Hot pot is always fun! It’s when you gather with some friends or family and place lots of raw and uncooked food into a boiling pot to eat together! I think the origin of this Chinese cuisine started when people wanted to keep their food hot while eating. For that reason, hot pot is especially common during the winter months.
Six of us dined at Hot Pot on Yonge Chinese Cuisine (小肥牛, [translates as “little fat cow”]) on a Saturday evening two weekends ago. I’ve walked by this place many times before when walking down Yonge Street and it’s right next to many other restaurants like Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu. It’s a Chinese-staffed restaurant in a predominantly Korean-based area.
We chose our soup base for the two pots that were on our table; parsley & preserved egg broth on one side and satay broth on the other. We also chose the condiments that we wanted in our sauce bowls. It was an all-you-can-eat affair, so after that, you can choose any of the ingredients from the list that they have and they bring it to you. They served everything from fish balls, beef balls, veggies, raw beef, chicken, lamb, seafood like shrimp, mussels, squid, dumplings, tofu, and more! Unlike some hot pot places that bring you a specific number of items that you request for, here, they bring you enough of the item for all the people at your table. The staff did say that if there was anything left on the table that we didn’t use, it was okay, and we wouldn’t be charged for it. This approach has its pros and cons, I believe, compared to other restaurants where you order by number.
We spent the rest of our night boiling away and dipping the raw meats into the hot pots to cook or dumping lots of food into the pots and then retrieving it later to eat. It was fun!
I think I overdid my sauce bowl that night because I added too many condiments into it (I was trying to re-make the amazing sauce bowl that I assembled during a recent hot pot night). Nevertheless, I loved the food, especially the lamb. It was so good!! To our surprise, we also found that the sausage was good, as well as the potato noodles! We got a few items in our dishes that we didn’t ask for, but it turned out to be delicious. Oh, and I cooked a lot of the seaweed/kelp that night to eat. It was so good!
What I loved about the staff here was that they were all extremely efficient and fast with all of our orders and requests. Once we needed something and asked, the staff would literally get it to us right away. It was so impressive (and rare) to see such efficient service that was attentive and caring. I loved it! They also cleared empty dishes off of our table almost immediately when they saw that we were done with the plate. Amazing!
After almost two hours of cooking and eating, we were full and the table was cleared. It was time for desserts! There were Chinese herbal jelly and mango pudding to choose from on their menu. I ordered one of each. 😀 The mango pudding tasted all right but the Chinese herbal jelly was really good! It was a little more bitter than most places might serve it, but I like it when it tastes bitter.
Overall, it was a lovely night of dining and hot potting! Thanks to Gen for organizing the night. 🙂 Have you been to this place before for hot pot? Any other places that you can recommend in the city that are good for hot pot?