Tonight I was invited to a special showcase at Liuyishou Burnaby. For those who don’t know, they are the international hot pot chain, associated with their use of premium ingredients. A point that would be made abundantly clear by the end of our dinner.
As taken from the press release, “The Liuyishou Hot Pot Show has been one of the most highly-anticipated events hosted by Liuyishou North American, and was previously held in major cities such as New York, Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, and Vancouver.” This coincided with their VIP appreciation month, and the latest promotion they are running.
From the start of October to November 8th 2021, Liuyishou is offering their customers the ability to get a free plate of Deluxe Aged Angus Beef (retail value of $20), when they dine in. You need only reference this blog review or my Instagram post at any of their 3 Liuyishou locations to claim this prize. Their locations are Downtown, Richmond, and/or Burnaby. And as a bonus, said guests will also receive a complimentary VIP membership and its perks (valued at $28).
The following are photo highlights of their hot pot showcase, the annual celebration of their food and fare. Sadly we never got to try any of them in its entirety here, just bits and pieces as part of their regular menu. Although it is worth noting the talent of Liuyishou’s kitchen team, to be able to create some of these sculptures. Sculptures that you would imagine in the winner circle, of your favourite Food Network competition show.
Today also marked the global launch of their Deluxe Aged Angus beef for hotpot. A proud moment for the international chain as they pride themselves on the quality of this cut and the processes they put into place to bring their guests the best. Their Deluxe aged angus beef, is stored for 4 weeks. This is in order to allow the proteins to break down, and to increase the tenderness of the cut. The end result, a more tasty beef product.
Although truth be told, nothing is bland on their menu. Between the flavourful hot pot bases, the bevy of meat and vegetable options, and their famous self serve sauce bar, you only have yourself to blame if you don’t fully enjoy your meal.
The following is an account of our actual meal for the night. An offering available for anyone, more inline with what they typically serve, and how they present it at any of their restaurants.
With a split pot you are able to pick two different soup bases, ideal for those some who like it hot and those who do not. As was our case. Our group of four went with their mild pork bone soup base and Liu’s spicy soup base. The latter features their show stopping premium beef oil, shaped as their cow mascot. As the pot boils, your chosen ingredients begin filtering to your table. With so much food, you do lose real estate quick. Luckily each table is equipped with a side cart for extra storage. Raw ingredients and empty plates.
The following are a few of the raw cooking options that stood out for me. I won’t go into detail over the taste, as truthfully it is how you season it. But instead, I go over the nuance of what it and why you ought to order it during your next visit.
Starting with their handsome ring of beef and lamb, that cleverly fits right around your boiling pot. Perfect for easy access no matter where you are seated, while saving much needed table space.
Here, it is worth pointing out, that your placemat doubles as a guide to proper preparation. Each ingredient has with its own specified cook time, and following it ensures the ideal bite. So it is not just dumping it in and forgetting it, but taking care to preserve the quality of the meats by not over cooking them. Though it is completely up to you, if you follow their instructions or not, after all the premise of hot pot is that you get to make it your own.
For the true China hot pot experience, look to Liu’s traditional hot pot dishes, which includes green peppercorn beef tripe and tongue, beef aorta, and the classic duck blood. A collection that may sound foreign for those unfamiliar, but worth trying for the unique textures that each add to the mix.
And don’t forget your vegetables for balance. Their veggie platter includes greens, root vegetables, and corn. Each soaks up the flavours of the broth well.
One thing I admire Liuyishou for is their creativity and willingness to step outside of the box. Their desire to offer seasonal specials and diners something new, or that they wouldn’t expect with their hot pot. In this case it is the fish paste stuffed within fried Chinese doughnut. Be careful to cook this one thoroughly. The result, a tasty fish ball and a sponge that absorbs broth and disperses it when you bite down.
Another unique dish is their fried pork in squid ink, topped with gold leaf. What might not look all that appetizing is actually something our whole table enjoyed. Chewy bits of pork with plenty of flavour, and the option to add more with a dip into powdered chilli. The gold helps to give the dish a bit of glamour, and move it further from the visual of excrement.
Having cooked food like the above and this fried rice allows for diversity during dinner. I find that the flavours of hot pot do eventually bleed together, so a break often helps to gain your second wind.
Similarly Liuyishou has a great mixed fruit juice that helps to quench your thirst. Refreshing between all your salty bites, as well as a great cool down for when things get too spicy. Our table definitely liked it, finishing two jugs between four individuals.
And I believe dessert was suppose to have a similar effect with jelly in simple syrup. But having it topped with honey dew, peanuts, and raisins, gave me the memory of Muslix (the healthy grain cereal) with all the crunchy bits overshadowing the delicate jelly.
In short, Liuyishou continues to impress me after each visit. Especially with the showcase above that highlighted their latest and most popular hot pot ingredients and dishes. I have never had a bad experience with them. The food is always fresh, the staff is always courteous, and despite cooking your meal before you, I never leave with my clothes smelling like food. All this is a testament to their ingredients and the clean setting and eating that their cuisine provides. Highly recommend if you are willing to pay more to get better, and a hot pot experience you will not be disappointed in.
Liuyishou Hotpot Burnaby
5507 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H 2G3