Monday, May 4

Food Review: Chinese Hot Pot Buffet Restaurant

Cuisine: Hot Pot/Chinese
Price: $25 all you can eat
Location: 72 Dominion Road, Auckland
Website: NA

It's winter time and that means that one type of cuisine is at the forefront of my mind: hot pot! Located on the auspicious Dominion Road, the imaginatively named Chinese Hot Pot Buffet is one of the best around.

The premise is simple. You have a pot, split in two, with soup in each half (typically one spicy and one plain). You chuck raw ingredients such as sliced beef, lamb, squid, seawood etc into the pot, wait for it to cook, then scoop it out and eat! There are a variety of sauces for you to mix into your own perfect concoction, lots of free soda and soy milk (the good Asian variety!) and some cooked dishes.

At Chinese Hotpot Buffet there's the added bonus of $25 all you can eat, which is really how hot pot should be. There was a surprisingly wide selection of raw and cooked ingredients. Cooked dishes like chilli chicken, seaweed salad, fried chicken wings, and pan bread meant we were able to gorge ourselves while the food cooked. On top of the wide variety, the cooked food tasted fresh, and could have stood on its own in an a la carte Chinese restaurant.
As for the raw ingredients, they were well stocked, and noticeably non frozen which was appreciated. The restaurant was quite clean and hygienic, and the staff were friendly making for a pleasant atmosphere.

During our languid meal, we ate for over three hours, enjoying the mix of raw and cooked dishes. The fare was fresh and the variety meant we were spoilt for choice. Hot pot is a simple pleasure, and Chinese Hot Pot Buffet definitely hit the spot.