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Yuan’s Hot Pot Richmond

Today #JoyDiaggi (Joyce of @vanfoodies and Diana of @foodologyca, and I) were at Richmond’s Aberdeen Mall to visit Yuan’s Hot Pot, and check out their 99 cent skewer deal. Outside of the Dollar Store, when was the last time you have of heard such a deal?

At the very end of the second floor, the restaurant may be hard to find, but hard to miss when you get there, with pandas at the threshold to greet you. Their presence continues into the spacious dining area with additional stuffed pandas lining the booth dividers and painted on the wall as part of a mural.

We were seated at a spacious booth that sits four comfortably. It, like all the others is equipped with a built-in heating coil and an air duct ventilation overhead. The latter meant that the room didn’t settle with heavy grease, and that you didn’t walk out of the restaurant overtly smelling like what you cooked up.

Ordering is done via iPad and you are given the time needed to scroll through all the options. Do this at your leisure, as it is necessary given all the options and the deals to sort through.

In the end our group of 3 found the dinner set menu for 2-3 people for $69.99 the best deal. We started with that as our base, adding on additional curiosities to boil up.

We went with a split pot of both pork broth and spicy soup, wanting the option of both a Non-spicy and Spicy Soup Base. The set above included a half portion of Sliced Beef and another half of Sliced Lamb, 5 Numbing Spicy Beef Skewers, 5 Chicken Knuckle Spicy Skewers, 5 Sliced beef Non spicy skewers, 2 Spam Skewer, 2 leaves of Tong Hao (crown daisy). 2 leaves of Chinese cabbage, 2 Lotus Root Skewers, 2 Potato Skewers, 2 Fish Tofu Skewers, 2 Bean Gluten Skewers, and 2 Big Fungus Skewers.

All the above was accompanied by 2 self serve Dipping Sauces and 2 cup of Sweet-sour Plum Juice. So although it is advertised as enough food for 3, one person is left without dip or juice. However, to be honest the sauce bar is self serve and no one is stationed to supervise. So you can help yourself or have a friend scoop out 2 servings. After all, the sauce is what makes the hot pot and ultimately is what flavours it. They don’t have the largest selection of sauces, spreads, and toppings; but plenty to mix and match your favourites. Oyster sauce, vinegar, sugar, soy, red pepper, satay. Sauce, peanut sesame, celery, satay sauce, cilantro, green onion, garlic, and peanut.

As for the regular menu I appreciated the catchy 99 cent price tag per skewer, but some are better deals than others. The wood ear fungus and seaweed skewer had ribbons woven across 3/4 of the skewer. The quail eggs came with 3 to a stick. Whereas the spam was 2 small squares per stick, and even the tofu cubes were only 2 per skewer. The bean curb, squid, and frog leg was one per. So I guess if you order enough some makes up for the others.

Although cumbersome with all the skewers you need to discard, even given the special holder they provide, it was easier cooking with them. Leaving each item on the stick meant you didn’t loose your meat or tofu vegetable it was easy to fish out.

As for our add ons I always gravitate to the most unique offerings available at any hot pot, and Yuan has some especially eye raising options. The pork blood and pork brain being on the top of that list. I was shocked to see 10 larger blocks of blood on the plate, and found it a little too much. A little nibble of the jiggly dense blood jello was enough. To have to commit to this much felt daunting, and it didn’t even melt into soup when we tried to use it as a thickening agent in the broth. We only managed to mashed down to size.

Whereas the brain was exactly as I had hoped, but in hindsight this was too much too. A full brain presented in a wire basket. To cook it, you dip it as is, fully submerged in your chosen broth. Unfamiliar with the proper cooking process for this, we figured we would wait until pink turned grey about 12 minutes. This was my first time trying brains (that I can recall, and at least prepared like this).Taste and texture, this was similar to sweetbreads (the a culinary name for the thymus or pancreas). Honestly not that enjoyable, but an experience and novelty I could not miss out on. I don’t see what zombies do.

Overall, this is one of the more interesting hot pot options out there, with plenty of ingredients, and at 99 cent many items to try.

Yuan’s Hot Pot Richmond
Aberdeen Centre
#2F – 2792 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC V6X 4J7
(604) 285-9266

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