Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hot Pot, Northeast China Style

My uncle told me that Tai Dian Restaurant, famous for its northeast Chinese sour cabbage hot pot (東北酸菜火鍋), has been around for forever. Our hot pot experience there was so interesting and delicious that I should have asked, "Then why is this the first time you've taken me here?! I could have been eating here for the past 20+ years!"

Apparently, during the cooler months, it's impossible to get a table. Even when we went, in the middle of a typical hot and humid Taipei summer, the place was pretty crowded. Thank goodness for the strong air conditioning!

Look at this weird-looking but awesome hot pot.

My uncle's a pro at adding sour cabbage.

A requisite for every hot pot meal: your own mix of yummy dipping sauce!

Great variety of sauces and toppings to mix.

Here's my creation:

Along with one of my all time favorite sodas: apple sidra. A refreshing apple-flavored soda.

The restaurant is all-you-can-eat. I know... best four words in the English language.

This is where you can fill up (and refill up) on all your hot pot needs: lamb, beef, pork, pigs blood, tofu, sour cabbage, and greens. Take 'em raw, and cook 'em at your table in the hot pot.

The side dishes are endless, too. *love*
Side dish #1: fried pork meatballs.

They were just okay. Seemed like they were made days ago.

Side dish #2: fried pork.

Same, seemed a little stale.

Side dish #3: Meat 'jello'

Honestly, I didn't even want to try this. But I did, just for you. It wasn't horrible. Tasted what it sounds like: a conglomerate of different meats, bound by a savory gelatin. Wait, that does sound horrible...

Side dish #4: scallion pancakes.

Probably one of my top three scallion pancakes of all time. !! Super crispy but also incredibly fresh and soft and poofy (that's right - poofy, not puffy) just where it should to be. And piping hot! How I like pancakes of every kind. I think I ate 5 plates of these scallion pancakes all by myself.

Side dish #5: chilled vinegar rice noodles. Soooo good. A little sweet, a little sour, and a lot garlicky.

Pictured with pigs blood - the brown tofu-looking things. My uncle complained that the pigs blood was not very fresh that night. I trust him.

And, the star of the evening... fatty pork strips. Basically, bacon. Scooped right out of the hot pot, and looking like it wants to be eaten immediately.

Super tender, and didn't taste fatty at all. I mainly took this picture for Han, because she would have greatly enjoyed this fatty slice of heaven.

Ugh, I can't stop thinking about the scallion pancakes.

台電勵進餐廳 (Tai Dian Restaurant)
Guting station via Metro
Hépíng East Road, Section 1 Lane 75
Taipei City, Taiwan
(02) 2399-4780

1 comment:

  1. ugh i cant stop looking at the scallion pancake. i love them so much and that one looks fantastic!


    i love how bacon is in hot pot ! hahaha