I don’t know what took me so long to try hotpot but I finally did. I tried hotpot for the first time at Xiaolongkan Chinese Fondue. This Toronto Hotpot has a few locations in Richmond Hill as well in Scarborough.
For those that do not know, HotPot is a Chinese cooking method where a much of food is thrown into a boiling broth, cooked, and served. It is definitely an experience.
I was completely out of my element. As mentioned, I’ve never had hotpot before and didn’t know how to order or how it was done. Luckily one of my friends have been a few times and she took full charge. She ordered half spicy broth; half spicy and half not. The server then brings the pot and adds it to the boiler installed on the table, and heats it up. The chunk that you see eventually melts away into the broth.
Once the broth is heated, you can start to add in your sides. You will know if the food is ready once it starts to float to the top of the broth.
The sides range from meats, vegetables, and noodles. We got a nice range of a little bit of everything. I honestly can not tell you everything we got (which is why I took a picture of the receipt seen below to remember). My friend did most of the ordering and if she said it was ok, then I was ok with it.
For meat we got pork meatballs, sliced Angus beef, New Zealand lamb, and pork belly. I unfortunately didn’t get to try any of the meatballs, I guess I didn’t find any in the broth. There are a lot of exotic or I should say “out of my norm” meat such as beef tongue, but we decided to play it safe and stick with things we knew.
We got a lot of different vegetables, seafood, and noodles. I wasn’t able to get a picture of them all. We got yam noodles, cabbage, watercress, needle mushrooms, fish balls and a lot more. You can take a look at the receipt below for a full list.
There are a few popular dipping sauce mix combination for hotpot but the one that was recommended to us was: garlic, sesame paste, coriander, and oyster sauce.
The sauce definitely made the difference. The food was good, but the dipping sauce made it even better! The dipping sauces were extra charge but I would highly recommend.
I would highly recommend hotpot not only for the food but mostly the experience. What I love about living in Toronto is that you get to experience different types of cuisines like this one. The sliced meats and the cabbage were probably my favourites (yes cabbage I know). I preferred the spicy broth out of the two but I wouldn’t get it alone. I liked the balance between spicy and not spicy as the spicy broth got pretty hot.