Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hot Pot - Simple and delicate

Hot Pot – Chinoise Fondue
Kollwitzstr. 54
Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

When I thought of going to a chinese restaurant the first thing that my Copenhagen mind could think of was deep fat fried shrimps and a cheap buffet. But as I saw the promising look of Hot Pot (Chinoise Fondue) by Kollwitzplatz I was sure that my perception of chinese dining culture was about to change.

I went there with my girlfriend spending a couple of hours with simple and delicate dining and drinking. It was a joyful blast, and romantic too. Usually my girlfriend comlains that I dine too fast getting all hyper and wanting to move on to the next station. This night she had no complains. And for once the dinner outlasted our usual bottle of wine – and not the opposite.
Hot pot consists of a simmering metal pot at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. The meat is sliced deli-thin to prepare it for hot pot cooking which takes about 20 seconds. Then you grab a bite and enjoy while contemplating what to put in the pot now. Or you look your partner in the eyes and think about something funny to say. And with this dining ritual there will surely be time for talking. Which also makes it suitable for a business dinner.

The soup in the pot at Hot Pot has a very delicious flavour with a significant taste of among others lemongrass and it is neither too thin nor too thick. After the ingredients is cooked you can dip it in the sauce cooling it down a bit and giving the flavour an extra twist.

What I really love about going to the Hot Pot is that they create the perfect setting for the hot pot ritual. The service is very friendly, there is no haste and we had a double table to spread our many plates and the mess we made.
The red wine we chose was the house wine which was spicy and very good for the price. My date chose the sea food dish and I chose the traditional with lamb, beef and pork. Both are recomendable.

All in all we payed 50 euro for this two person feast. A version of around 30 euro was possible with cheaper dishes. These prices for a good reason double at what you pay at the value for money restaurant Duy Thai at the end of Kollwitzstraße towards Danziger Straße.
So go for Hot Pot for a nice dinner and a great time.

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