It was Halloween eve and after spending a few hours at the opening night of the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival I found myself in a vino induced daze as our bus jolted across the cities flashy neon streets. There really is nothing better than a late night drunken feast, and so it was that we clamoured up the stairs to Budaoweng Hotpot Cuisine where we spent our final hours slurping noodles and dunking everything from fatty beef, quivering “almost live” shrimp and plump dumplings into a bubbling, boiling broth.
Truth be told I’m a lover of “dipping this and that into sauce,” and have been an avid advocate of fondue ever since I feasted on Switzerland’s most famous in the small town of Frutigen. It was Swiss Nations Day, alp horn boomed with yodel choir! Oddly enough I had never once sampled Chinese Hot Pot so as we all pulled our seats up to the table I was giddy with glee to sample something new. I started off by sipping a beer, hilariously watching my Cantonese speaking companions excitedly discuss the menu. Once it seemed as though decisions had been made I simply inquired, “so what are we eating?” Thanks to Mijune from Follow Me Foodie who sat to my right and kindly spent the evening instructing me on proper hot pot dining etiquette.
We started by creating our very own individual sauce blends by mixing the contents of six large glasses which were passed around the table. I whipped up a concoction featuring soya sauce, raw garlic, wasabi, peanut satay and scallions which would be used throughout the course of the meal for dipping our steaming snacks gently drawn out of bubbling broth.
That evening we selected two flavoured broths which boiled in the centre of the table, a classic Chinese soup and peanut satay. The table was soon overrun with dip-able delights, so much so that I couldn’t help but laugh at the gluttonous selection. Over the next two hours we guzzled beer bottles while devouring thinly sliced beef, briny oysters, a selection of fish balls, dumplings, eel and quivering skewers of market fresh prawns.
I eventually passed out from the meat sweats, slouching in my seat and rubbing my distended belly. While the dippable dishes on our table were mostly barren, I soon found out that the the grand final would celebrate the noodle. As if we were performing a final ritualistic toast to the evening, two bowls of thick Japanese udon and thin Chinese egg noodles were dropped into the remaining broth. My fondest memory from my first hot pot feast would be the last few minutes at the table as I attempted to slurp noodles into my mouth while trying my best to avoid splattering my beard. An unforgettable brothy bacchanal.
satay and basic soup
shrimp and mushroom dumplings
meatballs: squid, fish, shrimp, beef
udon and chinese egg noodle
You May Also Enjoy Reading…