The next day, we met up with K’s friend who studied in Vancouver but went back to her homeland in Seoul after graduation. It was great to have a local take us around Bukchon Hanok Village, which surprisingly was just right near our home! The Hanok Village is in the Samcheong-dong neighborhood. She took us to Hangaram, which is a cute little restaurant that serves set menus. You can also order a…
I’ve been to New Concept Hot Pot once before, but for some reason, I don’t have a fond memory of it. It’s a tiny little shop on Westminster Hwy, so reservations are pretty much a must. I find that the place is much cleaner than many of the other hot pot places too. However, they are not that great in English, so it’s more catered to mandarin-speaking customers.
They use an electronic heater, and you can tell that everything is pretty brand new and clean. It’s interesting how they offer sunflower seeds while you wait for your food. Their menu isn’t too extensive though, so they really only have the basics.
We got one side with spicy Sze Chuan soup base, and the other side a mushroom soup base. The mushroom soup base was also filled with goji berries. New Concept Hot Pot also offers a pot that can have 3 soup bases, which isn’t seen at many restaurants.
Udon, Rice Cake
I found the udon to be of poor quality since it wasn’t chewy at all. The rice cakes were also not that chewy. I wasn’t too satisfied with these two items.
Tripe, Ice Tofu, Soft Tofu, Octopus, Lotus Root, Wintermelon
Sweet Potato Noodles, Yam Root Noodles
Variety of Veggies
Spicy Beef and Spicy Fish
I found this too spicy personally, but the beef was very tender. It was almost like a chili base for the spice.
Another variety of Beef
Overall, the food was quite typical. Nothing extremely amazing. We ended up paying a little under $30 each person. Their menu is definitely smaller than many other hot pot places though. But the quality of their food is decent. Service was also quite well. The food took a little long to arrive in the beginning, but after that, the wait was quite reasonable.
It’s about time I finally tried Toyotomi for their all you can eat hot pot. Toyotomi is located in such a hidden location. There’s basically no other restaurants on Anderson Rd, and they are just offices around there. They used to be a sushi restaurant that was known for their competitive prices and combos at a great deal. However, last year, I was told that they now offer hot pot! What a strange transition. They still make sushi as well though, but hot pot seems to be their selling point.
Once we sat down, we were immediately asked what kind of soup base we wanted. Honestly, we hadn’t even picked up on menu yet! How do you expect your customers to know what they want! We were then asked 3 more times within 10 minutes what we wanted for our soup base. I actually got kind of annoyed. I know there’s a time limit, but that’s my problem for wasting my time. You don’t need to ask 3 times when we clearly aren’t sure yet!
There are two prices for all you can eat hot pot. $14.99 gets you the normal menu, or if you want the deluxe menu, then it’s $20.99. This is on top of the soup base, which ranges from $7.68 to $9.48.
Bonito Clear Soup Base
We finally decided to just go for the Bonito Clear Soup Base, and that waitress finally disappeared. I don’t think she came back to see how things were going again after that. Their soup bases are not what you would normally see at Chinese hot pot restaurants. They are Japanese style soup bases, and have ones such as Sukiyaki.
After handing in our menu list, we immediately got our Seaweed Salad. It was fresh and well seasoned and the portions were just perfect so you had enough of it.
Mix Sashimi Crispy, Salmon Sashimi, Tuna Sashimi, Tai Sashimi, Baby Tako Sashimi
We decided to go for the deluxe menu, which basically comes with more assortment of meat as well as sashimi. The sashimi was really what got us to decide to add on that $6. The sashimi is presented nicely on ice and even comes with seashells! We kind of came to the conclusion that they reused the ice and seashells though, so we really hope they washed it… Anyways, the sashimi was surprisingly quite fresh. It’s weird how the Salmon Sashimi still comes with a thin layer of the silver skin, and at first I thought it would feel disgusting in the mouth, but I really didn’t feel it at all. The slices were also very large for an all you can eat restaurant. I also tried the Tako Sashimi, which were limited to 1 per person.
We were really impressed with the Beef Sashimi, that we ended up ordering 3 more dishes. The beef had great flavour and was seasoned extremely well. Full of flavour and was extremely juicy. This also didn’t have a limit, so we ordered tons!
Snow Beef, Pork Cheek, Sliced Lamb
Then we got our orders of meat. I think we ordered like 30 slices of beef, and then 15 of pork and lamb. But wow, we did not expect the slices to be so large. We still finished it regardless, and we were extremely satisfied with the meat.
Ice Tofu, Fish Tofu, Beef Tripe, Imitation Lobster Ball, Black Wood Ear, Gluten, Tofu Puff, Oyster Mushroom, Squid Ball, Shrimp Wonton, Shrimp Dumpling
They put most of the other items all together in one bowl. It looks pretty nice when presented though. I enjoyed the Squid Balls, as you could actually taste the squid in it. Everything was pretty average, and I didn’t hate any of it.
For our second round, we ordered some veggies. You basically get 3 columns to order, so it’s easy to pace yourself.
Mussel, Tiger Prawn
I never tried the tiger prawns, but my parents said that they were large and had full of shrimp flavour to it. The mussels were also great.
Curry Fish Ball, Deep Fried Oysters, Takoyaki, Chili Seafood Ball
Other than hot pot food and sashimi, they also had cooked food, which I found interesting. The Curry Fish Balls were surprisingly pretty good! Up to par with the ones at night markets. They also had Takoyakis, which is kind of strange. These were limited too! They actually had tako in it, so I was quite pleased. The Deep Fried Oysters were also not bad.
Sesame Oil w/ Enoki Mushroom, Salmon Sashimi, Tuna Sashimi
Another order of sashimi! Tons of Salmon Sashimi because it was really good! I feel like we totally ate our money’s worth since we ordered so much sashimi! The Sesame Oil w/ Enoki Mushrooms were pretty weird though. They just tasted of sesame oil, and we didn’t like it.
For the last round, we felt like our items weren’t coming, but they weren’t significant items. They were items we just wanted to try, so we didn’t really care. We did want to get those Iced Pineapples which were part of our deluxe menu though! They don’t have desserts, so that’s pretty much their dessert. They didn’t come until we told the girl who told us it was our last call. Then they immediately came…Like c’mon, we have to ask them for pineapples in order for them to come…
Overall, we were pretty satisfied with the food. For the price, you are getting average or above average food, and especially since it’s an all you can eat place. Don’t expect much from service though, because they just want you to eat and leave so they can get the next round in.
To see the menus:
Sukiyaki Beef Hotpot
Deep Fried Mango Ice Cream
I’ve been to Manzo Itamae a few times now, but this time we came for the Deep Fried Mango Ice Cream my friend was talking about. I started myself off with a Sukiyaki Beef Hotpot just cause I hadn’t tried it before and wanted something that wasn’t sushi. I got the small size, but it was enough for one person. It came with these clear noodles and lots of beef, tofu, and veggies. Not bad! And lastly, for dessert, we got what we came for. The Deep Fried Mango Ice Cream! The server poured the alcohol over the ice cream and lit it on fire. You can still see the flame in the picture. Pretty cool! As for taste, I wouldn’t say it was anything special. It was just mango ice cream that was encrusted. I also found that the alcohol was way too strong, which didn’t work too well with the dessert. I believe it was something like Soho, which has a lychee flavour to it, but the alcohol bitterness was still too strong for me.