Bored of your traditional meals, cooking techniques and restaurants? On West Henrietta Road in Henrietta is yummy Garden Hot Pot, a Chinese and Thai restaurant that will undoubtedly liven up your food.
If this is your first "hot pot" experience, this style of cooking may seem foreign and intimidating. I like to think of it as a Chinese fondue with soup, and you get to watch the meal unfold before your eyes as you make it yourself.
First things first: Choose your broth. For those who enjoy a spicy meal, you may want to settle on the spicy or kimchi broth. Otherwise, go with the chicken broth. The server brings over the pot of broth and places it in your individual boiler.
Next, decide on a type of meat. Options include beef, pork, chicken and lamb as well as a variety of seafood such as fish, shrimp, scallops, squid, clams and mussels. The meat is served frozen, sliced and thinly rolled on a platter.
After your order has been taken, prepare your sauce. A sauce station is located in the middle of the restaurant that includes cilantro, oyster and Sriracha sauce, to name a few. Personally, I like to blend almost every ingredient into one spicy sauce.
Each order comes with a platter that consists of lettuce, a raw egg, corn, fried tofu, fish, mushrooms, fish balls, scallions and taro, all of which you place into your pot once it has reached boiling point.
The menu also includes an array of side dishes that you can order at any point during the meal, including a variety of dumplings, tofu, mushrooms, noodles and the list goes on. I recommend ordering a few to share with the table.
The meal can be treated as a fondue because you use chopsticks to add items into the pot as you desire to eat them. Once your item of food is cooked, you use the strainer to take it out, use your chopsticks to dip it in the sauce and finally enjoy. Essentially, you are your own cook, so sit back and relax, have fun with it and be sure to cook your meat for at least 30 seconds.
Lastly, be sure to take advantage of Hot Pot's bubble tea selection. The restaurant is located at 2411 West Henrietta Road and is open seven days a week.