Video of what happens when you order Kungfu noodles at Hotpot
(part of) THE GANG at Hotpot! (left: Sam, Scott, Candy, Ryan)
Our SPICY hotpot
Quail egg, tofu noodle
Dessert (peanuts to the right)
Alaskan Sam scorching his raw, grounded shrimp.
Canadian Scott eating tofu noodles with his Chinese girlfriend Candy.
Every Friday night, a group of us eat out at a nice restaurant. I cannot tell you how convenient it is having a Chinese person with us. We tell Candy what we like and she can read the menu to us; tell our server how we would like it; and make excellent recommendations. These are all of the things I struggle with on a daily basis. I look forward to Friday's!
Here, we are at Hotpot. Hotpot is similar to was is known as 'The Melting Pot' back at home, but there are quite a few differences.
At Hotpot, you are offered aprons because the food becomes unavoidably messy. The hotpot boils and food constantly slips from your chopsticks. Afterward your apron, they will offer you a clear bag for your phone, purse, etc. Then, they will deliver hair ties to all of the females. Regardless of what you order, your server will automatically put some vegetables, watermelon, peanuts, seaweed, and some black fungus (english translation IS FUNGUS) on the table. They are considered to be your free appetizer. You can find the all-you-can-eat fruit (watermelon and canteloupe), vegetables, peanuts, fungus, toppings, and sauces all at a medium sized buffet bar. The amount of tomatoes you can grab is endless so I am a huge fan. Adjacent to the juicy tomatoes are a plethora of dipping sauces and seasonings for you mixing pleasure. You can essentially concoct your own sauce, I love it! The sauces I can remember included: sesame, peanut (my favorite), mystery (it was pink), spicy, chili, etc. Toppings included: sesame seeds, crushed EVERYTHING, chili flakes, and all of this Chinese stuff that was too new for me to repeat. I will update this blog when I make a second trip. My three sauce choices were sesame, peanut, and mystery. They automatically gave us soy sauce. FYI: their soy sauces are NOTHING like the soy sauces from home. They taste more like vinegar. They are not as salty.
Like The Melting Pot, you are able to choose what you prefer your food to be cooked in. In our case, we went with what was most spicy. Some of the dishes we ordered included:
Lamb: I wanted to hate it. Mother of God, it was delicious.
Quail eggs: they taste stronger than the average egg. Not my fav, but decent.
all types/textures of Tofu: I love tofu now and cannot wait to cook with it.
Mushrooms: they were large and flowery looking. They had stems. They have a variety of mushrooms here that taste great. Mushrooms were the only food from home that made me want to puke besides certain fish. China has turned me on to them.
Shrimp: The server came out with a sheet of raw, grounded blue/purple shrimp. It looked GROSS. She spooned it out and threw it in the pot. They bubbled up to cluster balls of utter deliciousness.
Bamboo: Maybe it's just me, but I thought pandas were the only ones that ate bamboo. Apparently not. It was hard and kind of bland. I heard you can find tastier bamboo elsewhere.
If the food does not sway you, at least go there to test your chopstick skills. All I'll say about that is thank goodness I opted for the apron.
Most memorable moment of the night (besides knocking my beer over): I was the only one who had the exact amount of change, so after I bragged that "skillz" was my middle name, I leaned over the hotpot to hand Sott my kwi ($) and my 1 jow hit the pot and plopped into our spicy broth mix. They all gave me that look. Alexa moments: all day, everyday.