I dragged the family off to Spring World, our city's lone Yunnan hot spot last night. It is fast becoming Lao Sze Chuan crowded. At various times last night, I noticed parties waiting where the was no room to wait. Do not, however, follow the Yogi Berra dictum, "nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded." The place is still great. A dish of boiled beef in szchuan sauce really hit home on a chilly night, a big bowl of very spicy beef slices upon a rich, oily medly of vegetables, baby bok choy, chinese celary, napa cabbage, cilantro, etc.
Many of the tables last night went for the hot pot, perhaps in reaction to our first chill of the season. A Chinese fondue, tables would get big stainless steel bowls set upon portable burners to cook their own dinners. Diners would dunk meats, vegetables, tofu and noodles and fish them out with mini wire mesh baskets or their chopsticks. We watched with fascination as the harried waitresses rush around the dinning room with plates of food to go in the hot pots (occasionally grabbing plates from one table and moving them over to another table). Yet, we left with little understanding of the entire process. Some hot pots were divided in two, two cooking solutions? There were various dipping sauces on the tables. Were these self-made, ordered? Some people made soup out of their broths, how?
Can someone please enlighted me more about the wonders of hot pot. Also, eat more of the Yunnan menu so I can get some vicarious thrill.