Hot pot wins the game

11 01 2010

Some of the fixings for a wonderful hot pot dinner at Healthy Shabu-Shabu at Town. I say "some" because I had the egg noodles and glass noodles replaced with steamed rice.

TOTALLY GOING against the personality profile I’ve always had, based on the profiling system we would use for a management training at my former company, I armed myself with a list of stores and items to (hopefully) buy as I launched into the opening salvo of the post-holiday S-A-L-E last Friday.  Personality profiles do change in time and are subject to external stimuli.  The recession happened.  Hence, the list.

But the only thing I realized was that shopping with a list was too limiting.  I saw a lot of things that on impulse, I would’ve bought.  But I’d got to stick to my list.  Quite ironically, feeling confined to my list felt liberating.  Isn’t it ironic?  Though a couple of hours later, I found myself grabbing nothing but air in my hands.  Already famished, I decided to have dinner instead.  I thought, shopping can wait.

Faced with a multitude of options at Town, I narrowed down my choices between Healthy Shabu-Shabu and Pepper Lunch.  But having had to stand in line at Pepper Lunch for a number of times already, I felt the scales tipped in favor of shabu-shabu.  For once, “hot pot” won “over hot plate.”  But I have nothing against long lines at restaurants.  A long line is always a good sign.  And I love love love Pepper Lunch.  That’s already a given.

Fresh, plump, delicate white fish fillet.

From the individual set menu, I asked for fish fillet – for a change.  They brought me a plate with about 10-12 of the meatiest white fish chunks.  And the best part?  While I trusted that the fish wasn’t caught from nearby waters – the mall is a tundra after all – the absence of that “fishy” smell vouched for the fillets’ undeniable freshness.  Fresh fish meat should smell like nothing at all – a very faint, subtle hint of seawater if ever.

A sumptuous spread. All I was waiting for was for the broth to come to a rolling boil.

 

I always ALWAYS finish all of these. Oops... except the taro root.

These tender, delicate white chunks of bliss came with the requisite fixings – a couple of squid balls, a couple of beef balls, a slice of fish cake, a couple of slices of tofu, a slice of carrot, a wedge of tomato, a shiitake mushroom cap, a portion of sweet corn on the cob, taro root, napa cabbage leaves, stalks of Taiwan pechay (a kin of bok choy’s), and a crabstick.  Noticeably absent from my platter were the bunches of thick egg noodles and thin glass noodles, and a fresh egg.  I asked for the noodles to be replaced with steamed rice, while I totally did away with the fresh egg.

Extra shiitake mushrooms and Taiwan pechay.

 

Fresh shucked oysters!

But I did ask for extra helpings of the shiitake mushrooms and the Taiwan pechay.  And in keeping with my dinner’s main component, I asked for 100 grams of the freshest shucked oysters.  They were about 12 really plump bivalves in all.  I would use the perforated ladle to plunge the oysters in the rolling boiling broth – for only 10 seonds (I count everytime!).  Yum!  For the leafy greens, a quick dunk was all it would take.

The hot pot is about to come to a boil!

 

A chunk of fish about to be dunked into the broth.

For my dipping sauce, I kept everything simple by just mixing their special soy-based sauce with the Korean sate sauce.  Towards the end of the meal, I ladled the by-then fully flavored, robust broth into a bowl filled with the chopped green onions.

It was so good I was almost tempted to slurp!

The Korean sate sauce and some chopped scallions.

 

The special soy-based dipping sauce.

 

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MuchTime™©.  All rights reserved.


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