WORDS BY Hong Chuanyu
PHOTOS BY Lin Weikai, Lin Yuwei
TRANSLATION BY Joe Henley
In Taiwan, hot pot has become the first choice for communal feasts in winter. Whether it is served in Chinese, Japanese or Western style, hot pot warms you up when the weather turns chilly and serves as a reward for another year of hard work. Gathering around a warm hot pot with several friends while chatting about what has happened this year creates an intimate atmosphere that warms your body and heart. (Read Also: Five unique twists on Taiwanese hot pot)
OXTAIL SPICY HOT POT WITH POPPY SAUCE: SWEET AND NOURISHING
When it comes to hot pot, there’s nothing better than being able to enjoy spicy and clear broth at the same time, especially when the spiciness warms up the whole body, inviting a comfortable and refreshing sensation.
Loyal Chef (食徒) is known for its unique spicy hot pot which contains a large amount of spices and Chinese herbs, along with the unique numbing flavor of Sichuan pepper, the spiciness of dried red chili pepper called Chao Tian Jiao (朝天椒) and the aroma of the chili that make the broth irresistibly delicious.
The signature “Oxtail Spicy Hot Pot with Poppy Sauce” is very different from the other typical spicy hot pot dishes. First simmer the beef bone broth over low heat for more than 24 hours, and then add the oxtail for further simmering until the gelatin of the oxtail completely dissolves in the soup. The sweetness of the oxtail balances out the intense spiciness and brings out a wonderful depth of flavor in the broth. Therefore, the spicy broth of Loyal Chef is not only drinkable, but the spicier it is, the better it tastes.
LOYAL CHEF 食徒
20, Sec. 1, Fuxing S. Rd., Zhongshan Dist.
11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10:00pm
(Closed on Tuesdays) (02) 2711-9508
A VARIETY OF FLAVORFUL HOT POT WITH GREAT PORTION AND GREAT PRICE
With Hai Pa Wang Group as its parent company, TAKAO 1972 (打狗霸) has the advantage of providing premium quality ingredients in its set meal at an affordable price, such as prime beef, fresh seafood directly delivered from the Taiwan coastal regions, healthy meat balls and dumplings made inhouse, and even wild bluefin tuna sashimi.
Apart from the basic Japanese seaweed soup base, TAKAO 1972 also offers Sichuan spicy soup base, stone hot pot and sukiyaki. Additionally, two new soup bases will be introduced every season to wow hot pot aficionados. Moreover, the set meals are thoughtfully categorized by food portions. Customers who want to reward themselves can order the premium Surf and Turf Hot Pot. Big eaters can go for All You Can Eat Hot Pot. The soup base and set meals of TAKAO 1972 are available in all varieties, satisfying different palates and needs. (You might also like: From Classic to Fusion: Five Taipei Restaurants Worth Visiting)
TAKAO 1972 (Kunming Branch) 打狗霸
46, Kunming St., Wanhua Dist.
11:00am – 9:00pm (02) 2331-3677
NAGOYA RED MISO HOT POT — AS SPICY AS YOU WANT
Red miso is a specialty of Nagoya, Japan, and it gives rise to a variety of red miso dishes. Akakara, the largest hot pot chain restaurant in Nagoya, brings the most authentic red miso hot pot to Taiwan.
Akakara serves Akakara Nabe, a spicy hot pot that uses the secret blend of chili peppers and red miso from Nagoya. Customers can choose the spiciness of the hot pot from a scale of 0 to 10.
For those who are not good with spicy food, Level 1 allows you to taste the aroma of the chili pepper. Level 3 is equivalent to the spiciness of kimchi and suitable for those who can accept mildly spicy flavors. Level 5 is equal to the average minimum spiciness level of a typical spicy hot pot. From there, the sky is the limit. (If you’re into food: 8 Taiwanese foods that you don’t even know you need to try (yet))
If level 10 is still not spicy enough for you, you are recommended to try the “Hellish Spicy Hot Pot” exclusively offered by Akakara Taiwan stores. In addition to red miso, “Hellish Spicy Hot Pot” contains flavorings such as Taiwanese miso (which is sweeter than Japanese miso), devil pepper and chili, thereby making the whole hot pot spicier and moderately salty. Do you have friends fond of spicy food? Why not come here for a spice challenge and enjoy a hot and spicy New Year’s Eve together!
Akakara (Zhongshan Flagship Store) 赤から鍋
71, Sec. 1, Zhongshan N. Rd., Zhongshan Dist.
Monday to Fridy, 5:00pm – 12:00 midnight Saturday & Sunday,
11:30am – 12:00 midnight (02) 2523-8922
CONSOMMÉ: THE LONGER YOU COOK THE SOUP, THE BETTER THE FLAVOR
Consommé is a classic French clarified stock that requires a complicated simmering and clarifying process until the broth is crystal clear and golden. It is considered the Rolls Royce of broths.
TIGI HOT POT (鐵支涮火鍋) prepares the consommé by simmering old hen and native chicken wings with proportions of garlic sprouts, celery, carrots, thyme, bay leaves and more for six hours. Impurities on the surface of the stock are repeatedly removed during the process. The final broth is flavorful and becomes even more tasty after absorbing the different flavors of fresh hot pot ingredients during the cooking process.
During the meal, the staff will provide services such as removing the shells of the shrimps and splitting the handmade meat balls. Their friendly interaction and intimate service warms up even the chilliest winter day.
TIGI HOT POT (Heping Original Store) 鐵支涮火鍋
6-1, Ln. 141, Sec. 1, Heping E. Rd., Daan Dist.
11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 11:00pm
This article is reproduced under the permission of TAIPEI. Original content can be found at the website of Taipei Travel Net (www.travel.taipei/en).