25 May Flavour Town Hot Pot, Melbourne CBD
Given today’s terrible, cold, windy and extremely wet weather, a hot pot dinner sounded like the perfect choice. While we waited for the table to be cleared, we pored over the A3-sized paper menu and picked our hot pot ingredients, soup bases and individual dipping sauces. We opted for a split pot with both a mild broth and normal broth. For some reason the pot only came 1/4-filled with broth so it took a while for things to get cooking. The temperamental heating element didn’t help. I don’t know if it’s normal for hot pot restaurants to not provide a lid for the pot, but it would have really assisted the cooking process.
A few of us had read that service here was poor, and unfortunately it was. We had to ask for ladles to fish out our food and later ask for the soup to be topped up. It was difficult to get their attention, since they hardly walked past our booth, and at one point we were nearly ignored even though the waitress was clearly looking at us.
Despite the service, we were pretty satisfied with our meal, though I thought it was slightly disappointing that the pork and chive dumplings were mainly made of chives. For me, the most interesting plate was the egg dumplings. I think the dumpling skin was egg based, and its contents included vermicelli noodles, chicken and something green. The sour plum juice was also a highlight; we ordered a second jug when they were taking the last orders for the night.
The total bill came to around $138 for 6 of us, which wasn’t bad considering we were all pretty full afterwards.