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HOME > CENTRAL TAIWAN > DINING

COMPASS MAGAZINE > January 2008
 

Winter Spicy Hot Pots to warm your heart--Liang Ji Spicy Hot Pot, Ladder 18 Spicy Hot Pot, Taihodien, Hero Tan

 

Liang Ji Spicy Hot Pot

 

 

Liang Ji Spicy Hot Pot

23, HanKou Rd, Sec 2; (04) 2314-8860
Hours: 4:30 pm-2 am
No service charge.
Credit cards not accepted.
Parking lot.

Liang Ji offers a selection of hot pots that are known for their distinct flavors--they are quite spicy, but not overpowering or inedible. Like many other hot pot joints, the broth at Liang Ji is cooked with chili peppers. What's different about these pots is the smell--the aroma is like a large magnet that just pulls people off the street and into the restaurant. As far as hot pot ingredients go, try their all-natural Sticky Squid (crushed and placed inside bamboo shoots, NT$180), which comes from Penghu. This sticky seafood goes perfectly with the spicy pot. Another choice is the Pickled Cabbage Pot, a dish from northeastern China. This pot is more than just sour broth. After cooking the thinly-sliced pork (N$250) in the mixture, it becomes tangy and chewy--you won't object to having more. Also delivered from Penghu are handmade Fish Balls (NT$180) and Sichuan Balls (NT$180). Made with fresh minced pork, onions and eggs, these balls go well in either the red (spicy) or white (pickled cabbage) hot pots. A pot of soup here is NT$80. The minimum charge for takeout is NT$500. --By Niang Chen, translated by Ann Lee

Liang Ji Spicy Hot Pot Liang Ji Spicy Hot Pot

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Ladder 18 Spicy Hot Pot

Ladder 18 Spicy Hot Pot

41, JingCheng Rd; (04) 2319-9032
Hours: 11-7 am
10% service charge.
Credit cards accepted.
Close to Dong-Shin Parking Lot.

For a restaurant to really succeed in Taiwan, it needs word-of-mouth advertising, and a lot of it. Ladder 18 is a hot pot joint recommended by all kinds of people, so it's been a successful restaurant in Taichung for about five years. The owner's exclusive flavors have won many hearts and have certainly made the Sichuan Luo-Fei Fish Pot (NT$600) one of the most popular orders at Ladder 18. This pot contains a whole Taiwanese bream fish with traditional spices; it's a unique choice for hot pot that caters to many hot pot connoisseurs. Another hot pot here is the traditional red soup hot pot. Its smooth texture is created with dozens of Chinese medicinal ingredients and a big pork bone. For a treat, order a couple of their side dishes like Hog Bowel (NT$250) or Stewed Pig's Intestines (NT$250)--they will warm you up inside and make you sweat all over! The minimum charge at Ladder 18 is NT$80 per person, and each pot comes with all-you-can-eat duck's blood cake and tofu. What's more, the first five tables of the night receive a free pork broth hot pot for free. --By Niang Chen, translated by Ann Lee

Ladder 18 Spicy Hot Pot Ladder 18 Spicy Hot Pot

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Taihodien

Taihodien

123, WenXin Rd, Sec 3; (04) 2315-1515
Hours: 12 pm-2 am
Credit cards accepted. 10% service charge.
NT$100/person per pot, minimum charge NT$800/table.
www.taihodien.com.tw

Taihodien has made a name for itself since opening a few branches in Taipei. They've attracted patrons from all walks of life; even celebrities from Hong Kong visit this hot pot joint when they're in town. The Taichung branch delivers the same quality and service Taihoden is known for everywhere else. As always, they insist on providing dishes with authentic flavors through an a la carte menu. The spicy soup base here is brewed with dozens of Chinese medicinal ingredients, and everyone knows that the broth is the secret for good, spicy hot pot. The manager recommends their nice selection of meat plates, meat/seafood balls, and intestine dishes. Some good choices on the menu include Prime Grade Beef (NT$380), Sichuan balls, hog bowels, and hog tendons (NT$180). When you eat the meat, make sure to get some soup and garlic in there as well as it really brings out the flavor, although the meat itself tastes pretty phenomenal without any sauce added to it. The duck's blood cake and tofu, which come with the pot, are braised for more than three hours before being served. The white soup hot pot is stewed with pork bones and vegetables for a long time, so it is gentle on your stomach. If you have room left after hot pot, then try their Handmade Noodles (NT$40). --By Ann Li, translated by Ann Lee

Taihodien Taihodien

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Hero Tan

 

Hero Tan

DaLong branch: 2, DaLong Rd
(04) 2328-6958
HeNan Branch: 431, HeNan Rd, Sec 2
(04) 2707-6287
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge.
www.a-kuan.com.tw

From the interior design and the menu to the cooking pots and cutlery, everything about Hero Tan is classic Chinese; even the hot pot dishes, which are usually simple and round, are octagonal and bronze. From Monday to Friday, this restaurant serves all-you-can-eat hot pot for lunch (NT$318) and dinner (NT$398) and their fresh fruit and vegetable selection is also quite impressive. A creamy scoop of Haagen-Dazs ice cream serves as tasty dessert, a sweet treat that fills the taste gap left by the spicy, smooth hot pot broth. The entire place is filled with poetic, Chinese design elements and stories from the owners. If you want to know why this place exists, ask the owners over one of the pots--they'll be happy to share. --By Catherine Liu, translated by Ann Lee

Hero Tan Hero Tan

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