iPot – Haymarket
Finally! Here I am finally at iPot! I love hotpot, it is the best thing on a cold cold day, it makes you strong enough to grab winter by the balls and say “screw you! I’m having hotpot tonight!” and everything will be so much better. I’ve never been to iPot personally, usually preferring a certain other place that is more “communal” in terms of food sharing.
Time to select your own sauce and garnishes! Huge selection available for you to pick and mix and refill as you see fit. Personally I prefer sesame sauce with all my hotpot, so this huge variety just shakes me up a little bit. I ended up with sesame sauce mixed with peanut sauce and my favourite dried chilli in oil.
Here is my personal pot of soup! I picked the Authentic Cantonese soup base. It has quite a few lovely ingredients in it, including a slice of century egg, corn sliced mushrooms, just the perfect combination for me. Clear soups are always preferred, I like to see what’s in my food.
First up, beautifully sliced beef “Prime Queensland Rangelands Sliced Beef”. Beautifully marbled beef that’s thinly sliced. Be careful when cooking this, as it cooks really quickly.
Up front we have the Ox Tongue. How does ox tongue fare in hot soup? It actually isn’t too bad! I am surprised. I’ve never had ox tongue in a hot pot, usually it is grilled on a bbq. I thought it might end up being a tough-ish texture, but I’m definitely proven wrong on this one. As long as you don’t over cook it, it has the nice chewy texture that is not rubbery.
Mini wah! Cute little mini wahs! This is the handmade mini beef wah. Lovely little balls of minced beef, lovingly hand rolled. When cooked, it is the perfect little bite size ball. Still takes me 2 bites, but hey, it is a cute 2 bite sized ball. Also, balls = hot and juicy in the middle = burnt tongue if not careful. This is easy to cook, quite durable. Floats up when done, and you can leave it in for a little longer.
Okay, one of my obsessions. Fish roe in fish balls. When cooked, and you bite into it, out flows a delicious spoonful of fish roe (eggs) so very delicious. Cooking method? Just leave it in the pot for a little. Doesn’t take too long,
Cuttlefish wah. Wah is a finely minced paste, and it can be shaped into balls, or in this case, in a heart, what you do is to scrape the amount that you like to form into however shape or piece/size that you want, and drop them into your soup to cook. It is a tasty paste (when cooked, don’t eat food raw when you have no idea if you should. If you have to think about it, it is probably a bad idea). Cook it, wait for it to be bouncy and done, then try it with all your sauces.
Sliced lotus roots. Okay, I love my lotus roots, I really really do. But here at ipot, I have to say, no not really, I can’t really get into it. It is quite powdery. I was told there are 2 different types of lotus roots, and this version is the one used to boil soup in just for the taste and not really for eating. Either that or it has been frozen for too long. Considering how fresh everything else is, I highly doubt this has been frozen for too long.
Chinese Shichuan noodles. Fantastic end to a meal. Once your soup has taken in and soaked up all the lovely flavours, you can drop these noodles into the soup to cook up, and it absorbs all the flavours from the meats and vegetables.
Tofu puffs. Another one of those “soaking” ingredients. Best when cooked closer to the end of the meal to soak up all the lovely flavours from the soup.
Enoki mushrooms! Do you like enoki mushrooms? I do love them! Let’s be friends! A bunch of mushrooms that just sits around looking pretty. Not the best for digestion, but as long as it is fresh, it always add the best texture in a dish. Be wary not to over cook it. It isn’t too bad when over cooked, but it is always better to allow it to retain a little bit of its form.
My sauce mixture. Sesame sauce, peanut sauce and a dried chilli oil mixture. Needs more chilli!
Here’s some food floating in my personal pot. The Authentic Cantonese soup base comes with the mushrooms, red dates, corn and century egg. Here we can see sliced ox tongue, tofu puffs, fishball with fish roe, and a lovely slice of beef.
The overall experience was great. It is always good to have your own pot, and not having to worry about things like “prawn allergies”. If someone at the table would like to order shellfish, I have no problems with that since I get my own pot. You can each also have a different soup based if you like. No fighting for the “last piece of meat floating in the pot”, and we are responsible for not over cooking our food. This being much more shallow, you will be able to see what’s in the pot.
Soup started out being a little bland, but after it has been reduced with all the meats and other ingredients cooked into it, it does bring the flavour out a lot more, that is until I decide to get more soup poured into the bowl. You can ask for a refill on soup when the water level goes too low, fill it up and keep going!