Another day, another review. While it seems my list of reviews to catch up on seems growing and endless, there are certain places that I must write about right away. This is one – a hot pot place that does individual hot pot located in Richmond. In fact, it’s in a pretty popular area of Richmond (I think it’s called Continental Square). Right across Pearl Castle.
The gamer in me saw the name of this establishment and instantaneously thought of Zelda 64…but while I was looking it up before I sat down to write this review – I realize the name of the character in Z64 is actually Jabu Jabu. My bad. For those of you who didn’t play Zelda 64, the dungeon is a giant fish type creature, in which you have to get inside of his belly. Well, for all purposes, my delicious hot pot meal got inside my belly!
Liane and I braved the rain to eat and catch up with each other. The restaurant is small but has a u-shaped bar for individual hot potters and a couple tables for up to 4-ish people to share. The placemat doubles as the menu and there is a tonne of things you can order. But let me break it down for you – you’re really looking for one of the combos on the first column. Combo prices range from $14.95-$41.95 (for Kobe beef). Being the recessionista that I am, I ordered something in the middle – the Ribeye Combo ($16.95).
The combo includes your soup base, their special sauce, a plate of veggies (although there are fishballs, ham and a shrimp included), a drink and a dessert. Not too shabby, shabu.
Our broth and ‘veggie’ platter came together, they turn on the convection plate, plop the soup in front of you and you wait for it to boil. The veggie plate has your favourite hot pot items: cabbage, bok choy, enoki,smooth tofu, dried tofu, mushroom, corn, tomato and some meat including a prawn, sliced ham and a couple fish balls.
Then came the meat. I ordered the Ribeye, Liane ordered the Pork Neck.
She let me try some of the pork neck and it was delicious and tender. I stuck with beef because I have this irrational fear of cooking pork.
The sauce they give you is quite delicious, different from most places you go for hot pot. I can’t really put my finger on it but I’m thinking it’s got some satay and hoisin sauce in it. They also add a great amount of garlic and diced green onions to the mix. If anyone knows what the sauce is made of, please let me know because I’d love to imitate this sauce at home!
Our ‘carbs’ came shortly after – Liane ordered udon and I ordered ‘bean thread’ which looked a lot like vermicelli to me. We also had drinks, Liane ordered milk tea and I had iced green tea and this came a couple minutes after our meal arrived.
For what it was, it definitely was very filling. I couldn’t finish the entire meal myself. I think individual hot pot is a great way to enjoy hot pot, especially if you’re picky or maybe a bit of a germaphobe. People always wonder what is the point of cooking your own food, but hot pot is more than just the food, it’s about the experience of chatting with the people you’re with – similar, I feel, to what dim sum is about as well.
Sweet tofu was our dessert.
In any case, the only thing that was a bit of a miss here was the service, our waitress was friendly and nice, she came to top up our soup bowls with more water, but she didn’t really check to see if we needed more tea and it took about 10-15 minutes to wave her over for the bill (we werent in a particular rush, so we sat and chat for a while). However, I don’t imagine anyone coming to hot pot if they’re in a rush. I’d still definitely come back here again.