Main image
February 4th,
written by Arthur

I was first introduced to hot pot a few years back by my roommate Nick.  For the uninitiated, hot pot, does, as the name suggests, involve a hot pot.  On the table, you have a pot of broth or oil (or both) simmering away into which you dip all manner of raw veggies, meats, and seafood.  As the dipped food cooks, it absorbs the flavor of the broth.  Personally, I can’t get enough of anything cooked in the spicy broth that imparts a slow satisfying burn.  Not only is hot pot delicious, but it’s fun–a great time for everyone seated around the table.  True interactive eating.  So when a group of co-workers decided to  it was time to head down to Chinatown for some of this stuff I had to say yes.

Our dining location was XO Taste.  What I first noticed about the place was it’s size.  The dining room is spacious and well lit, the tables far enough apart that you don’t feel on top of your neighbor.   The hot pot was in an all-you-can style, including non-alcoholic beverages, appetizers, the hot pot (of course), and desert for just $27.

We were fortunate to have Sarina, and her impeccable Chinese language skills, to guide us through the ordering and describe items as they came out.   The first wave of food, served as the pots worked their way up to a simmer, were fried dumplings and a scallop dish.   The dumpling were good, better than the standard affair–more crispy with big pieces of ingredients inside.  The scallop came in a way I’ve never encountered before: on the half-shell with a layer of mayo and covering of melted cheese.  XO tasty, I would say, and incredibly rich.

The food rolled out in waves of beef, pork, veggies, and fish.  One of my favorite items were what Sarina called omega balls.  Similar to dumplings, the casing is made from fish skin, these balls pack a strong fishy flavor. We ate and ate until we could eat no more.  We were, tragically, beyond satiated before we got into the real seafood portion of the buffet.  And then came desert.  Bowls of ice cream (green tea, red bean, and vanilla were passed around), a Chinese custard (picture a gelatinous falan), a hot red bean dish, and a peanut sesame past dumpling (a fantastically savory dessert).

I have to admit that Little Lamb Hot Pot in the Flushings Chinatown still leads as my belly’s number one love for hot pot.  In fairness to XO Taste, I didn’t get really try their seafood.  Even with seafood aside, Little Lamb seemed to have a wider array of vegetables and proteins, in addition to having a sauce bar where you came invent concoctions in which to dunk your freshly cooked treats.   But, all-in-all, XO is good, cheap, fun, and conveniently located.  I see return trips to XO in my future.

1 Comment

  1. Aunt Linda

    Hey nephew!

    I have a hot pot (actually have two) my Mom bought in Hong Kong probably in the 60’s. Always a fun dinner party at her home – she loved to cook and throw parties! Will have to collect some more recipes. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.