|Delicious. (p.s. I'm loving instagram right now. so late to the party.)|
Oh hi there!
It’s me again, you’re favourite neighbourhood blogger, here to save the day.
Alright, I might not save the day “per se” but I will save your taste buds from a life of boredom and loneliness.
You see, your taste buds are missing their soul mate, their everlasting love, and you didn’t even know it.
“But my taste buds have already met PC candycane ice cream and they’re in love,” you say, and while I agree that candycane ice cream is delicious, you’re still missing out if you’ve never had hot pot.
What is hot pot? Basically it’s a big steaming pot (hmm interesting) of stock simmered with spices and other delicious things.. ok, I don’t exactly know what’s in there, but I’ve never been disappointed.
I tried to research what was in hotpot exactly, but most sites are pretty vague and my mandarin is currently sub-par (yes, it was once at par, those were the days). They really don’t tell you what’s in there.. sneaky!
But anyway, regardless of the contents of the pot, the food that comes out is absolutely delicious and steaming, perfect for a fall or winter day. Hotpot also makes a fabulous date destination. As smitty and I have gone on a number of wonderful dates there (together), I can testify. Whatever.
In all seriousness, cooking your own food and being a little adventurous can make for a fabulous date, I highly suggest it.
|Look at all those veggies! (except the little corn. ignore that. - I'm not a fan)|
Xiao Fei Yang (Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot) – Markham, ON (7.5/10)
Great food and good value, service is a little sub-par but nothing you can’t deal with. Sometimes the dishes aren’t refilled and you can’t find bok choi or big slices of pork (my only downside). The music selection and accompanying videos are impeccable.
Ok, first of all, value: If you split a pot with a hot date, it’ll cost you about $24 each (and if you can’t figure out their debit machine, like me, that amount includes you not tipping...). That’s a pretty darn good value for as much meat, seafood, veggies, deep fried doughballs and drinks as you can shove into your piehole. You can pretty much sit there until they have to grease you to get you out the front door. So, yeah, it’s right up there on value.
Taste: Oh baby. We always order half hot, half not (yin and yang if you will) because I inevitably inhale a chilli up my nose (every time!) and have to switch to a milder broth. You can dress me up, but you can’t take me anywhere.
The two broth types also have completely different taste palettes, they’re a great compliment to each other, and it gives you some variety.
And on the note of variety, there are about 1,000,000 things you can dunk in boiling liquid at this place (but please, don’t try heating up your springroll in the pot, it can only end badly). My personal faves include:
- Beef and lamb (brought to the table)
- Lamb wontons (yummm)
- Prawns (if you’re brave enough to crack the shells off and stare them in the peepers)
- Bok choi (it absorbs a lot of the flavour from the broth)
- Broccoli and cauliflower
- Eggs (poached eggs in spicy sauce? Yes please)
- Noodles (udon and egg. Amazing)
- Watercress (who knew a salad green could be soo yummy in this stuff)
- Sweet potatoes
So many options! And if you’re more adventurous with your sea creatures, there are even more!
My absolute favourite is bok choi though, I don’t know why, but it’s just so yummy in the broth.
So basically, the deal is that you sit there with your friend(s), and dunk meat and veggies into hot broth until you can’t move. THEN, you wait until a man brings out things that look like little buns, steaming from the fryer. You run to the table and grab them while they’re still hot and drizzle condensed milk on them and promptly die of happiness. I don’t know what makes them so good (my best guess: beef fat. Can’t go wrong), but they’re amazing. A great addition to an otherwise fairly healthy meal.
My final verdict: go here before it gets to be a big “thing” in the city for non-Chinese people and you can’t get a table (or worse, they make the hotpots more “westernized”). So let’s keep this on the DL? Thanks.
Love as always,