Beijing Hotpot is one of the newest hotpot
Strength: Nice oriental decor and tableware. Good Beijing style sauce
Weakness: Rough parking lot and a little pricy.
New Beijing Cuisine Hotpot Place
Beijing Hotpot is located right across from Richmond Public Market. The dark blue banner with white logo created great contrast to the surroundings.
Bright logo on the wall of entrance
This wall is the first thing you’ll see when you enter the restaurant. This intersection is the choke point of the restaurant. You have customer entering and leaving on the vertical axis, then you have the staff going between kitchen and dining room on the horizontal axis. As if that is not enough, they put the reception and cashier on 2 corner of this axis.
A feature wall of poetry
I like what I see as I turned slight left towards the dining room. Everything spells Chinese to me. The lamp, the hotpot stand, the overflow rack, and the feature wall of Chinese characters. The interior decor takes me to Asia. This is a good start of a meal.
The traditional styled Beijing Hotpot uses a communal brass pot. Coals are being burned below the pot and vented through the tall brass chimney in the middle of the pot. That was what I was hoping to see when I first entered this place until I saw the individual pots in front of each person. This place does not have a fire extinguishing system and exhaust above every table. I worry about the safety of the customers and unsure of how the place is going to smell after a couple of years.
Details of the tableware
It doesn’t seem like much, but I appreciate the amount of effort put into everything in the store. Aside from the decor of larger items, I realized the table has a rough stone-like surface. Not only that, all the other tableware seem to be artisan made with a congruent stone finish.
Chopsticks and bowl
In this photo, you can see the finish of the bowl. The chopsticks also have good detail. It has a slightly tapered body and a brass back tip with oriental character.
Everything working thoughtfully working together
I believe a lot of thoughts have been put into food consumption sequence and timing. The individual pot is heated by alcohol lamp burner. With limited soup at approximately 1.5″ deep, the soup boils very quickly. When you put anything in to cook, the soup no longer boils. You would know your food is ready when the soup starts to boil again. Repeating this ritual made it really fun to eat the hot pot here.
The base sesame sauce
There is really not much technical aspect to a Northern style hot pot place. It’s easy to make the broth and to ensure the ingredients are fresh. However (and this is a big however), everything depends on this base sesame sauce. Every Beijing style hotpot paces is going to have their own formula to make this base sauce. The sauce at Beijing Hotpot has a perfect texture consistency. It has the perfect sweet/salty balance to complement all of the sauce toppings.
Conplimentary sauce toppings
Actually, there’s only 5 sauce toppings here. The one on the top right is fermented sweet garlic. We are all familiar with green onion and cilantro. Minced garlic in the center is also quite common. What we want to talk about are the fermented tofu sauce on the bottom right and the chives sauce at the bottom left. I know the intense taste may not be for everyone, but they are the authentic way to enjoy Beijing style hotpot, and they really do enhance the taste.
Overview of the table
For two people, the table space really can’t accommodate the large sized plate. It gets tight with 2-3 dishes and soon gets in the way.
Boneless short rib for $18.99
We ordered this beef called the boneless short ribs, but for the life of me I cannot figure out when there would ever be bones in my hotpot beef. Isn’t boneless just a given? kind of like boneless cabbage. Why even mention it?
The mea was fresh with good thickness
Anyways, The beef is pretty good here. I like the circular layout. Also, I enjoyed how I can pick one up from the center and they don’t stick to each other. The meat has good thickness and reasonable portion for its price. There are lots of ice beneath this one layer of meat to keep them fresh.
Jing Men Style lamb $18.99
Jing Men is the sounding of Beijing Hotpot’s Chinese name. It’s a little odd for the dish name to differ from their store name when they refer to the same thing. The lamb are round, but smaller in diameter compared to other hotpot restaurants. I thought they would be more tender, but as far as I can tell, they have similar texture. This plate also has circular display, but has more of a 3-dimensional depth to the layout.
Jing Men Style Beef Tripe $12.99
I know beef tripe may not be for everyone so I’ll keep it brief. The tripe here are a bit tougher than the ones I’ve had in Dolar Shop. There is only 1 thin layer on top for $12.99, but that seems to be the going price for this delicacy.
Frozen tofu has good texture
The frozen tofu is completely thawed when they arrive to our table. I was happy to see them served in a flat stone-like plate with no water dripping out. It has consistent texture that is fluffy with lots of holes to absorb the soup and sauce.
Napa Cabbage display
The napa cabbage has vertical display to save room. It also looks like a scupture. This dish is densly packed with veggies and definitely worth the $5. The surface looks cleanly washed and they have a good crunchy texture.
604 Food Critic Assessment
Our visit to Beijing Hotpot cost us $47 per person after tax. It is expensive but it is also in line with most of the hotpot restaurants with similar quality. I like how wed on’t need to pay extra to access a comprehensive condiment bar. The portion for both meat and veggies are larger than Dolar Shop. There is not much choice for the broth, but the excellent sauce made up for it. They really paid attention in the designing the detail to set the mood, and I have no problem recommending this hotpot restaurant.