10636 98 Street NW, Edmonton
Last week I went to this new place that just recently opened, called 98 Spicy House. It’s located right in China Town. The concept of this restaurant is a little bit unique. It’s basically Mongolie Grill meets Hotpot… that is to say, you choose items that you want, e.g. vegetables, noodles, meat, then choose a broth, and then they boil for you and make a soup. The cost of your soup depends on the weight of the bowl. Most of the items are what you can order at Hot Pot.
There’s tons of meter parking on the street. The interior of this place is super small, with only a few tables. When we went, it was completely full of Chinese people. They have a lot of these places in the small rural areas of mainland China and it gives a bit of a nostalgic vibe.
I just kind of went with the flow since it was my first time here. They only have a limited amount of broth selection, so I went with a spicy one.
We also got an order of oven baked sweet potatoes, which is apparently was a staple for my friend, growing up in China, so this made her feel very nostalgic.
For vegetable selection, they have a large variety of lettuce, seaweed, beansprouts, rice noodles and glass noodles, and multiple kinds of fungus. I’m more of a carnivore, and vegetables are purely for plating and aesthetics, so I just went with a few greens.
For their meat section, they just have a variety of frozen meatballs. Mostly fish balls, rice cakes, fake crab, some hotdogs(?), and other random things. To be completely honest, I feel like when they expand or get more popularity, they should try offering some more fresh meats and other things that you might be able to get from hot pot. I felt that this area was a little bit lacking. They have a few separate things in bags that take less time to cook, so they add these things in last so it doesn’t over cook.
My broth came out nice and hot, everything was well cooked. This is basically what you could get at hotpot, but for someone who can’t eat every much, this might be a good alternative. My bowl came to be about 14$, and I was completely stuffed. That’s almost half the cost of hotpot, and to be honest, I probably could have made a smaller bowl.
This place only just opened a few weeks ago, so they have a few things to work out. I really think if they added a few more food items and meat, that this place would really be a hit. Hotpot is really nice, but the one thing I would have to say is that I always feel compelled to stuff my face, and with this alternative, I’d be able to choose the things I want, and still not feel obliged to be a gluten. Give this place a try and let me know if they’ve changed things up!
Quality of food: 2.1/5