Chinese Bites and Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

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.

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

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 Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

Fatty Cow also owns Jumbo Seafood just a few doors down, so all their seafood is sourced directly from ..well, themselves. 

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

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.

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

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.

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

I saw deep fried fish skin on the menu and Janice got excited. Just like chips.

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

Shrimp. Meh, because they get overcooked, shrink, and no one wants to bother peeling the damn shell off.

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

Assorted meat balls, made FRESH in house.

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

Excessively large Fresh Oysters.

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

With Sherman ordering, you can expect lots of offal, and so we had OmasanPig’s Blood, Pig Intestine, Pig Stomach and Chicken Hearts. All of which are great, especially the chicken hearts! We also had some Marinated Sliced BeefBasa Slices and Kiwi Mussels.

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

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.

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

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.

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

With all this meat, Janice was the only one smart enough to order some vegetables, a small basket of tong ho.

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

All the other tables in the restaurant must have thought we were bat shit crazy.

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

We were served two items that are most definitely not included in the AYCE price of hot pot, scallops and lobster.

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

Beautiful steamed live scallop with plenty of garlic. Large and juicy!

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

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.

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店

Overall though, this was quite the enjoyable experience for an AYCE hot pot and actually is making me consider future visits.

More: Rick Chung / Small Girl Big Plate / Sherman’s Food Adventures | Goodeat.ca

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

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot 小肥牛火鍋專門店
5108 Victoria Drive, Vancouver, BC
(604) 568-6630
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