(I just hate it when it comes to packing and unpacking, it is always tiresome, stuffing and rearranging all those stuffs into the luggage which never seems to agree with you when you needed it to. Grrr...)
We stumbled upon this Steamboat/Hot Pot restaurant; Ojijiman Steamboat Restaurant, which apparently was a really famous hot pot restaurant we discovered after that.
Guess it is still our luck after all? ;-)
(Love the name of the restaurant, just sounds so cute!)
It was packed to the brim although we were there at an early hour; about 6.00pm, and we were heading out to leave. Perhaps it was the look of disappointment on our faces, or the fact that it was really cold out there, or we are just likable (that was a little overboard), the restaurant owner was really kind enough to help us to reserve a place and told us to be back around 6.30-6.45 where he can definitely secure a place for us.
We obliged, and loitered around the area, taking in the scenes of Taipei on our last night while enjoying a nice walk in the cool weather, something which is more of a luxury in our hot and humid weather.
When we arrived back at the restaurant at the appointed time, we were immediately ushered to our dining place (thanks to the owner's prompt and impressive service).
The restaurant was definitely still crowded, but we secured our place, which was facing the street.
The waitress bustled about cleaning up our table; which was technically a table on the counter facing the street separated by the glass window. Usually I would never have taken a table on the counter, well, let's just say it's a matter of personal preference, but in this case, I think the owner went out of his way to reserve us a table and I appreciate his kindness :-)
The funny thing is the way the waitress came to us (after cleaning up the table) and started speaking in this really fast-paced local Chinese on the procedure to do the ordering for the hot pot, as it was a Eat-All-You-Can and customers are free to order anything from the menu for unlimited times (with exception of certain items). She was practically reciting without taking a moment to breathe that we were really straining our ears to catch her each and every word.
It was really hard for us to form the words to ask her to, well, Repeat.
Anyway, we got the wind of it after that and selected our soups.
(Unlike Malaysia, this is something similar to the Japanese Shabu-shabu style where we were designated with our own individual pots of soup).
Herbal Chicken Soup
Osmanthus Flower Soup (this is really unique, and pleasant in taste)
Vegetables plate and the settings on the table
Seafood (snapper fillet, garoupa fillet, dory fillet, squids, tiger prawns)
From left: Fish paste and Octopus paste
Lobster salad as appetizer while waiting for the hot pot to get cooking~
Sauces; the chili paste on the bottom was really spicy that it could send one shooting to the roof (technically, that would be me?)
Ice cream was part of the selection which one can help to the scoops from the counter; and is the dessert to complete the meal for the evening.
Overall the food was alright, but they do have a good selection of seafood; especially the fish which could be categorized into the different types of fish and all neatly made into fillets. (Just the way I like it).
It would cost about NT$590 per pax (if I am not mistaken) to dine here, and while I can't say that their selection is comparable to our steamboat buffet back home, nor can I compare it to others as this was the only one I tried in Taipei, I can only say that hot pot is definitely more suited for the cool weather.
Besides, with all that craze over hot pot here in Taipei (I see hot pot restaurants almost everywhere), the Taiwanese definitely do love this as a meal option and I think that is all the reason you need to justify for a hot pot meal while here?
Now, this is making me crave for hot pot and I am thinking of places to go for hot pot...or just make it at home? ;-)