- Address: 5441 Yonge St, North York
- Visited: 04/08/2014, Dinner, 4 people
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Rating: 3.5 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $$ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: N/A
With the weather warming up, I wanted to get in one more hotpot meal before the appeal of boiling soup diminished. Hotpot on Yonge opened about a year ago and they’ve been a welcome addition to the neighbourhood. Before that, my hotpot cravings had to be satisfied uptown or at my parent’s house. I do love to hotpot at home, but with two people it’s hard to buy a variety of ingredients without a ton of leftovers.
Atmosphere: The restaurant is clean and on busy nights, the windows are steamed up from the open pots of boiling broth. I would not recommend wearing anything that needs to be dry cleaned. Similar to a meal at Korean BBQ, you will smell like hotpot after. Hotpot is also typically a long meal. We ate for about 2 hours, which is about average.
Service: Like many Chinese restaurants, service was efficient if not the friendliest. We didn’t have any issues ordering in English although it does help to understand Mandarin or Cantonese. The menu is bilingual but the order sheet was only in Chinese. Each item was numbered, making it possible to fill out the order sheet while referencing the main menu. There are a few typos, spelling mistakes and the general translation issues with the menu. For example, if you’re a first time visitor it would be hard to differentiate between yam noodle, noodles, rice noodles and thick noodles. Luckily each food portion is small, which makes it low risk to order any item to try. If no one at the table likes it, it will just melt into the soup.
Food: Hotpot is essential a lot of fresh, raw ingredients cooked in boiling soup. Each ingredient is fished out when ready and eaten fresh with a dipping sauce. The typical items are thin slices of lamb and beef, various fish balls, seafood, mushrooms and all sorts of vegetables. My go-to order usually includes watercress, wintermelon, spinach, frozen tofu, enoki mushrooms, fish tofu, yam noodles, taro, lamb, beef and rice cakes.
At Hotpot on Yonge, the AYCE menu selection is varied and is on par with Hipot uptown. There is a seafood option that has costs a couple of dollars more. I usually skip this as the value add isn’t amazing. There are three broth choices included in the AYCE price and a few more premium options. I like the cilantro and satay broths myself. A wide variety of dipping sauce ingredients are also available including peanut, soy, satay, hot sauces and many more.
All of our ordered items were fresh and delivered at once allowing us to enjoy our meal and cook items in the sequence we wanted. My cooking order is always sliced meat and seafood until the broth becomes fatty and flavorful. Then I add in items that take longer to cook like wintermelon, dumplings and taro. Once the broth is a rolling boil again, fresh greens can be blanched and come out full of flavor from the broth. Last comes the carbs, ending the meal with whatever noodles I still have room for.