Hot Pot

Red 6…Hot Pot Heaven at $8.

In this day and age, a bargain is hard to come by. Sure, there is a lot of cheap stuff out there but to find something substantial, satisfying and reasonably priced, all at the same time, is a rarity.

When Becky mentioned great big, spicy hot pots at Red 6, I made sure to check it out promptly.

Red 6 is a tiny Mom & Pop shop in Parkcrest Plaza on Broadway in Burnaby. The room seats maybe twenty and on a cold, rainy day it’s packed. The main attraction here are the ridiculously huge, steaming hot pots.

This past Thursday was particularly wet and chilly. After Becky described the bountiful, spicy bowls on offer here, we grabbed The Gut and the three of us dug in.

The standard set for the Assorted Hot Pot consists of a choice of meat…beef, pork, chicken or fish.    You can also opt for the seafood version (shrimp, mussel and fish ball). You choose rice or noodle and one of seven types of soup.

The Gut went for the Miso Soup with chicken. It looked darn good and due to the long amount of silence, I’ll assume it tasted just as good.

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Foodblogger Feast at Kalvin’s “Szechuen”

About a month ago, in the midst of a whole bunch of stupidity, Kevin from 604foodtography, suggested a big ol’ chowdown at Kalvin’s Restaurant. Within a day or so, thirteen of us responded with a resounding “Hell, yeah!“. From a rather depressing, unfortunate day, the focus was returned to where it should always be in the food blogging community…on the food! After all, that’s what we’re only here for…right?

Other bloggers at this night’s feast included:

Strange thing about Kalvin’s…the awning says “Kalvin’s Szechuen Restaurant” so I was all geared up for a fiery, chile-laden feast. Turns out they put up mostly Taiwanese fare. No problem…I’m game for anything! There were a few spicy dishes and some interesting Taiwanese I’d not yet tried.

This’d be one of those dishes I’d put in the “I’ll-try-it-one-time” category. The Fondue Spicy Pork with Organ Stew was actually quite tasty if you can get your head around the intestine part. It’s obviously a cultural thing that I’ve yet to adapt to. Texturally, it was fine. No excessive chewiness…not rubbery at all. For me, it’s all about the funky aroma. There’s a load of foods I love that give off strange, unique smells. It’s just that when the smell originates from that part of the animal, it can be difficult to adjust to.

The Pork & Ton Choy in BBQ Sauce also had a unique flavor to it. If you close your eyes, you’d swear you were eating a seafood dish. That was due, according to Kevin, to the use of a satay sauce or, as I later found out, it can be called “Shacha sauce“.  It’s a much different flavor to most satay sauces due to the addition of brill fish and dried shrimp. The ton choy itself was nicely cooked giving the dish a well needed fresh, crisp element.

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Hotluck

My experience at Hotluck is eerily similar to the one I had at Alvin Garden. Months before my visit to Alvin Garden (the one I posted about), I went there to try the lunch special. I had the beef/cumin dish and complimentary soup. Both were uninspiring…the beef dry and flavoured, it seemed, only with cumin. After a couple of follow-up visits I found out about the good stuff. Months before this visit to Hotluck, I went there to check out the lunch special (as well as a possible Friday lunch). I decided on the Ginger, Green Onion Fried Beef & Rice.

When the plate arrived, I was taken aback by the portion. It was quite large. Quite a bit more than most places offer for a lunch special. This a heckuva lot of food. The only problem was, there wasn’t a heckuva a lot of flavor. The ginger was non-existent. The scallions and green onions over-fried as was the beef. There’s not a whole lot to get excited about. Not a great first impression. That being said, my experience at Alvin Garden taught me to give this place another shot.

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The One Restaurant

After reading Ben from Chowtimes post on The One Restaurant this past Wednesday, this week’s Friday lunch selection was a no-brainer.

The One is a spin-off of Lao Shan Dong. LSD is the king of Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup in Burnaby. There are other TBN shops, but as far as I know, they’re the only ones who make their own hand-cut noodles. Green Bamboo has recently started serving hand-cut noodles in their House Special Beef Noodle Soup. Stay tuned for a Green Bamboo updated post! Their noodles are fantastic, by the way!

Whereas Lao Shan Dong is situated in a small, non-descript room, The One is the polar opposite. After entering through automatic sliding doors, you are greeted with a sleek, very modern decor. It’s not exactly what one expects in this part of Burnaby.

More often than not, when I enter a room this visually stunning, I naturally worry that the food is an afterthought. Knowing that the kitchen here is a by-product of Lao Shan Dong, I was giddy with anticipation.

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