A while back I'd read about "Hot Pot City" on this board. We decided to take some of adventure-seeking friends with us and try it out. Glad we did.
Hot Pot cooking is similar to a Japanese cooking style (Shamu-Shamu? I can't even pretend to know...) in which you are given raw meat/seafood/protein and boiling broth. Like fondu, you cook it yourself. Hot Pot City provides you with a "menu" that inclues 7 or 8 broth options - spicy thai, mild vegetable, meat broth, Korean cabbage (Kimchee-ish) and so on. The broth is brought to a boil at your table on individual burners. You then attack the buffet bar - again and again. I was wildly impressed with the variety of choices, as well as the quality of the food. (Needless to say, I tend to avoid buffets as I prefer quality to quantity.)
I filled my plate no fewer than three times with shrimp, clams, mussles, squid, octupus, oysters on the half-shell, lamb, shaved pork, crawfish, salmon, shaved beef, fish balls, seafood dumplins, beef tripe, chicken (shaved and chunk), fried and fresh tofu, four types of mushrooms, spinach, taro root, broccoli, sprouts, cilantro and so on. There are an array of sauces for you to mix and match as well. The price of the meal - a paltry $13.25 for dinner and $7.50 for lunch - includes unlimited soda/iced tea etc. Not sure if they have spirits available.
The owners are absolutely charming, very cheerful, excited to see new faces, eager to hear comments and suggestions. The ambiance is not amazing - it is in a building complex that lacks life after 5 pm - but you will be so focused on the food that I doubt you'll notice. Due to their location, however, the parking is plentiful.
They seemed quite slow for a friday night, and I, being enamoured with this place, would hate to see it go under for lack of business. They are at:
1975 SW 1st, Suite J, Portland. They may not be open on sundays, but I am sure that they are Monday-Friday.
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