Claypot Hotpot: Difference In The Broth, Free Range Chicken and Meat Balls
Sorry, I went offline the past few days. I had been spending the last few days revamping the home computer setups after one of the off-line hard disks crashed on Christmas Day. Hehehe … it was perfect timing because it gave me an excuse to finally do the right thing — create a NAS (Network-attached Storage). With four computers at home, the NAS will simplify a lot of the stuff we do on the computer. So we went to line up on Boxing Day at Memory Express and got myself 6TB RAID-5 unit. This is awesome because RAID-5 is “supposed” to be redundant … it can continue to work even if one hard disk crashed.
So yeah, I had been fiddling around the re-organizing everything and it’s almost done. That had been what I had largely been up to … and also eating out! Like in this restaurant …
I heard about it from Raymond on Facebook. He is one of my resources for finding new places because he sure knows his food. So when I saw the update from him about the new hot pot place and when I later learn that it was on Richmond’s glutton street (Alexandra Road), I already knew where he was talking about.
The Claypot Hot Pot Restaurant had been in this location for many years but for the past year or so it closed. They have now reopened. It is under a new management and backed by a strong name in the Chinese food industry. The new management had chosen to retain the English name (Claypot Hot Pot) but the Chinese name is new.
In addition they tagged on “And BBQ” to the name too if you noticed. Unfortunately they do not offer BBQ at this time. The manager told us that they wanted to focus on hot pot for now and will offer BBQ later on. Anyway, we were there just days after they had re-opened.
I like what they had done to this place. It is modern and shiny. It is certainly one of the more upscale looking hot pot restaurants around.
The dining hall is large. It even has a two table glass-walled party room at the end of the dining hall.
We were there early at 5PM, just as they had opened for dinner. The restaurant was empty at that time and we were surprised when the manager, who introduced himself as the owner, asked us if we had reservation. I think he was in auto-mode and simply blurted out the question. He later said that a reservation is not necessary as it is early and he expects us to be out by 7PM. That is not a problem for us. To us, two hours is more than enough time for hot pot.
The crowd trickled in at 6PM and by the time we were about to leave at 7PM, the entire restaurant was packed. I was thinking that this restaurant will do well considering that they had just re-opened for a few days and yet word is out so fast.
Service is very good. It was attentive and they come to clear the empty dishes very fast (I hate cluttered tables). They also come by very fast to refill the soup and drinks too, without us asking for them.
I like the manager. He is friendly and goes around the whole evening socializing with the customers. He connects with people well.
He told me that he had taken over this place to try to see if he can make a difference. Their specialty is the free range chicken and meatballs (click on image above if you can’t read it clearly). Now, chicken is not something that is common in hot pots but this restaurant is backed by a big supplier of premium free range chicken which is famous in Vancouver (Wingtat).
Likewise, click on the two menu pages above to show in larger size.
The AYCE hot pot is $19 per adult. In the future, they will offer BBQ in addition to the hot pot for $4 more.
I like the menu in many respect. For one, they do not ding you for the extras as much as some places where the condiments, sauces and drinks does drive up the cost of the meal.
I also like the variety of soup bases they have. They are $10 or $7 per pot. If you see the left page of the menu above, the first three soup bases are single soup while item #4 is the two-soup combo where you can only choose items #5 and below. Too bad. I so wanted to have a combo with one of their specialty soups.
There are a lot of varieties in the soup bases, some of which we had not seen before in other places.
Be careful about the quantity you order here. A “one” order is what you see above. So, don’t go about penciling one for each person or else you will end up with way too much of the same type.
So, if you scan just the section on meat alone (which has 11 items), you can imagine how much food that it is if you just pencil “1” on each of the item. So think about it, they also have:
- 8 items under seafood
- 12 items under meatballs
- 14 items under side dishes
- 12 items under vegetable
- 8 items under inards
- 6 items under dumplings and wonton
- 7 items under cooked food and dessert
So, there is no way that … (more…)