Originally we were set to visit Golden Sparkle for late night eats after hockey tonight. However, the actual operating hours are not even close to the ones indicated on their take-out menu. For Fridays and Saturdays, the menu states that they close at 2:00am. In reality, they close at 10:00pm. So everyone please take note! As a precaution, I always look out for other potential restaurants for future visits. Little did we know, it would be necessary as a backup tonight. We already knew Nancy Wonton House would be open; but there was another place open across the street... Fatty Cow Hot Pot? Hey, I recall reading Ben's post about it. Hmm... Late night AYCE hot pot? I recall doing it once with my softball team last year at Claypot. Well, it is a bit different than our usual wonton noodle exploits. Furthermore, the draw of all-you-can-hork tripe, intestines and pork blood just seemed too irresistible. On a side note, I know Fatty Cow is a bit a variation of the Chubby Lamb name; but honestly, what will we have next? Obese Chicken? Lardy Pig? Lipo Fish?
Joining me tonight were Milhouse, Boss Woman and Polka King. It's most unfortunate than none of them share the same love for offal like I do. Scratch that, Boss Woman doesn't mind it, in fact, she loves tongue. Uh... Anyways, AYCE hot pot was not really on our list of places to go; but there it was staring us in the face. Hey, we weren't going to say no! So we ended up paying an extra $7.00 for the Pork Bone Broth. Is it just me or hot pot restaurants should really just factor in the cost of the broth into the bottom line price? It's a bit of a scam in my books.
After checking off what seemed to be a massive amount of food, we were a bit nervous if we could finish it all. Remember, this is a late night meal after a game, not dinner! Fortunately, it just seemed like a lot, in reality it was just right because the portions were not too big. Since the place is named Fatty Cow, we had to get the Fatty Beef. Nicely marbled and thin without being too fatty, the beef cooked almost instantly. It was tender and moist. As mentioned, only Boss Woman shares the love for offal and we got the Chicken Giblets and Hearts. It arrived on the same plate as the Tofu. Not much to say about the chicken offal other than the fact that Milhouse and Polka King wanted no part in it. I must note that the tofu was quite silky while staying in once piece when cooked.
Arriving on another plate was the Chikuwa (tube-like cylinders of fish mousse) and Sui Gow (dumplings with wood ear mushrooms, pork and shrimp). Not much to say about the store-bought chikuwa; but the sui gow were pretty good with a lots of filling and a relatively thin wrapper. With any good hot pot restaurant these days, everything needs to be fresh. So it was nice to see that the Cuttlefish Meatballs along with the Shrimp Meatballs were such. Although not live shrimp (wishful thinking), the ones we got were fresh enough and had that "snap" texture we look for (rather than mushiness, which indicates deterioration). The one seafood item that surprised us was the oysters. When it arrived, the size of each one of them was shocking. They were some really large oysters. Even after cooking (which took a while), they were still quite big. In addition to that, they were fresh being sweet and not fishy. We also got some Cod Fish Slices that arrived on a dish with Bean Curd Stick and Taro. As with the other items, the fish was fresh and managed to stay in one piece even when boiled.
We also got a few more items which included Fish Tofu, Oil Noodles, Tripe, Cuttlefish and Fish Cracklings. They were pretty standard items and nothing was amiss. In fact, we thought all of the items were more than acceptable and fresh. For a hot pot restaurant, that is probably the most important thing to get right. Since it is newly opened, it is modern and clean with nice built-in units. Service is friendly while not being intrusive. Price-wise, it wasn't necessarily cheap; yet it is in-line with most other hot pot restaurants of this class.
- Fresh ingredients
- Clean and modern
- Attentive service
- Some might consider it a bit pricey
- Could use a few more meat items on the menu (such as tongue...)