Restaurant: ? Hot Pot
Location: ? read the Chinese card below
Date: August 4, 2018
Cuisine: Szechuan Hot Pot
Rating: Stomach of Ox in Chili Oil says it all
A visit to Chengdu wouldn’t be right without some fiery Chengdu Hot Pot to cleanse the GI.
Nearby was another of those restored streets that looks like the China you wish was still around.
Replete with pole toting vendors.
And giant gates.
This is our hot pot. It was recommended to us because they have individual pots and actual vegetarian broth — something we needed with our diverse party.
Now the actual name remains a mystery to me. Maybe one of my Chinese reading friends will translate and tell me.
And our private room equipped with individual inductive pots.
Some actual alcoholic beverage — almost a week into the trip!
Steamed buns with condensed milk — guilty pleasure.
Meanwhile we have the hot pot sauces. I think there might have been a sauce bar downstairs which I would have liked, but I made due with the fixed sauces.
And some condiments to jazz them up like chilies, garlic (my favorite), and green onion.
Then the spicy hot pot. I forgot to photo the kid’s tomato broth, the non-spicy chicken broth, and the vegan mushroom broth.
The spicy one is an ass busting mix of rendered ox fat, chili oil, chilies, and Szechuan peppercorns!
All of the following stuff is intended to go into the pots, cook to your personal taste, then be sauced and eaten.
Homemade meat balls, not frozen like you usually find in the states.
Green colored wheat noodles.
Stomach of ox. Yep, ox tripe. Only for those with strong stomachs! This stuff was so chewy — with a texture exactly like a really thick water balloon — that I was chewing it for 3-4 minutes straight before I thought it was safe to swallow.
Fish balls stuffed with pork. Yummy!
Lotus root. I love this stuff for the nice crunch.
For those of you who dream of making this kind of Szechuan hot pot at home, I saw the above home starter kit in many Chengdu stores. You take this brick of chillies and ox fat and plop it into the chicken or pork broth of your choice and melt, therefore rendering it all into a fiery pit of stomach hell.
This was a fine hot pot place, and we had to do it — and definitely I prefer the spicy Chengdu style to any other. It’s just that hot pot isn’t my favorite Chinese meal as it’s sort of monotone. You only really have one “sauce” / style of prep for the night. Just lots of ingredients. We do have pretty good hot pot in LA — and it’s very popular.
All I can say is that it’s a good thing that the Chengdu Ritz Carlton bathrooms come equipped with state of the art Toto “auto washing” toilets!
For my catalog of Chinese restaurant reviews in China, click here.