Chong Qing Hot Pot @ Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Saturday 26th December

Dinner at 'Chong Qing Hot Pot' something we planned just a couple days ago, unexpectedly as we were on a heatwave, and its dropped to 20 degrees, a nice spring warm but not hot day. With a low of 7 degrees when we got to the resturant hidden in an arcade in the suburbs.

The place is divided into two areas. 

On the right is if you want to order off the menu. 

The left side is for the hot pot. 

Promptly greeted, seated, asked if we prefer a spicy hot pot or not, a hot pot arrived and that was it. No "Have you been here before?" or a guide on what to do. 

An assortment of mushrooms, and veggies. Looks like they came dried in a packet. 

Meats, lots of seafood, veggies, and desserts on top.

Seafood balls, mussels, crab sticks, calamari, prawns, fish, crabs, octopus.

Marinated & not meats. 

A long table of condiments: sauces, chives/coriander/sesame seeds etc. 

Does anyone want some MSG? Sitting beside the sugar and salt was a bowl of just that. 

Crab & seafood dishes, unlabeled. Shouldn't the table always be clean?

Fresh seafood, prawns & mussels were the highlight of the dinner. The chicken was odd though (too soft? whoops, my bad) and the beef too fatty! Prawns were a bit of a challenge to peel and devine, with two forks. Mussels were big, plump and fresh! Lola would love these, as they were the large and rarely seen type. Especially at an all you can eat!

Noodles. There were two types, vermicillie and instant noodles. I would like to have seen more variety, different type of fresh noodles like egg noodles, ramen noodles, etc. 

Do we flavour the soup or make a concoction of a dipping sauce? We picked the later, where I favoured oyster sauce with sesame seeds.

A section of what we tried. Boiled it was bland if it weren't for the sauces. 

Dessert consisted of fresh fruit, but only the nectarines were seasonal, there were melons, oranges and apple slices. Your typical asian fruit platter is what I'd call it. There were also mini cupcakes, that came in 12/20 packs from Safeway. Would be nice if there were dessert soups and custard egg tarts. 

The silverware was a bit tarnished, glasses clean and service prompt and minimal. I would have liked to have how it works explained to us, and perhaps suggestions of sauce combos. An alternative is to have a menu-like guide on the table. 

Andy questions if we would get better, or more, service if we spoke their language. I'd say potentially.  

At $30 a head with a minimum of two people, it's good value for a hot pot that offers all-you-can-eat with an highlight for fresh seafood - freshly frozen. Though we ponder if it's a seasonal offer. A note to international readers: It's summer in Australia, there are bushfire and no snow. We had a BOGOF offer, as for your birthday you eat free though need to bring a friend.

Tip: Skip the noodles and head for the mussels. Must try if you love your seafood!

I've had never hotpot before so this was an exciting experience. Will we return with friends? No, too many places to explore. Things to be consumed that isn't boiled in hot water, and then seasoned.

Are you a hotpot fan?

Chong Qing Hot Pot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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