> TAIPEI > DINING
FUN MAGAZINE, December, 2005.
SiPing Hot Pot
45, SiPing Street
Hours: 11 am-10:30 pm
Credit cards not accepted. No service charge.
Paid parking lot available.
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By Josie Wu Translated by Yvonne Chen
Hot pots are a winter favorite, but
this restaurant's "northeast sour cabbage white
meat pot" has a unique traditional northeastern
Chinese flavor to it. It has been named the "SiPing
Hot Pot" in memory of the owner's Si Ping-born
teacher, while the restaurant also happens to be on
Celebrities frequently drop by to devour
SiPing's famed hot pots. In the blink of an eye, nearly
14 years have passed as the restaurant has expanded
to accommodate a growing number of customers. A row
of red lanterns above the entrance greets diners and,
on chilly days, the sight of hot charcoal pits with
the steaming-hot, delicious aromas will have you salivating.
Although owner Mr. Huang is not a Chinese northerner,
he has been an apprentice since childhood. Over 50 years
old, he has garnered nearly 40 years experience. "Spent
my whole life making sour cabbage white meat pot. Never
done anything else!" he says proudly. He adds that
making his food authentic is easier said than done;
without solid skills and experience, the taste will
be off. In one sitting, he makes 20 cisterns of sour
cabbage. Each cistern has about 180 kilograms of Chinese
cabbage, immersed in Kaoliang liquor and then compressed
down with a large rock so that the cabbage shrivels
slowly and ferments to produce a sour flavor. For the
white meat portion, a fatty pork layer with the skin
on is used. Paired with the cabbage, there is less grease
and more fragrance.
The hot pot is filled with fried meatballs,
shrimp, bean noodles, fish balls, crabs, clams and frozen
tofu. Dipped in condiments like Chinese chive sauce,
fermented bean curd, minced garlic, hot oil and shrimp
oil, the hot pot warms the body from head to toe. The
soup stock is sour and refreshing, too. Each pot is
available for three prices: NT$780, NT$1,360 and NT$1,680.
Beef and lamb slices are also available.
In addition, there are also a few signature
dishes to try, like the Smoked Shredded Chicken (NT$290),
Li Shan Celery (NT$260), Braised Silver Carp w/ Green
Onion (NT$320), Crispy Skin Fatty Intestine (NT$360),
Sweet Meat Sauce in Bun (NT$50), Spicy Beef Tendon (NT$290),
and Triple White Abalone (NT$520). At the end of the
meal, don't forget to try SiPing Hot Pot's unique flaming