Okay I promise this is the last hot pot post for a while, I’m just catching up on my posting since I’ve been away in Alaska for the past week. I wanted something soupy because I had been indulging in waaay too much cruise food lately. We didn’t know where to go so I looked up a few places nearby and we decided on going Pearl hotpot. Beside it there is also Pearl cafe, which is a Taiwanese beef noodle shop. When you walk in, there is a bar style table in a circle formation, which makes up the main dining area, along the side they had four seater tables but you’re only allowed to sit there if you have a party of 3 or more. You can order hotpot combos that include the hotpot, a bowl of rice, a drink, and icecream OR you can order the soup base and toppings separately, this comes with a drink and dessert also. If you’re not up for hot pot they offer sukiyaki combos and typical Taiwanese side dishes to eat as well.
Grayson picked the lamb hotpot combo ($15ish). It came with spinach, lamb slices, naruto, tomato, fish tofu, naruto, mushroom, corn, tempura and an egg. He picked the fruit tea and thought it was amazing, I thought it was overly sweet but it’s just because I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. He enjoyed being able to cook his hotpot himself, since he rarely cooks and he finds it fun even though I had to tell him what to do half the time. Its okay, at least he’s trying. His review of the hotpot was that even though it was good and satisfying, boiling point (see earlier post) was still his favorite place for hotpot.
Since I thought paying $15 for a vegetarian combo was ridiculous since it was the same price as ones with actual meat or seafood, I opted for picking my own soup base and toppings. I chose the Thai hot and sour soup base, it didn’t look spicy because it only had a few drops of chili oil in it, but it was actually quite aromatic in flavor and had a subtle heat to it. It wasn’t like any hot and sour soup base I’ve had before, so I was pleasantly surprised. I chose broccoli. spinach, tofu, tomato, and vermicelli. It also came with an egg. After ordering, the waitress came back to me and said I had to order more because it’s a STORE POLICY to order at least $12 of food a person, I was not fond of that because I just didn’t want more food because I knew I didn’t need anymore. So, I was forced to pick Taiwanese kimchi, which I was not a fan of because it wasn’t too balanced in sugar and vinegar so it tasted a little odd. For the drink I chose the green tea because I thought it was just going to be iced green tea, but I assumed wrong because I was given an overly sweet lemony honey laced “green tea”. I’m sure it had green tea in it, but I was disappointed because it wasn’t what I expected. I ended up getting Grayson to have it while I just sipped on the hot tea they originally provided.
For dessert, we were both offered ice cream, but since we were too full to order two, we just got one to share. We got to choose between chocolate or green tea, I got to pick, so green tea it was. Although I enjoyed the smooth creamy texture of the ice cream, I had a hard time finding the green tea flavor in it. The bill came with fortune cookies. Grayson ate his and when he showed me the fortune I laughed, not because of what it said, but because beside the fortune there was the “Wing’s” bar pub logo. Did they take them from there? Guess we’ll never know.
Pearl hotpot is a place that is alright to go with a small group of friends (from what I could see the biggest tables they had only fit four people) because most places for hotpot where you get to cook your own food is usually pricier. But I probably wont go out of my way to go back since I wasn’t a fan of the minimal charge per person, although I’ve seen other restaurants with this policy, they were never as strictly enforced as it was here where they would make you order more even if you don’t want to. Plus for someone like me with a garden in their backyard, having to pay $2 for a tomato topping was quite absurd, but I do realize that the price is actually normal for hotpot so I guess it’s not too bad. Perhaps I just had a bad experience, because many people walked in and they came with reservations so I’m sure it’s a fairly popular place to go.