Posted by: neblinoso | October 12, 2009

Hot Pot Blackout

IMG_3693After bowling Sunday evening, Rico and Donna took me to their favorite hot-pot spot, Lau Chan’s.  Hot pot, referred to here as shabu shabu, is basically just that — a hot pot of boiling soup that you add different items to and let them cook. 

While Rico and Donna decided on which items to choose for the hot-pot, i looked through the vast menu to decide on an entree and rice.  After we decided and filled out the hot-pot form with our choices, a waitress came and set the hot-pot in the middle of the table.  A circular hole had been cut out of the center, with a mini electric stove in the pocket, in which the pot was set on to boil.  She also brought three small dishes of garlic, peppers and shrimp paste.  These ingredients can be mixed together with soy sauce and used as a dipping sauce for any of the items from the hot-pot.

 As we waited for our hot-pot ingredients, Rico gave me the run down on what they had ordered.  Shortly thereafter, the power went out, sending us into darkness, our hot-pot slowly becoming a cold pot.  IMG_3687We used this opportunity to take some pictures, jarring customers with the bright flashing from our cameras.  Rico found a light app on his ipod and it gave the room a disco feel with its strobe light presentation.  Within ten minutes the power was back on and we were back to boiling business.  There was another brownout, but it only lasted a few seconds.

Our ingredients were brought out and we slide each dish into the pot  We filled it with corn, tofu, squid balls, cabbage, noodles and thin slices of pork. Once everything was cooked, we spooned out servings into our bowls and began to eat.  I was surprised how much i liked the squid balls.  I thought they would have a fishier, chewy taste, however, they really didn’t taste very fishy, and they were not chewy at all.  They did have a slight seafood taste to them, but overall, delicious! 

We also ordered a chicken dish with fried rice and fried, pork dumplings.  I have never used so many different utensils for one meal.  I had a small soup ladle for the hot-pot broth, chopsticks for the hot-pot ingredients, a fork for the dumplings and a regular spoon for the chicken and fried rice dish.

IMG_3695By the time we were finished, we all sat in our chairs, glazed looks on our eyes as food comas set in.  We decided to walk around a bit in order to help our food digest.  We wandered around the Malati area, near Manila Bay, where a large, colorful fountain danced to music.  After some photo ops, we stopped into a church briefly to take part of the mass in session.  A priest recited a prayer in english, while a young girl in pink shorts ran back and forth between her mother and the entrance. 

We also checked out a poker house, where a tournament was being held and found out that you can join a table for only 100 pesos, which is about two dollars.  That will be an adventure for another day. 

Bellies still full, we found a taxi to take us home.  I hope i get to have more hot pot meals.  It was one of the best i’ve had since arriving, and six hours later, i’m still full.

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