks, but, at my daughter's urging, I gave in to the festivity of the moment. Drinks here are a remnant of the days when this place was the Outrigger, and are a testament to continuing demand by faithful customers. I had the "Volcano" ($8.95) - the center aflame, with the surrounding moat filled with vodka, Southern Comfort, several kinds of rum, grenadine, and various mixers. (No driving home for me.) Other choices range from a "Shark's Tooth" ($4.95) to "Bucket of Fire" ($9.95).
Among the various hot and cold appetizers we tried, I liked the Clams Bordelaise best. The clams were fresh, with a rich butter sauce (more clams than broth), flavored with wine, tomato, garlic, lemon, green onion and parsley. Other choices include bay shrimp cocktail, jumbo prawn cocktail, oysters on the half-shell, crab cakes, scampi and oysters Rockefeller.
The clam chowder served here is from the same recipe that has become so popular at the Grotto (they even sell it in cans for $2.75 each). It's very rich, very creamy, not over-burdened with clams, with an unusual slightly sweet and slightly tart flavor up front. I thought there was some cheese in it, but the chef Dennis Bybee denied it, saying only that "the recipe is secret." The Fish Hopper alone goes through 150 gallons of the stuff on a typical Saturday or Sunday.
There's a long list of entrees, and I can't do justice to all of them here. Most of the menu is understandably devoted to seafood, though you can also choose from several pastas and beef, poultry and ribs. The Fish Hopper "signature" dishes include a combination deep-fried seafood plate, salmon wellington, a trio of salmon Wellington, petite filet mignon, crab cake, and a broiled seafood combination platter. I had cioppino which included a half-crab, prawns, clams mussels and white fish. All these were well-prepared and served in a tasty bath that was more marinara sauce than broth. The whole crab was served atop linguine, and required a plastic bib and shell-cracker for socially acceptable comsumption.
Other seafood entrees include fish and chips, broiled snapper, fried calamari, grilled sand dabs, mahi mahi, and scampi. Both my daughters loved the salmon fillet baked with a mild and flavorful pesto and cheese crust, served over braised veggies and roasted potatoes. One of our group had lobster. Choose from among live Maine lobsters and lobster tails - steamed, baked or stuffed - alone or in combination with steak. The steamed tail I tasted was sweet, suculent and perfectly prepared.
I tried only a few of the many desserts, but they were all studies in excess. If you truly are into overindulgence, go for The Fish Hopper signature dessert, a multi-layer torte swathed in chocolate ganache, with alternating layers of sponge cake, chocolate fudge, raspberry almond crunch, amaretto cream, more fudge vanilla custard, more fudge, toasted almonds and chocolate sponge cake.
The wine list offers several dozen selections, mostly value-oriented in the $20.00 - $30.00 range, but with extremes ranging from Monterey Vineyard White Zinfindel ($14.00) to 1988 Dom Perignon ($125.00). You can also choose from many by the glass.
Food Bank Honors The Fish Hopper
Article first printed in The Monterey County Herald on Wednesday, September 15, 1999
The Fish Hopper Restaurant was honored by the Food Bank For Monterey County with a special award for its outstanding financial contribution during the annual Dining Out Helping Out Fundraiser, where 37 restaurants participated, donating 10 percent of proceeds from that evening.
A reception to thank the restaurants was held in Monterey on September 8th. The food bank is the largest supplier of emergency/supplemental food in the county, providing assistance to approximately 32,000 county residents.
The Fish Hopper, located at the former site of The Outrigger restaurant in the Steinbeck Plaza at 700 Cannery Row, is co-owned by two brothers, Chris Shake and Sabu Shake Jr.
Schmap Monterey & Carmel Guide
Located right on the waterfront at Cannery Row, this elegant steak and seafood restaurant provides a spectacular view of the ocean. Along with several specialties of the house that change on a daily basis, the menu includes such show stoppers as Pacific Bay Snapper with with Gulf shrimp and Caribbean Seafood Pescadore. Order a drink like the Bucket of Fire and enjoy the rustic decor while you chow down a huge plate of seafood and check out the incredible view. The place is also a great one for parties and the service is excellent. Review by Schmap, 2007.