Sherman's Food Adventures: Big Way Hot Pot

Big Way Hot Pot

Generally, I'm pretty famished after Sunday morning hockey, so we are always on the lookout for food.  This time around we decided on something close to Kingsway and Boundary.  Now you might be wondering why we wanted that specific location...  Well, I'm getting back into Magic: The Gathering and I wanted to drop by Magic Stronghold to pick up some cards (yes, my inner geekiness is coming out...).  So we ended up at Big Way Hot Pot down the street.  This place lets you choose from a selection of meats, veggies and noodles for a customized hot pot.  You bring it up to the counter, choose your desired broth and they will cook it and bring it to your table.  Apparently, this is popular in Australia and has finally made its way to Vancouver.  Think of it as the hot pot version of Mongolian grill or U-Grill at Metrotown.

So the deal here is that you walk in, scan a QR code and get into a virtual lineup.  You can see the updated status of this lineup by refreshing your browser.  Once there are enough tables available, you get a text and are welcomed to grab a bowl and fill it up to your heart's content with items from the refrigerated displays.  With the exception of Abalone and Crayfish, it is $3.68/100g.  Now you can easily blow your budget if you pile it on too much and/or fill out your bowl with heavy items such as clams and shrimp.

Now once you have filled up your bowl, you take it up to the counter and they weigh it.  You select your broth with options like Signature Ma La Tang, Szechuan Green Peppercorn, Tom Yum, Collagen Bone Broth, Sa Cha, Tomato, Peanut Sauce Dry Mix, Ma La Dry Mix and Szechuan Dry Mix.  For the spicy broths, you can choose the heat level as well.  From here, you can also order a drink to go with your meal.  After this, you are presented with a order number tag that you place on your table so they know where to serve your cooked bowl of selected ingredients.

On this visit, I selected the the Signature Ma La Tang while Milhouse had the Tomato broth.  In general, the items that I selected were cooked nicely due to the fact they didn't cook everything all at once.  Some items cook faster than others and they accounted for that.  The seafood was not overdone, nor were the veggies.  Best of all, the instant noodles were barely cooked through so that they retained an al dente texture.  As for the broth, I chose hot and it was indeed spicy.  However, it wasn't so much so I couldn't taste anything else.  The tomato broth was delicious being sweet and tangy.  It was impactful and was good to drink on its own.

So before we left, we were offered a Soft-Serve Matcha Cone (pardon the out-of-focus picture...) to eat in or take out.  This is included in the meal and really a nice way to finish off.  Now the soft-serve was a bit icy, yet was refreshing after the hot pot.  It was lightly sweet with a mild matcha flavour.  Loved the waffle cone with its crunch.  In the end, we enjoyed out meal and thought the pricing was fair.  Now with that being said, you need to be careful with the heavier items as the total cost can get up there.

The Good:
- Fresh ingredients
- Great service
- Fun concept

The Bad:
- Can get pricey if you aren't careful
- Sauce bar is a bit basic 



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