Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sichuan Hotpot in the North Point Cooked Food Center

When a friend suggested that we try a Chongqing hotpot place called "Bamboo Garden Chongqing Chicken Pot" (竹園重慶雞煲) for dinner, I was down.  That is no surprise as I am always in the mood for hotpot.

But then when I realized the so-called restaurant was actually located at 99 Java Road, I got really excited.  I had heard about a good Sichuan hotpot restaurant on the third floor of the Java Road North Point cooked food center a couple of years ago but never went to search it out.  I was now pretty sure that this was the same place.

The place might as well come emblazoned with a banner: "Eat here at your own risk."

This cooked food center contains the famous Tung Po restaurant, which is probably the only local restaurant that has succeeded in luring expats who don't know any better to crouch on hard stools, sip bad Tsingtao out of a bowl and suck down mediocre pasta covered in squid ink for novelty's sake.  It is a fun time because late at night the owner, soused on bad whiskey and beer, will pull out a 1990s early style boom box and moonwalk and belt out all kinds of American classics while mopping up.

You check what you want on the yellow menu.

We asked for "less hot" and boy am I glad we did because the soup was still quite spicy.  I can't imagine what it would have tasted like if we had asked for regular.

When we first started cooking:
 While the food kept cooking (smoke was billowing):
 At the end of the meal - the oil had congealed to a rather scary state:

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