Value for money: 9/10
Quality of food: 8/10
It’s not looking like the nicest chain, only because construction is going on at the plot next door, though.
We got here at around 3pm, after having a lazy breakfast. If you arrive around 11 (opening time) then you may only line up for 5-10 minutes, but you have to decide whether hot pot is really something you want to be eating for early lunch/brunch. We waited around 20 minutes, which isn’t too bad, really.
Here is how you ‘check in’ when you get to the store. It’s pretty easy, actually: tap the button that says 請點我 (translating to please press me), then it will bring up a screen asking how many are in your party. You can choose from 1人, 2人, 3人 or 4人 (人 being person/people). It will then bring up whether you want a table or if you want to sit on a row (which will become more clear if you look at the pictures below) where you can just click the picture. Finally, hit the button at the bottom of the screen when you have plugged in these 2 commands, and you will get a receipt. At the top of the above picture, you can see 1016, 2050, 9007. The 1016 is the numbers for 1人, the 2050 is for 2, 3 or 4 人 sitting on the long rows and the 9007 is for 2, 3, 4人 looking to sit on the square tables. When they call out your number, they will bring out a menu.
Here is the Chinese menu, however, they do also have an English menu which they will give you (if you ask or if you look confused).
The best thing about this chain store? Everything included is just $218, what a steal!
On the menu there are steps:
1. 選湯鍋 xuǎn tāng guō This is where you choose the type of broth you’d like. You have 4 choices:
石頭鍋 shí tóu guō Stone pot (fried first)
涮涮鍋 shuàn shuàn guō Original style (not fried first)
辛香辣魅鍋 xīn xiāng là mèi guō Spicy devil broth (sounds hot!)
番茄豚骨鍋 fān qié tún gǔ guō Tomato and pork bone broth
2. 先選套餐, 再選主餐 xiān xuǎn tào cān , zài xuǎn zhǔ cān First choose whether you want more vegetables or more meat, and then choose your selection from the appropriate column.
3. 選副食 xuǎn fù shí Order your rice or noodles
4. 選飲品 xuǎn yǐn pǐn Order your drink
Here’s what we ordered:
1. 石頭鍋 and 番茄豚骨鍋
This is the 石頭鍋, here the waitress is adding more soup broth. The broth is fairly neutral with a slight taste of pork.
This was by far and a way the better of the two, this was the 番茄豚骨鍋. The tomato flavour came through in abundance and it was wonderfully rich. I would encourage you to take a few small bowls of the broth before you add any vegetables or meat inside, to really savor the flavour of this lovely soup.
2. Both with more vegetables, so we ordered from the left side of the menu – 櫻桃鴨腿 yīng táo yā tuǐ Cherry duck leg and 豬雞雙拼 zhū jī shuāng pīn Pork and Chicken mix
Wanting to fill your quota of veggies? You have come to the right spot! Especially being as vegetables have seen a sharp up rise in cost due to the fluctuating weather of recent months. Cabbage, taro, carrot, corn, cucumber, tempura, tofu, pumpkin. You name it, this has it!
Toward the back of the picture you can see the streaky pork, which pretty much looks like bacon. Toward the front you can see the shavings of chicken. Both of the meats were ok, but didn’t really pack a punch of flavour. Combining them with the tomato broth, however, certainly brought out a better flavour in them.
The duck, however, was a much better choice than the chicken and pork. I don’t often eat duck, especially like this, so I really enjoyed it. When you put the duck into the broth it kind of creates a little cup as the heat forces the meat to pull in on itself. Again, with the tomato broth, a triumph.
3. 兩碗白飯 liǎng wǎn bái fàn Two bowls of white rice
Yep, it’s rice.
4. 兩杯無糖涼麥茶 liǎng bēi wú táng liáng mài chá Two cups of barley tea (without sugar)
We just had a picture of rice, do we need a picture of tea, too? Not really…
Overall, this is my 3rd trip to this chain restaurant. I think this is hard to beat for the quality of the ingredients they use and the price you pay. Definitely get the tomato broth (it is seasonal, too, so you need to check it out soon) and also get the duck!
Best dish: The duck was the best meat and the tomato was the best broth, and I will always recommend getting more vegetables than more meat.
Dish I wouldn’t order again: The 石頭鍋 simply because the tomato broth had bundles more flavour.
A selection of just 3 of the many branches:
No. 72, XinYi Road, Section 2, DaAn District, Taipei City
No.50, AnJu Street, DaAn District, Taipei City
No. 192, Roosevelt Road, Section 6, WenShan District, Taipei City