I’m giving up and I’m throwing the towel in because when it comes to hot pot in Vancouver, that is all that you can do.
I’m done trying to stop myself from loving the pot because when we’re living in temperatures as cold as this, it’s a matter of survival.
It’s time to ride the wave. The hot pot wave and the wave of life.
I’m 97% sure the only reason I actually eat hot pot is to douse my overboiled meats into excessive amounts of ultra savoury sauces I’ve spent ten minutes concocting and it was no different this Friday at Claypot Hot Pot & BBQ.
Sauce selection is not as extensive as others with only Soy and Satay Sauce included, so you know that when extras like Chopped Garlic and Green Onion are offered at $0.75 a piece, I shan’t be saying no. As much as springing for the Shredded Ginger seemed like a good idea, the Asian in me suppressed that burning desire.
$20 for All You Can Eat Hotpot and BBQ, our pot contraption arrives with more tiers than I know what to do with. Add an additional $10 for the Chicken Broth Base, plus all you can drink Coca Cola for $1.50, you’re looking at at least $55 for two.
To be sure, meat quality at Claypot is better than most. Nicely marbled Rib Eye and Boneless Short Rib, Pork Belly, and Sliced Pork stay tasty and juicy, even after being accidentally left for dead an additional 25 minutes.
For the most part, all Dumplings are a miss here but you don’t just go to hot pot and skip the dumplings. Pork and Chive, MInced Fish, Wontons – all no good with too thin skin and meagre fillings but you do what you have to do to fulfill your hot pot duties in life.
Luncheon Meat is obviously awful but that was a rookie mistake on my part. No Asian restaurant willingly offers Brand Name Spam, so we’re stuck with a rubbery mystery substance that tastes both like nothing and garbage all at once.
Oysters are a must here simply on account of there being a 2 per person limit and whenever you see that, you order the maximum without a doubt, no matter what.
Prawns and Squid are also available but since both require far too much effort to peel and chew, I say no thank you.
Beef, Pork and Chicken Meal Balls are supposedly “house made”, but this is highly suspect and if that’s true then my name isn’t Fat Meg. And my name is definitely Fat Meg.
Once you’ve had your fill of meats, it’s time to move on to the Mushrooms and Veg. Enoki, Sui, Choi, Watercress, and Spinach because refreshing leafy greens are all part of a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Then it comes time for the carboload with your Glutinous Rice Cakes, Udon and Crystal Noodles. Even though these items cost but pennies, if you’re not ordering them, you must ask yourself – Why do you live??
What is life without the squishy bite of a nutritionally worthless noodle soaked in a puddle of MSG?
Now comes for the part of the night I like to call Regrets.
Claypot offers a small assortment of cooked foods and I made the mistake of ordering the Deep Fried Fish Cake. Greasy, bland, and unpleasantly fishy, these were a complete waste of time.
I also made the mistake of opting for the BBQ and as thrilling as this sounds, in the end, all you’re left with are cuts, burns and bruises.
For real though. Try cooking your Thick Cut Boneless Short Ribs and Grade A Shortribs on a burning metal tier about half a centimetre away from boiling hot broth and living to tell the tale.
It’s no simple feat but with a little dedication and perseverance, you will overcome.
Eighty war wounds later, would I return?
Icky and sticky, the food is not terrible at Claypot. Meat quality is superior to many others and at around $60 for two, prices are competitive.
I would strongly reconsider the BBQ option because burning flesh, especially when it is my own, is not my favourite part to any meal, but I definitely wouldn’t not return.