I haven’t had hot pot in over a year.. mainly because it is more of a social thing, where it tastes best when there is 4 or more people. Secondly, because Meep and our friends are not “Hot Pot people”. I miss cold nights in Vancouver and stuffing my face with floating fishballs, fish tofu, noodles and mushrooms!
Finally, our preggy friend felt like Hot Pot and Meep can’t deny a pregnant lady of her cravings right? They picked Hot Pot City and I was excited.
I didn’t know how to react when I walked into the restaurant. It was massive, dimly lit and very reminiscent of street stalls in Asia.
There was a few islands with items for the grill or hot pot in the centre of the restaurant.
A whole range of vegetables including 3 kinds of mushrooms.
Meat including lamb, pork and beef – marinated for the grill and non marinated for hot pot.
There was even pork intenstine, pig’s blood, tripe, marinated pork spare ribs and beef short ribs.
Wontons, fish cake, vienna sausages, bean curd skin, enoki mushrooms and even satay was offered.
A good variety of seafood: shrimp, clams, smelt, squid (which was not cleaned… eww), crawfish, crabs and more.
There was also a sushi area with a couple types of rolls and stuffed sweet tofu skin. The sushi pretty much empties out the moment it is replenished. This poor guy has been rolling them out non stop.
Drinks & Desserts
Desserts included: almond jelly, range of toppings for typical asian desserts like grass jelly, red beans, green beans, jelly and more.
Every table has their own giant exhaust & burner
Crabs, Shrimp, Clams
The shrimps were a mix of fresh and mushy pieces; crabs were not very good with soft shells and mushy centre; and clams were ok.
Fishballs, deep fried fish siu mai, crab sticks and egg
The fishballs were odd; they were actually stuffed with some kind of minced meat. The deep fried fish siu mai were kinda doughy and weird once it was in the hot pot for a while. Crab meat and egg was as expected.
The only saving grace of the whole meal was the meat. The sliced lamb was tender and sliced so thinly it was easy to cook and eat.
Marinated lamb and sliced pork
The pork was so thinly sliced that even after cooking in the soup, it was tender and good. Marinated lamb was not bad, simply marinated w ginger, green onions and soy.
Pea sphoots and shiitake mushroom
The mushrooms were the dried kind that were soaked to soften up but still a little tough. Even after boiling in soup for over 10 minutes, they were still tough because the stems were left on.
The marinated pork spare ribs were a little off. Marinated in something like Chashu sauce, it was a tad grainy and mushy. I guess it is not a popular choice and has been sitting there for a while.
Another decent item was the beef short ribs. Although they were not marinated well because they just kept refilling the marinate tub with frozen ribs. But the type of cut itself was good.
And for dessert: my very own custom Shaved Ice
Red beans, green beans, grass jelly, shaved ice and condense milk = very refreshing after a hot meal!
Total Damage: $94 (including tax & tip)
Personal Rating: 1.75 out of 5 (Below Average)
To be honest, I ate nothing other than slivers or marinated lamb, pork and lamb for the hot pot. Everything else was a little unappetising and some of the items look a little suspect so I did not even try them. The meats were cleaned out so frequently that it is constantly replenished and so it is now just raw meat sitting out for hours.
There isn’t a lot of choices for hot pot other than meat, a lot of veggies and 2 noodle options. I expected a whole range of seafood tofu, fish ball, cuttlefish ball and more but nope… Meat options were the only highlight of the meal.
The busboys are very efficient, plates were promptly cleared. But the conditions of the restaurant were a tad dismal. There were a lot of fruit flies everywhere, it started feeling a little gross around the food stations.
500 Barber Ln
Milpitas, CA 95035
(408) 428 0988