Hotpot, which is very popular in Taiwan and Hong Kong, is similar to steamboat which we have here in Singapore. The difference, perhaps, is in the sauces made available. When I have steamboat with my family, the dipping sauces are mainly freshly made chilli sauce, sweet plum sauce, some mix of soy sauce with garlic etc. I actually prefer the hotpot version which offers about 9 types of sauces ranging from peanut to fresh garlic to chilli, soy sauce and more. It's up to you to mix them together and create your own special sauce. You can also opt to crack in a fresh egg inside.
The hotpot shop that we went to is situated in some back street of Causeway Bay. Reservations are needed because it does get really packed. In fact, it gets so busy, it gets so noisy that it is hard to hear yourself. But I guess that all adds to the atmosphere.
We ordered a few grades of beef - some quality, some average and you do get what you pay for. There was a distinct difference in taste and the average grade beef was almost tougher and less juicy. The rest of the food that we ordered to throw in included veggies, tofu, all kinds of meat balls, chicken, shrimp and a couple of fried side dishes. We ate till our bellies were stuffed and happy. :)
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