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HOME > CENTRAL TAIWAN > DINING

COMPASS MAGAZINE >January 2009
 

Tasty little hot pot spots for the winter--Xiao Mi Feng Hot Pot Restaurant, Lu Bo Yuan, Kobayashi, Han Jia Yuan Mini Hot Pot Restaurant

By Niang Chen & Ann Li
Translated by Ann Lee

 

Xiao Mi Feng Hot Pot Restaurant

Xiao Mi Feng Hot Pot Restaurant

(04) 2292-1938
33, Beitun District, ShanXi Rd
Hours: 11 am-2 pm, 5-10 pm
No service charge.
Credit cards not accepted.
Nearby parking (free 1-hour parking per NT$300 dining bill).

Local hot pot chain Xiao Mi Feng is known for its quality small, individual hot pots. The owner, who hails from Changhua's Lukang town, aims to provide good, fresh ingredients for reasonable prices. The smooth broth used in these delectable pots is made by braising pork bones and Chinese medicinal ingredients for three hours or more, with nothing added except salt, which allows ingredients' natural flavors to be better enjoyed. To spice things up a bit, you can choose from their exclusive barbecue sauce, red rice yeast with miso paste, and vegetarian-style barbecue sauce. Also sample their popular, secret-recipe Roselle Plum Juice (NT$30). All Compass readers who bring a copy of the magazine can enjoy a free glass of this refreshing drink.

A: Inside Xiao Mi Feng's spacious dining area, customers can enjoy their hearty hot pots under the cozy pale-yellow lighting.

B: The Healthy Vegetarian-Style Hot Pot (from NT$200) comes with a variety of veggies and a broth accented with added rock salt, Chinese Angelica, Goji Berry (Wolfberry) and preserved dried cabbage. Nutrious ingredients, including sweet high-mountain cabbage (dry) and vegetarian-style sausages, give layers of flavor and texture. Fans of sour and spicy cuisine should try mixing up a Korean kimchi pot.

C: The Stone Hot Pot (from NT$200, with beef, lamb or pork) is Xiao Mi Feng's signature dish. The tasty soup includes dried shrimp, dried squid and green onions. Onions and sliced meat are sauteed in sesame oil before going into the pot. A variety of complimentary appetizers are also provided before the hot pot is served.

Xiao Mi Feng Hot Pot Restaurant Xiao Mi Feng Hot Pot Restaurant

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Lu Bo Yuan

Lu Bo Yuan

(04) 2243-0058
282, SongZhu Rd, Sec 2
Hours: 11 am-2 pm, 5-10 pm
No service charge.
Credit cards not accepted.

Lu Bo Yuan has now been open for eight years. Its young manager, Ms. Lin, stands behind the horseshoe-shaped bar, explaining the history of the establishment she has run on her own all these years. Apart from offering such high-quality cuisine that diners tend to become regulars after their first visit, Lin says that the best part of her job is being able to see the many friends she has made. The soup used in these wonderful-tasting hot pots is cooked for eight hours straight with pork and chicken bones and clams that give it an overall sweetness. The hot pot ingredients are purchased fresh daily from traditional markets. Some of the surprisingly-affordable pot options include the Preserved Vegetable Pot and the Pork Intestines and Tofu Pot, starting at only NT$100. Another choice worth trying here is the Barbecue Roast (dry) and Hot Pot (with soup), served at the same time and also a reasonable NT$180. Meals come with "bottomless" soda, lemon tea and all-you-can-eat ice cream.

A: Lu Bo Yuan has a cozy, simple ambiance, despite serving a great variety of hot pot selections, such as Seafood, Spicy Ma-La, Assorted Mushrooms and Vegetarian pots.

B: The Quality Beef Hot Pot (NT$299) is served in a stone pot. The beef slices are first sauteed with onions in sesame oil to bring out the flavors, then added to a clear broth with cabbage and other vegetables. The beef, well balanced between lean and fat meat, is best tasted as soon as it turns pink in the pot.

C: The Sesame Oil Chicken Pot (NT$230) comes with a variety of vegetables, with added ginger slices, dried dates, Goji berries and rice wine for the ultimate flavor. The chefs use indigenous chickens to add chewy textures to this addictive dish.

Lu Bo Yuan Lu Bo Yuan

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Kobayashi

Kobayashi

25, Lane 132, JingCheng Rd
(04) 2320-0910
Hours: 5:30-11 pm
10% service charge.
Credit cards not accepted.

Mr. Kobayashi of Kobayashi Hot Pot Restaurant has been living in Taiwan about eight years. Although not yet fluent in Chinese, he has gained a reputation for making authentic Japanese-style boiled soup dishes. Some of his most popular pot dishes include the Braised Salmon in Miso Soup (NT$320), Mixed Vegetables and Tofu Hot Pot (NT$200) and Japanese Shabu-Shabu Pot (NT$300) which is made with a seaweed clear broth that exudes a refreshing flavor, along with other tasty ingredients. Try the traditional Japanese Sukiyaki Pot, usually a stir-fried meat dish served without the soup. However at Kobayashi, he serves his Taiwanese version with the soup, including slight flavor adjustments to accommodate his Taiwanese guests.

A: Kobayashi is located on a crowded residential alley and its atmosphere feels like dining in the comfort of your own home. The bar seats a good number of people and is suitable for a small gatherings of friends who want to chat and watch TV while enjoying their food.

B: The Hokkaido Pot with Sake (NT$600) is served with a combination of reddish miso paste in the sake and creamy-based soup. Its slight sake aroma and clear seaweed broth offer a naturally sweet flavor you won't want to miss. A wonderful selection of seafood ingredients is served with this dish, including Hokkaido oysters, salmon and snapper slices, clams, squid and Taiwanese shrimp.

C: When ordering the Japanese Shabu-Shabu Pot (NT$300), you can choose your favorite type of meat, such as boneless beef ribs, pork or lamb, plus other tasty ingredients like sticky rice cake, tofu, konjac and Japanese-style green bean noodles. This original-flavor hot pot dish comes with the chef's specialty dipping sauce, made with soy sauce, sugar, white vinegar and chopped onions, and sprinkled with fragrant white sesame seeds.

富士小林日本鍋料理店 富士小林日本鍋料理店

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Han Jia Yuan Mini Hot Pot Restaurant

Han Jia Yuan Mini Hot Pot Restaurant

250, ChangPing Rd, Sec 1, Taichung City
127, JhongShan Rd, Sec 4, Taiping City, Taichung County
72, ShuDe Rd, Taiping City, Taichung County; (04) 2395-1968
Hours: 5 pm-12 am; Sat & Sun 11 am-12 am
(hours vary at different branches)
No service charge. Credit cards not accepted.

If you're looking for a tasty, affordable and filling hot pot, this is the place. Han Jia Yuan Mini Hot Pot Restaurant has been around for over a decade and has won many loyal regulars. Owner Mr. Liu daily selects ingredients at local markets and his invigorating, uniquely-savory soup base is made with fresh apples and chicken stock. Take a few sips before cooking anything else, just to see how sweet it is. Each hot pot dish comes with a plate of seasonal vegetables, such as Taiwanese cabbage, pumpkin and broccoli. There are also other side dishes (starting at NT$20) to choose from, including duck's blood cake, fried dough, seaweed and tomatoes. Also try their popular oyster dish, delivered to the restaurant every day to guarantee freshness. Regardless of the hot pot you select here, Han Jia Yuan delivers a good, comfortable atmosphere and service that is perfect for groups or dining alone.

A: Han Jia Yuan serves individual hot pots to each customer.

B: The Signature Mini Hot Pot (NT$160) gives you a choice of either beef, lamb, pork or chicken. The meat slices are first stir-fried with onions in a wok, then smeared with a chef's specialty sauce made with Taiwanese barbecue sauce, garlic, green onions and rice vinegar.

C: The Barbecue Pot (NT$200) is served on a specially-made raw iron plate and is a great dish to share with friends. Its tasty meat is first marinated with a unique sauce made with apples, sesame, green onions and white sesame oil. Try tasting the soup as you chew on the meat.

Han Jia Yuan Mini Hot Pot Restaurant Han Jia Yuan Mini Hot Pot Restaurant

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