Hotpot in Taipei, Taiwan

Hotpot in the center of the table

Trip Taken: 2008

For those who don’t know about hotpot, it goes something like this. It’s a communal meal where raw food is presented before you. It can be anything seafood, meat, or produce. The food is usually something that can cook rather fast. You cook in big pot of boiling stock and then take out what you want to eat. Usually there is a sauce to dip you food in.

My uncle and my cousin was meeting with their contractor on the second day of my trip to Taipei. They were going out to dinner as a friendly way of saying thanks for the work. We decided to eat at a place close to where he keeps his office near the Gongguan metro station.

We met at an all you can eat hotpot restaurant for 300 NT dollars a person. That’s not too bad. It translates to about ten dollars a head. The restaurant was clean and there were a lot of options laid out before us. We ordered some fishballs, fish slices, beef slices, vegetables, taro pieces. I made my sauce from satay sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, green onions, and rice vinegar. This was all done buffet style. My favorite things to order at hotpot are:

  • Fishballs and Porkballs: Fishballs for the soft chewiness and pork balls for their toughness.
  • Taro: Taro is like a mild sweet potato and goes great with satay sauce.
  • Large intestines: For its flavor and texture
  • Duck blood: For its texture and mild flavor
  • Sea bass: For that buttery, flaky flavor only sea bass has.
  • Beef slices: Because it’s beef!
  • Pre-fried tofu: Because of it retains it’s shape allowing it to be cooked to a piping hot temperature

One of the coolest things about this place was that they had Calpico, a yogurt-based soft drink, slushie in addition to the regular fizzy drinks.  I left there very satisfied and I’m sure any of the other restaurants around the Gongguan area would have been just as good.  Probably.  At least they all seemed packed.

Parting Words

All you can eat restaurants are popular in Taipei and you can find a different varieties of hotpot and barbeque all you can eat places. This one was particularly memorable to me for the different drinks available (Calpico slushie! Who knew?) and the seafood choices.

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About the Author

John is always trying to find his way back to the road. He has an affinity for Germany due to his three years studying German at Cal, and a year working as an intern in the Stuttgart area. He also likes chocolate cake and good cheese.