5420 Calgary Trail NW, Edmonton, AB T6H 4J8
I recently went to Chinese Hot Pot Buffet for the first time. Jenn’s sister was visiting from Vancouver, and for some reason, she really likes the Hot Pot in Edmonton (more so than any place in Vancouver), and wanted to go. chinese Hot Pot Buffet is located on Calgary Trail, and has a relatively large parking lot, so parking was relatively easy.
For those who don’t know, I describe hotpot as a Chinese Fondue, where instead of the chocolate/cheese, it’s a flavoured broth. At most Hot pot places, you order things a la carte, meat, veggies, seafood, whatever you would want to put into your pot, and then simmer and eat with sauces of your own making (I like to make two sauces, a simple one that’s soy sauce, garlic, chili oil, loaded with cilantro and chives, and another sauce that’s hoisin, garlic, peanut sauce, XO sauce, cilantro and chives). At Chinese Hot Pot Buffet, it’s similar, except there’s a buffet area where you can go up and grab whatever items you want.
One thing about Chinese Hot Pot Buffet is that the element is flush with the table, so the pot sits above the table. Not too bad for me, but I like the tables where the pots sit inside the table. It makes it a bit easier to eat, and much easier for the vertically inclined, especially if the chairs are short.
There’s a large variety of things to grab at Chinese Hot Pot Buffet, but I find that the kitchen items were a bit lacking. They had some green onion cakes, spring rolls, chicken wings, but they are often sitting under a heat lamp for who knows how long, where as at a regular hotpot restaurant, they are fried/made to order and come out hotter and more fresh.
There are still some items that you have to order a la carte for them to bring out to you, e.g. some thin slices of meat, their ground mashes/meatballs, etc. Which isn’t too bad.
I also found that they had a decent selection of seafood to choose from. There were mussels, oysters, shrimp, fish fillets, etc. I did kind of question the quality and the freshness of the fish that was hanging out. It’s on top of ice, but I think that later in the evening the quality would diminish.
For desserts, they have a variety of cakes, and ice creams, which is pretty basic and standard for Hot pot.
Overall, it was a decent experience. It was my first time there and the quality of ingredients were along the same lines as other Hot Pot restaurants. It’s about roughly the same price per person. It’s a little bit out of my way, so I think I’d be more inclined to go to somewhere in China Town for Hot Pot. I would say that the service is a bit better than at other restaurants since the servers only have to bring you half of the dishes compared to the other servers at Hot Pot restaurants, where I’ve down that items that you order can come out slowly.