Since moving to Hong Kong, I have grown to love hotpot aka steamboat aka the best invention of Hong Kong food, ever. It is not like there wasn’t any steamboat (or hotpot) in Singapore, but they are really far, far inferior when compared to their Hong Kong counterpart.
I have a few favorites. One of them is New Star Seafood Steamboat, which was my first hotpot discovery and I loved it to death because of its endless all-you-can-eat buffet, which include beer! And then I went a little high end and tried the Golden Valley Restaurant, which earned thumbs-up from round the table but at close to $400 per pax for ten shared dishes, it is not something you can indulge in often.
Which was why, when Roast Pot (南燒北鍋) came along, I sighed with relief.
For Roast Pot fall squarely in between New Star and Golden Valley. The food variety and quality are much better than New Star, and price was it was way below of what you would pay at Golden Valley. Now come to think of it, I think I have been to Roast Pot for at least five times in the past half a year.
Yes, five times! Is it a wonder why my waistline never fall below 30″?
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Hotpot has got to be the best invention of Chinese cuisine. There are so many ways of doing a pot – from experimenting with different broths to dumping anything edible into it – that at every turn, you bound to be surprised.
I thought my hotpot discovery was excellent, until Sichuan hotpot dropped a fiery bomb onto my radar. My (hotpot) life will never the same again.
Golden Valley Restaurant was like a throw back to ancient times, when Hong Kongers revel in all things gold plated, and thick carpeting with swirly patterns commanded a mortgage to install. Located at Emperor Hotel (which is literally two minutes from my door step), it was a restaurant fit for a king.
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I never considered myself as a fan of steamboat… or hotpot, as it is commonly known in Hong Kong. In Malaysia and Singapore, the choices of hotpot outlets were somewhat limited. Had it not been because of their eat-all-you-can style, I don’t think I would have ventured to any of these establishments.
That perception changed after I moved to Hong Kong, as I discovered the joy and delight of New Star Seafood Restaurant (新星海鮮酒家) outlet located at Mongkok.
Despite its name, majority of its patrons were there for their hotpot every night.
(Side note: Subsequently I went to a few other good, if not better, hotpot places here, but New Star remains one of the places to go when my Singapore friends come visiting)
Why do I love it so? Here are eight good reasons:
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