Boiling Point (Main Street)

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Spicy Fermented Tofu

Disclosure: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are my own.

Boiling Point now has locations all across Metro Vancouver. The latest addition is on Main Street and King Edward. If you’ve been to the Richmond location, you will know how busy it is! My friends are obsessed with Boiling Point, so they are excited that there is a new location now. Thanks to ChineseBites, I was able to check out the new space and samples some dishes.

To start, we tried some of their appetizers, including the Spicy Fermented Tofu. This is a typical Taiwanese snack and can have a funky smell. However, the flavour doesn’t taste weird at all. It just tastes like marinated tofu and this one was also spicy. The texture was medium to firm and great inside the hot pot as well.

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Spicy Beef, Garlic Pork Belly, Spicy Cumin Lamb

We also tried some of their cooked meats. These are essentially the meats you will find in the hot pots, but they have a sauce on top. The Spicy Beef came with the typical Chinese mala spicy sauce. However, it’s not overly spicy and the beef itself was thin and tender. The Garlic Pork Belly was seasoned with some soy, garlic and a bit of chili. Because it was sliced so thin, the fat didn’t bother me at all. The last was the Spicy Cumin Lamb which reminded me of the Mongolian skewers you can get at the night market. Again, it was overly spicy though.

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Korean Bean Paste Hot Soup

As for the hot pots, they come as individual pots, so perfect for those who hate sharing pots. For each pot, you can choose the spicy level and it comes with a complimentary bowl of rice or vermicelli. During lunch, the prices are slightly cheaper and also includes a free green or black tea. Our table each chose a different pot and one of them included the Korean Bean Paste Hot Soup. This pot includes soybean sprouts, nira, green zucchini, kimchi, pork belly, fish tofu, kamaboko, tempura, rice cake, enoki mushroom, fish fillet, wok noodle, lobster fish ball, crown daisy, seaweed, and Korean paste. This is actually one of the pots I always get because I enjoy the kick from the kimchi.

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Japanese Miso Hot Soup

The Japanese Miso Hot Soup comes with cabbage, udon, sliced pork, enoki mushroom, clam, Fuzhou fish ball, fish fillet, king oyster mushroom, crab, fried tofu skin, soft tofu, egg, and green onion. This one is more mild and will satisfy your Japanese cravings with all the Japanese ingredients like udon and the miso base.

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Milk Cream Curry Hot Soup

The Milk Cream Curry Hot Soup is a new addition to the menu. I remember they used to have just the plain Curry Hot Pot, but now they added this milky cream which I find a little odd. This features napa, vermicelli, sliced pork, enoki mushroom, imitation crab stick, fish ball, fried tofu skin, corn, tempura, jicama, chinese string bean, and sea salt cream. To be honest, I think I prefer the old version more as I don’t find the cream to add any flavour to the soup.

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Taiwanese Spicy Hot Soup

The Taiwanese Spicy Hot Soup is one of the pots where you cannot choose the spicy level because it automatically comes as flaming spicy! It features cabbage, instant noodle, sliced angus beef, tempura, enoki mushroom, clam, Fuzhou fish ball, cuttlefish ring, pork intestine, wasabi rice ball, fried tofu skin, maitake mushroom, iced tofu, green onion, and cilantro. Perfect for those who love spicy. My girl friend who loves everything spicy always orders this one!

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

House Special Hot Soup

For myself, I decided to try something new for once and chose the House Special Hot Soup. The pot features napa, fermented tofu, sliced pork, enoki mushroom, kamaboko, pork meat ball, clam, quail egg, pork blood, pork intestine, nira, preserved vegetables, tomato, and cilantro. Because the pot has fermented tofu, this pot has a bit of that funky smell. The soup base is really flavourful though and perfect if you want to get a bit more of that authentic Taiwanese style hot pot. The only downside is I don’t really enjoy eating pork blood and intestines, so I end up skipping those ingredients! I also ordered the Hokkaido Milk Tea which is my favourite drink here. It’s so smooth and I always end up gulping this down quickly because of how good it is!

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Milky Soft Herbal Jelly

To end our night, we tried their latest dessert which was the Milky Soft Herbal Jelly. Look at how cute the take out box is! I love how it comes with the condensed milk as well!

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

This is what it looks like if you eat in. Typical herbal jelly with a nice sweet condensed milk to pair. A nice way to end your flavourful meal.

 

IMG by info9813 on 500px.com

Overall, the food at this new location tasted just as good as the Richmond location which I usually visit. This location seems to be less busy which is a good thing for us since I hate waiting at the Richmond location. A perfect new spot for diners living in Vancouver! Always good especially during the cold rainy nights!

 

Boiling Point Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Advertisements

Morals Village

commercial photography locations

NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own personal experience.

Thanks to the team behind Chopstick Fest, I was invited to a tasting at Morals Village, as they will be a participating restaurant during the festival that will run from October 15 – 30, 2016. Morals Village is a chain restaurant popular in China, but has expanded to Canada with a location in Toronto, and now Richmond.

commercial photography locations

Whereas the Toronto location has all-you-can-eat, the Richmond location is only a la carte right now. For $2.85, you can make your own sauce.

commercial photography locations

Special Spicy Style and Mixed Mushroom Soup

Since we had a large group, we tried almost all their soup bases. They have different soup bases ranging from very spicy to a healthy and non-spicy soup base.

commercial photography locations

Pork Rib Soup and Black-Bone Chicken Soup

The pot in front of me was the Pork Rib Soup and Black-Bone Chicken Soup, so I ate mostly from this one. Both of these soup bases were filled with goji berries, a superfood, which is good for your health. The soup itself was cloudy and flavourful. But to be honest, with the sauces you dip your food in after, it’s hard to taste the true flavours of the soup base.

commercial photography locations

Beauty in the Golden House

One of their most expensive soup bases is the Beauty in the Golden House which must be ordered in advance and is limited. This beauty is priced at $68 so definitely not cheap. However, it’s filled with a whole chicken, winter melon, goji berries and abalone. It depicts the winter melon soup that you often find at Cantonese restaurants. The soup was absolutely delicious with a mix of seafood and chicken flavour.

commercial photography locations

Standard Joshu Wagyu Kobe Beef

Onto what I’m always excited about at hot pot – the meat! Well onto the luxury style of hot pot here at Morals Village, we were presented with the Standard Joshu Wagyu Kobe Beef. This sells for a hefty $58 for around 5 slices! Yes…very expensive, but man, this stuff melted in my mouth! Be sure to hold onto your meat and just dip it in the broth until it turns light brown and quickly take it out or you will overcook it!

commercial photography locations

Angus AAA Short Rib

Onto another favourite which was the Angus AAA Short Rib. The cut was just the right thickness and again this melted in your mouth. I highly recommend getting this as it won’t cost as much as the wagyu. This one goes for around $23. Still quite expensive for the number of slices you get, but its quality over quantity here.

commercial photography locations

Deluxe Lamb Roll

The Deluxe Lamb Roll is perfect for all you lamb lovers out there. Because of the marbling, the lamb was absolutely tender and juicy and it did not have a strong gamey flavour. Love how thin they cut the lamb as well.

commercial photography locations

Ox Tongue

Some may find this odd, but Ox Tongue is actually very popular in Chinese culture. The ox tongue is cut thinly and after cooking, it has a nice chew.

commercial photography locations

Pork Belly

Last but not least, we tried the Pork Belly which had tons of fat, but after cooking, the fat melted in your mouth.

commercial photography locations

Cheese Beef Ball, Fish Ball, Pork Ball, Prawn Ball

Morals Village has a variety of balls, which appear to be made in house because they are still fresh in a paste form. We were able to try the Cheese Beef Ball, Fish Ball, Pork Ball, Prawn Ball, with the seafood ones being my favourite. They were very bouncy and fresh.

commercial photography locations

Deluxe Seafood Platter

As if our meal wasn’t luxurious enough, we were presented the Deluxe Seafood Platter which goes for $108! The platter features abalone, BC crab, prawn, oyster, grouper, with the seafood being extremely fresh. So fresh, that the spot prawns were live! Yes – I skipped a beat when I realized I was cooking the prawn live… I usually cook prawns, fish and crab in my hot pot as well, but abalone was a first for sure.

commercial photography locations

Quail Eggs

Next, we got to try some Quail Eggs, also an ingredient that I’ve never put in the hot pot. I actually really enjoyed these in the hot pot as you could soak in the broth.

commercial photography locations

Shrimp Paste on Chinese Donut

A pretty random item was the Shrimp Paste on Chinese Donut. Yes – we threw a Chinese donut into the hot pot! I usually eat this with congee, but not at Morals Village. Since the shrimp paste is raw, we had to throw it in to cook, but the tobiko fell off and got lost in the soup. Not bad though as the Chinese donut is great at soaking up all the tasty broth.

commercial photography locations

Bean Curd Roll

Of course there is your typical hot pot ingredients including all the much needed veggies. The Bean Curd Roll was a bit more special since it was your typical bean curd but deep fried and rolled up. However, when boiled, it wasn’t anything special.

commercial photography locations

Gold and Silver Bread

They also have some cooked food including the Gold and Silver Bread with condensed milk. Everyone loves this Shanghai baked good.

commercial photography locations

Handmade Noodles

If you’re still hungry, then carbs are the way to go! They feature Handmade Noodles which we cooked to al dente. I really liked these!

commercial photography locations

Last but not least, remember the Beauty in the Golden House soup base? Well, they took out all the overcooked food sitting at the bottom and the chefs added in rice and tons of garlic. What resulted was a delicious rice in broth, sort of like a congee. This was filled with flavour from all the cooked meats and seafood we had thrown in and the garlic really gave it added flavour.

commercial photography locations

Overall, I really enjoyed the meal at Morals Village, but many of their top items will leave your wallet empty. However, it is worth a try for a special occasion, and you can of course go for their less pricey items. Private rooms are also available, perfect if you need to entertain your guests.

Morals Village Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Liu Yi Shou Hot Pot

commercial photography locations

NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary but all opinions are based on my personal experience.

As part of a preview for Chopstick Fest, Jacqueline, Dennis, Stephen, Kym, and I were invited to try Liu Yi Shou Hot Pot Restaurant on Robson St., which will be a participiating restaurant for the festival. The festival will run from October 15th – 30th, 2016 and will have a similar concept to Dine Out Vancouver, but feature all Chinese restaurants.

commercial photography locations

Liu Yi Shou is a Chong Qing style hot pot chain famous in China. It first brought their chain to Richmond under the name Thumbs Up Hot Pot, which I have yet to try. I think the two restaurant’s menus are pretty much the same though. The interior consists of booth seats with air ventilation from the prior barbecue restaurant.

commercial photography locations

I love sauce bars so this is always an added differentiation. Here, I think you pay $2.50 to mix your own sauce with a large variety of ingredients. To be honest though, I usually stick with the simple soy sauce and satay!

commercial photography locations

Chong Qing Spicy Broth and Wild Mushrooms Broth

We chose to split the pot in half and have two soup bases. One was non-spicy and was filled with mushrooms and goji berries. The other was their famous Chong Qing Spicy Broth at a medium spice level. They told us that their spicy is quite spicy, so we settled with medium. The medium was a spicy numbing flavour, as expected with Chong Qing style cuisine. However, I think this was tolerable, especially when we had the other soup base to eat in between. I’d definitely say I’ve had spicier at my Szechuan friend’s house.

commercial photography locations

Fish Tofu

They have all your typical hot pot ingredients, including fish tofu, fish ball, enoki, bean curd, tofu, lotus root, potato and taro.

commercial photography locations

Corn

We also sampled corn, luncheon meat, shrimp paste, fish filet, shrimp, and deep fried pork. All were very standard with everything you could find at your typical Cantonese style hot pot.

commercial photography locations

Supreme Lamb

Meat is everything for me at hot pot, so I usually choose a hot pot restaurant based on the quality of meat. We were able to sample Supreme Beef, Supreme Lamb, and Sliced Beef. I loved the Supreme Lamb as it was buttery and tender. It also wasn’t gamey at all so many of the bloggers who don’t normally eat lamb didn’t even realize it was lamb! The Supreme Beef could be slightly more tender if it has more fat, but it wasn’t bad for sure. The Sliced Beef was the most chewy as expected because of the thick cut, but still very fresh.

commercial photography locations

Overall, we were all pleasantly surprised by the quality of food at Liu Yi Shou. They are famous for their spicy hot pot, so definitely give that a try if you love spice. If you’re looking to fill up though, your bill might add up since it’s a la carte, rather than AYCE. However, the quality of food is therefore better than AYCE. Oh and for all you hot pot newbies, they have a list showing the time needed to cook different menu items! That’s something I haven’t seen before for sure. And did I mention, this is the only Chinese style hot pot you will find along the Robson/downtown area?

Liuyishou Hotpot Robson Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Singapore & Taiwan Trip (Day 11)

On our fourth day in Taipei, we took the MRT to Beitou station. It took around 30-40 minutes from Ximen. Upon exiting, you will smell the sulphur from the hot springs. Beitou is famous for its hot springs and is also the most mountainous and highest of Taipei’s districts.

We had pre-booked a private hot spring in advance as they are reasonably priced compared to the ones in Canada. I did some searching and chose Grand View Resort in Beitou. The great thing is that they offer a shuttle bus from Beitou MRT station and drive you up the hills (which you otherwise would need to walk or cab).

The resort is gorgeous! I found service to be rather cold, but the people here can speak fluent English. The great thing is that you do not have to stay here to use the hot springs. You can just pay for a one-time use charged by time. They do however offer hotel rooms with hot springs within your room. That is so neat and I would love to try it sometime.

You can choose between public or private hot springs. We ended up choosing the private hot spring where you get an independent bath house with the hot bath outdoors.They have different rooms with designs that are a bit different. You can email the resort to ask for the pictures. We chose Ylang-Ylang. The room was spacious and had a couch, private shower, bathroom, closet, and sink.

For our room, the hot bath is outside. They have high brick walls so there is absolute privacy but you can still sort of hear the people next to you when you’re outside. The price is fixed at NT$2,300 for the room and allows two guests for 90 minutes. You can add NT$600 for each additional guest. The 90 minutes includes showering and getting dressed. They will call you 15 minutes before your time is up.

This was a super relaxing experience and we enjoyed that it was private. The other option for hot springs was to use the famous Millennium Hot Spring which costs a fraction of the price but is filled with people. We opted for this so we could really relax. Plus it was super clean.

They also provide you with all amenities you need, whether it be shampoo, bath wash, lotion, makeup swabs and even a brush. They also provided these cute little matcha panna cotta kind of desserts. It was refreshing to eat after being in the heat.

After the hot springs, we took the shuttle to take us back to Beitou station. They are only able to drop you off at the Beitou main station. Therefore, we had to walk back up the hills to go to sight see the area. Along the way, we found 山西刀削番茄牛肉麵, which features hand-cut noodles.

We got their famous hand cut noodles which were mixed with beef and vegetables. The plate was large and good value. We also got their fried rice which was pretty good. All their dishes had that wok flavour. The ambiance is rather shabby, but we found many locals coming here during lunch hours.

Of course, we had to get some beers as our drinks along the way… Fruit beers are the way to go!

After around a 15 min walk, we found Beitou Hot Spring Museum. The building was actually built as a public bath house under the Japanese rule and was once the largest bathhouse in east Asia.

Today, the bathhouse is a free museum where you can see the old bathhouse on the ground floor and other history of how hot springs became significant in the area. Only downside is that they have no air conditioning in here, so it’s super hot inside still!

Take another 5-10 minute walk, and you will find the Beitou Thermal Valley (地熱谷). It is also known as Hell Valley.

The Geothermal Valley is a volcanic crater filled with steaming natural sulfuric hot spring water and has a temperature between 80 to 100 degrees Celsius and therefore is fenced. Not the best place to linger around on a hot day, but it’s pretty neat!

The water from the Thermal Valley are the source of the hot spring bathing facilities in Beitou. The water contains radium, which is said to have beneficial health affects for fertility, long-term illnesses, rehabilitation, and skin beauty.

After exploring Beitou, we took the MRT to Dongmen Station to meet up with J who had took the train from his city to meet up with us. So nice to have a Taiwanese take you around! He took us to Smoothie House (思慕昔) for some desserts pre-dinner.

Smoothie House is now a chain dessert shop and they have so many flavours! The menu looks so appetizing already.

We got two shaved ices to share. Both were mango flavoured with tons of fresh mango. One had a pudding on top while the other had a scoop of mango ice cream. They were really good! The shaved ice is super thin just like the ones in Korea.

After shaved ice, we headed over to 8% Ice 冰淇淋專門店. I guess we were on a dessert hopping trip.

8% Ice is famous for their ice cream and is pretty hipster inside. Prices are not as cheap though, but the ice cream and popsicles looked delicious!

J had the Passionfruit while me and S shared the Sakura Plum. We found the passionfruit to be too sour and the Sakura Plum to have an odd flavour. Flavourwise, they were just okay. Pretty to look at though. J said that the gelato is much better.

We were going to meet our celebrity friend E for dinner that night, so we took a taxi to the restaurant. He had suggested to eat hot pot at 火鍋世家涮涮屋(台北延吉店).

You get individual hot pots here and you can order a la carte or combos. Sort of Gokudo in Richmond. We chose the combos so they came with a variety of vegetables, shrimp, and fish balls and that sort of stuff.

The combo also comes with your choice of noodles. I got the udon.

S and I both got a meat combo, so we ended up sharing our meat. We got the regular beef and it was very good already. Extremely tender with the right amount of fat.

We also got the pork bacon which was surprisingly quite good. The meat combos range from around NT$280 and can go up to NT$580 for premium cuts. The restaurant provides unlimited drinks, self-serve ice cream, and self-serve sauces. Quite a good value to get you full.

After dinner, we decided to go get drinks. We ended up taking a nice walk after a huge meal and headed into the Da’an district where E normally hangs around. He took us to this nice cozy bar called Tickle My Fantasy. It was very quiet when we got there as it was rather early, but it got very crowded at the end of the night.

E suggested we all get the famous Long Island. This is not your typical Long Island, but rather known to be potent. The ones we get in Vancouver usually have very little alcohol, but these were strong! We watched the bartender make our drinks and noticed it was mostly all alcohol. The drink is around NT$500 but a good deal because one drink will be enough. We all had a good night and it was great to see our friends again. As we stayed out past 12, the MRT had closed so we ended up taxing back to our hotel. A great night indeed.

Details:

Grand View Resort: No. 30, Youya Rd, Beitou District, Taipei City

Beitou Hot Spring Museum: No. 2, Zhongshan Rd, Beitou District, Taipei City

Beitou Thermal Valley: Zhongshan Rd. near Wenquan Rd, Beitou District, Taipei City

Smoothie House: No.15, Yongkang St., Da’an Dist., Taipei City

8%ice冰淇淋专门店: No. 6, Lane 13, Yongkang St, Da’an District, Taipei City

火鍋世家涮涮屋(台北延吉店) (Songshan district):

Tickle My Fantasy: No. 8, Section 2, Anhe Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City

Gokudo Shabu Shabu

1246

K goes to Gokudo Shabu Shabu quite often and she has been telling me to check it out for the longest time. Finally, on a Friday night, we headed over at around 7pm with reservations along with S and E.

1248

The interior has a bar like setting where people sit in a oval for their hot pot. However, since we had 4 people, we were seated at a separate table near the door. The only downside was that door kept opening and the chilly weather got to us.

1247

At Gokudo, everyone gets their own pot, but it’s not like Boiling Point where all your food is already cooked. You still get to go through the process of cooking your own food, but you have your own stove and pot. Each person also gets their own sauce which is plenty for the meal.

1250

Sirloin Combo

Most of us got the combo since it’s a pretty good deal. K ordered the items individually though as she didn’t want too much meat. The rest of us got the Sirloin Combo, which comes to around $16. It comes with a huge plate of sirloin beef which was very tender. I really enjoyed the meat!

1249

All combos come with a plate of mixed seafood and vegetables. By seafood, it really is just a prawn. You do get a variety of fish balls and tofu along with some veggies like corn, shitake mushrooms and napa cabbage.

1252

You also get a choice of noodles and tea. I got udon and milk tea. It’s plenty of food and at a pretty reasonable price for hot pot. I couldn’t end up finishing all the udon. Nevertheless, I quite enjoyed my meal. The only downside is that the service is quite slow and the servers seem to have their heads down all the time or are chatting amongst themselves.

Pros:
– Large portions for the combos
– Quality of food is pretty good

Cons:
– Service is inattentive and slow
– Seating is not that comfortable

Price Range: $15-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 1.5 Ambiance: 2 Parking: 3 Overall: 3

Gokudo Shabu Shabu Hot Pot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Boiling Point (revisit)

IMG_3933

It’s been quite some time since I’ve revisited Boiling Point, and since I was craving hot pot, I suggested to S to give it a try. This was the Richmond location.

664

Beef Hot Pot

I decided to try the Beef Hot Pot this time, which features napa, vermicelli, sliced Angus beef, enoki mushroom, tomato, firm tofu, tempura, corn, pork meat ball, kamaboko, fried tofu skin, imitation crab stick, green onion and cilantro. At Boiling Point, you can also specify how spicy you want your soup. I chose medium, but it actually wasn’t that spicy.

665

Japanese Miso Hot Pot

S got the Japanese Miso Hot Pot, which comes with cabbage, udon, sliced pork, enoki mushroom, clam, Fuzhou fish ball, fish fillet, organic Maitake mushroom, crab, fried tofu skin, soft tofu, egg, green onion. There’s quite a lot of ingredients in this pot, but S had one complaint. Since there is a mini fire that keeps your pot still boiling for another 30 minutes, he complained that the food just never cooled down and was really difficult to eat. For myself, I like to put my food onto the side bowl of rice to cool it down, but I guess he has a point. Perhaps a flame that goes on for another 15 minutes is sufficient.

666

There are also various sauces you can use to flavour your food. I felt that my food was already well flavoured so didn’t use any.

667

Snow Cubes

We also tried their Snow Cubes, which are essentially flavoured ice cubes. We got Chocolate, Matcha, and Strawberry. They are really cold, so not for people with weak teeth. It is really difficult to bite into it, so you end up just putting the whole one in your mouth. I thought these were quite average for the price you pay.

Overall, I found Boiling Point to be just quite average this time around. I felt like the portions got smaller and service was also lacking. I guess it’s a good option if you want individual hot pots though.

Pros:
– Good variety of hot pot choices
– Reasonable prices

Cons:
– Service can be lacking
– Portions were a bit small

Price Range: $10-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 2.5 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 3 Overall: 2.5

Click to add a blog post for Boiling Point on Zomato

Hangaram – Seoul

IMG_9634

The next day, we met up with K’s friend who studied in Vancouver but went back to her homeland in Seoul after graduation. It was great to have a local take us around Bukchon Hanok Village, which surprisingly was just right near our home! The Hanok Village is in the Samcheong-dong neighborhood. She took us to Hangaram, which is a cute little restaurant that serves set menus. You can also order a la carte if you wish. There are rooms where you must remove your shoes and sit on mats. It makes you feel like you’re in a traditional Korean house.

IMG_9637

Makgeolli

First, we ordered the famous Makgeolli, which is a traditional Korean alcoholic beverage. This is made from rice or wheat mixed with a Korean fermentation starter called nuruk. Our makegeolli came in a tea pot and when poured out, it has a milky creamy white colour. It doesn’t look like your typical alcohol! I absolutely loved this! It’s a little sweet, but doesn’t have a strong alcohol taste to it. I found it much like a dessert drink! It’s actually around 6-8% in alcohol content, but doesn’t taste like it. Before drinking, you should also swirl your cup first since the cloudy substance tends to settle at the bottom. A definite must try in Korea!

IMG_9635

Salmon Sashimi Salad

We ordered the set menu, so everything came with the portions made for the 5 of us. Some dishes, like this one came in 2, so you actually get quite full from the set menu! The Salmon Sashimi Salad was very refreshing. Thinly sliced salmon that reminded me of smoked salmon were topped with a mix of greens and sprouts and topped with a fruity dressing.

IMG_9638

Japchae and Fried Shrimp Cakes

Next up, this dish also came in 2 plates. On the left is Japchae, which was flavourful and strong in sesame flavour. On the right were Fried Shrimp Cakes, which were a little spicy and lightly battered. Yummy!

IMG_9639

Pork Belly Wraps

Then, we had the Pork Belly Wraps. These were so good!!! Thinly sliced pork belly with just the right amount of fat. It came with white kimchi, and this was the first time I’ve heard of this! The white kimchi is not spicy, but still has the sour and pickled taste. You place the slice of yellow radish in it, and along with the pork belly which is dressed in a sesame and sweet soy sauce, this is the perfect match! A bit of crunch, and tons of flavour!

IMG_9641

Grilled Fish

Then came the Grilled Fish, which came in a sizzling plate. It was topped with onions, bean sprouts, and more greens. I’m not usually a fan of cooked fish (for some strange reason), but this was quite delicious! The sauce reminded me of unagi sauce, and the fish was extremely soft. I think the sauce really made the dish delicious!

IMG_9642

Grilled Duck Salad

The last dish was the Grilled Duck Salad, which was also a favourite at our table. Topped with greens again, the grilled duck were extremely tender! A light soya based sauce was all it needed. A must order!

IMG_9643

Bulgogi Hot Pot

Then came the two hot pots. I didn’t know we would be having so much food! First, was the Bulgogi Hot Pot. This was our favourite out of the two hot pots. It came with japchae noodles (sweet potato noodles), bulgogi beef, enoki mushrooms, and lots of green onions and onions! What made the hot pot delicious was the broth. It wasn’t the typical bulgogi broths, but rather it tasted really healthy! I felt like there were some medicinal herbs in there which gave it a very healthy flavour to it!

IMG_9644

Spicy Seafood Hot Pot

The second hot pot was the Spicy Seafood Hot Pot, which we all agreed was only average. The broth wasn’t too spicy, but there was a very strong taste of seafood (which I guess is a good thing). It came with clams, little shrimps, tiny crabs, some noodles and enoki mushrooms. This was probably my least favourite dish for the lunch.

IMG_9645

They also provide you with lots of appetizers – some that aren’t as familiar to me. It came with some kimchi, radish, chives, and quail eggs! We especially loved the quail eggs. It was a good touch since we don’t usually see them being served as complementary dishes.

IMG_9647

Sweet Pumpkin Soup

Lastly, we were served dessert, which was the famous Sweet Pumpkin Soup. Koreans love to use pumpkin as an ingredient in their food. The soup is more like a tea and is slightly sweet with a strong pumpkin flavour. Perfect for pumpkin lovers!

IMG_9646

Overall, we were extremely satisfied with our lunch at Hangaram. It may be a little pricey at just under 30,000 won per person, but you will be guaranteed to be full! It’s a great experience to try so many dishes with good portion sizes as well! To be honest, we finished most of the food, other than the rice and a bit of the hot pot.

 

IMG_9652

After lunch, we wandered around the Bukchon Hanok Village, which is located near many of the famous palaces, like Gyeongbok Palace. You take a walk up a steep street, and you will find yourself in a street full of traditional houses or hanoks. I believe that this village used to be where the top government officials used to live during the Joseon Dynasty.

IMG_9660

The architecture here is absolutely beautiful! Feels like you went back in time in Korea!

IMG_9665

The roads here are all very narrow and steep. If you go to the very top, you can get some views of the city (although Seoul is always quite gloomy and foggy)! On this trip, we really didn’t do a lot of sightseeing in Seoul, because we aren’t interested in palaces and such, but if there is one sightseeing stop you would like to make, Bukchon Hanok Village is surely the right one! I believe you can pay to go into some of these houses too.

IMG_9684

Sikhye

After all the exercise walking up the village in the burning sun, we stopped by a little stall to get Sikhye. Our Korean friend told us that this is a traditional Korean drink and is made of rice! There are grains of cooked rice at the bottom and the drink is sweet and refreshing! It’s a drink that supposed to help with digestion! Perfect after a big meal. They now sell Sikhye in cans at supermarkets, and I actually purchased one back in Vancouver at H-mart. However, I have to say that the old granny who was stirring her pot produced much better Sikhye! So sad that I won’t be able to have this now that I’m back in Vancouver!

Boiling Point

IMG_3933

I’ve been seeing people’s pictures of their miniature hot pots and of course I decided to check it out on one of the hottest days… Bad idea, but I guess it satisfied my craving. Boiling Point is located in a small plaza on No.3 Road and boy did I never think parking would be so bad there. We literally waited around 15 minutes, circling around the lot. It’s weird because there really isn’t that many restaurants here, so you would think that parking would be relatively easy…

IMG_3934

Inside, the place reminds me of Taiwanese bubble tea spots. I have to say the service is quite mediocre. It took forever to get the attention of a server just for us to place an order.

IMG_3935

Green Tea

Apparently if you dine before 3pm, then you get a complementary choice of Green or Black Tea. I chose the Green Tea, and it was a refreshing way to enjoy your hot pot.

IMG_3936

Curry Fishball Hot Soup (Tiny Spicy)

I’m not sure what’s up with me and curry fishballs lately… probably because I keep eating them at the night market, but after minutes of indecisiveness, I ended up getting the Curry Fishball Hot Soup with tiny spicy. It included Nappa, Vermicelli, Pork Sliced, Enoki Mushroom, Imitation Crabstick, Kamaboko, Fishball, Fired Tofu Skin, Corn, Tempura, Mountain Yam, and Chinese String Bean. I have to say I wasn’t too impressed with it. The curry was so thin that it lacked flavour. I was expecting a thicker soup base, but it was more like curry powder in water. The fish balls weren’t even coated in curry, which was quite disappointing.

IMG_3937

Beef Hot Soup (Very Spicy)

N got the Beef Hot Soup. It included Nappa, Vermicelli, Beef Sliced, Enoki Mushroom, Tomato, Firm Tofu, Tempura, Corn, Meatball, Kamaboko, Fired Tofu Skin, and Imitation Crabstick. It looked pretty good and apparently it wasn’t too spicy for her. We did find that it was weird how the beef was still quite pink, even though it was cooked for a long time.

IMG_3938

Beef Hot Soup (Flaming Spicy)

J is crazy for spicy food, so she also got the Beef Hot Soup, but with flaming spicy. I like how there was a warning sign on the menu, but she clearly did not think it was spicy at all. I tried a piece of her cabbage in it, and I thought it was really spicy!!

All hot pots also came with a bowl of rice, so the meal is quite filling in the end. I like how you get a variety of ingredients and the choice of how spicy you would like the soup base. At a price of around $11  for most of the hot pots, it’s a great place to grab a filling meal.

Boiling Point (Richmond) 沸點臭臭鍋 on Urbanspoon