Updated: 30th June 2012: This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.com.
We were recommended by friends and readers that we should check out the congee at Hot Pot One. With three separate recommendations, we know that can’t go wrong. Problem is it took us so long to check it out.
Hot Pot One is located in the Aberdeen Mall. It is on the top floor and just next door to the more illustrious Fisherman’s Terrace. Come to think of it, there are quite a number of good restaurants here at the Aberdeen Center. There is the Northern Delicacy which we like too.
I remember walking past Hot Pot One some months ago and they had someone standing outside the entrance with the menu in hand virtually asking everyone who walk past to to check out their restaurant. At that time, I thought that their location was bad because it is at the top floor and at a section which has less foot traffic.
Things had changed since then. We we went for brunch on last weekend, the place was simply packed.
We were seated by the window which provides a nice view. It is not often you see a restaurant with so much light and wrap around windows, let alone a Chinese restaurant.
Service was fast and surprisingly unrushed. They gave us the menu and asked if we know what we wanted. I think they ask that because they thought we were regulars. They serve dim sums, regular Chinese meals and of course congee. We told them we want some time to go over the menu and they left us alone until we asked for them again.
They served individual tea like the ones we had in Top Gun J&C and Garden City Hot Pot. It did not come across to us at that time to ask if it is compulsory that everyone to order their own tea. We just thought that it was exactly like Top Gun J&C and Garden City Hot Pot.
They have a good selection of Chinese Tea. They are $1 per person and $2 for premium ones. I thought that the Dragon Well which I had in Top Gun J&C would fall under the Premium tea list but they were just $1. Dragon Well tea is supposed to be the best and sort of like the imperial tea. I guess there are cheap ones too. So, I selected the $2 Ginseng Oolong.
They serve their tea in a more practical and less messy way. I like the tea cup so much that Suanne bought one for me last week.
They name their congee DIY Congee. How this works is that you order a base congee for $4.25. Additional ingredients are $3.25 each. If you want, you could add the more expensive Geoduck or Tilapia.
I ordered two separate ingredients: liver & kidney and fish head. The pot of congee is large. If we knew how big this is,Suanne and I would have shared this.
The congee came with sides of sour mustard, green onions and fried peanuts. They were fresh, particularly the peanuts tasted like they were made that morning.
The ingredients in the congee is half cooked when they brought it to the table. We had to reboil it a bit more, especially for the liver. This is good because you don’t want to have overcooked liver. We were told we need to leave it to boil for a minute or two to that we get the right consistency and then switch the heat to low to simmer.
The congee is good. Both Suanne and I enjoyed it. It has enough flavour in it that we don’t need soya sauce at all. They did not even bother provide soya sauce unlike other congee places.
The liver was well cooked with just the right texture … not tough from overcooking. The liver pieces were quite big too. The fish head was fresh. They had fish filet too but we opted for fish head instead. Anything with bones tastes better than just the meat.
It was a good thing the congee was great. This is because Suanne’s order was quite terrible. She had the Fatty Beef with Vermicelli in Curry Soup ($7). It is my fault. I prodded her to order this because of the name.
It felt like they used Japanese type curry except that they water it down to a soup. And there are simply nothing “fatty” about the meat. It was quite lean and tough. Bad choice. I don’t think many people will like it. Suanne took a couple of bites and then left that untouched, focusing instead on MY congee.
Arkensen ordered the Fried Rice with Seafood and Chicken. We expected this to be a dry fried rice. It was not but instead is more of a “low fan”. But it is really good with loads of nice ingredients … scallops, mushrooms, and eggs. It is a lot of food.
Expensive. It is $14! I gotta teach Arkensen to read the price.
Nanzaro had the Minced Pork and Salted Egg Yolk on Rice. This is much cheaper at $6.50. What I like is that they gave us half a bowl sweet soya sauce. The egg yolk added a very distinctive flavour to it. Nanzaro even ate the vegetables. He normally puts on a act that he will gag and leaves that to his mum to finish it off.
We like Hot Pot One a lot. It is cheaper than we expected. The location is great. I also like their big portions. We had both the rice dishes to go. We will definite come back again some day … a morning to try their dim sum and most important of all, dinner time to check out their hot pot. After all, this is a Hot Pot restaurant.
Parking will be easy in Aberdeen. If you don’t want to drive, Aberdeen is just next to a Canada Line station.
You might like to check the following all you can eat choice they have in Hot Pot One (click to enlarge):