Just a short two weeks after the ChineseBites inaugural dinner at Golden Swan, we moved a few blocks north on Victoria Drive for all-you-can-eat hot pot at Fatty Cow.
Normally, I’m not a fan of AYCE hotpot at restaurants because it’s always cheaper to do it at home, but if someone’s gonna feed me, I’m there. I’ve never been to Fatty Cow before, but from second hand reports, I hear it’s one of the best for AYCE hotpot. It’s very clean inside, the burners are induction and built into the tables with fans right above. Fatty Cow also offers a regular menu and a late night menu until 1 am.
Fatty Cow also owns Jumbo Seafood just a few doors down, so all their seafood is sourced directly from ..well, themselves.
Soup bases are probably one of the main reasons why people would even patron AYCE hotpot places, as it would be too much of a hassle to prepare at home. The ease and convenience of having different soup bases available to order is a huge draw. We ordered two, Peanut and Spicy Szechuan. Personally, I would have preferred a simple stock or even plain water, but in a group setting this was fine.
Perhaps it’s the ‘Taiwanese’ way of hot pot, but I’ve always used a very simple soup of water, sometimes spruced up with tomato, pickled radish, mushroom and a bit of chicken stock. For me, hot pot is about the dipping sauce, mainly sa cha, minced garlic and onions, cilantro, soy sauce, sesame oil and some chili sauce. Oh and don’t forget the egg yolk to thicken things up a bit. Here they offered a sweet & spicy soy sauce with loads of cilantro, and I seem to have been the only one using it throughout the dinner.
I saw deep fried fish skin on the menu and Janice got excited. Just like chips.
Shrimp. Meh, because they get overcooked, shrink, and no one wants to bother peeling the damn shell off.
Assorted meat balls, made FRESH in house.
Excessively large Fresh Oysters.
With Sherman ordering, you can expect lots of offal, and so we had Omasan, Pig’s Blood, Pig Intestine, Pig Stomach and Chicken Hearts. All of which are great, especially the chicken hearts! We also had some Marinated Sliced Beef, Basa Slices and Kiwi Mussels.
Two plates of disappointment, Salmon Trimmings and Frozen Cubed Beef. The former was mainly because of all the bones, and the beef cubes were just tough and chewy, not worth the jaw-ache you’ll suffer after.
We did order some regular slices of Fatty Beef, Pork Belly, Pork Cheek and Rib-Eye, but in comparison to all the seafood, it seemed very minuscule and was quickly devoured.
With all this meat, Janice was the only one smart enough to order some vegetables, a small basket of tong ho.
All the other tables in the restaurant must have thought we were bat shit crazy.
We were served two items that are most definitely not included in the AYCE price of hot pot, scallops and lobster.
Beautiful steamed live scallop with plenty of garlic. Large and juicy!
While I did appreciate the “pull all stops out to impress us” aspect with these two lobsters, it felt like a bit of a waste to have lost the lobster flavour in the soup bases and consequently the meat that was difficult to extract once cooked.
Overall though, this was quite the enjoyable experience for an AYCE hot pot and actually is making me consider future visits.
Previous ChineseBites dinners:
#1 Golden Swan Restaurant 金天鵝海鮮酒家
#2 Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店
#3 KiBo Restaurant & Lounge
#4 Ken’s Chinese Restaurant 南軒中西美食