Last night, I had the pleasure of dining at our all-time favorite restaurant with my friends. Lao Sze Chuan in Chinatown continues to “wow” and surprise us at every visit.
This time, Liane, Miss Healthypants, and I decided to branch out from the usual menu selections and ordered their famous Hot Pot. For those unfamiliar with Hot Pot, it’s sort of the Chinese equivalent of fondue.
A boiling cauldron of broth is brought to the table set atop a heat source. In this case, we selected the two-sided cauldron featuring a mild broth and a fiery, chili-garlic infused broth. In this photo, we’ve already dumped in some veggies.
Then, they bring out your dunking items. Here’s a plate containing shrimp, mussels, squid, fresh fish, assorted vegetables, tofu, fish balls, pork balls, and squid balls. Bean-thread noodles are on the side.
And if that wasn’t enough, out comes a platter of thinly sliced beef and lamb.
A variety of dipping sauces accompanies the Hot Pot.
Each diner plunks an item in a little wire basket and dunks it in the simmering broth to cook it. Here is Miss Healthypants, preparing a fish ball with glee and mirth.
Needless to say, Hot Pot is a delightfully messy endeavor.
It’s a lot of food and we couldn’t finish it all. But what a great way to enjoy a meal – casually simmering tasty things at a leisurely pace.
Good food and great friends. We’re lucky people.