Showing posts with label pork. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pork. Show all posts

Potman Hotpot (Toronto) 锅匠火锅

If you’re lucky enough to live in Toronto, you’re probably experiencing the cold touch from Mother Nature like the rest of the city. Of course, you could complain and hibernate, or rather embrace the Canadian mantra and go out there and have fun! Alas, me and winter activities requiring balance will never align, so I take the opportunity to indulge in hotpot instead.

Potman Hotpot is a new entrant and thanks to a BlogTO video has attracted a host of visitors – arrive before 6pm or make a reservation to avoid standing uncomfortably in their non-existent waiting area. The video showcases the meal to be a feast, which of course is possible, but you’ll pay for it as Potman is not all-you-can-eat.

Take the time to thoroughly go through their two-page menu as there’s a lot to choose from, starting with a choice of nine broths. If you’re indecisive, the split pot allows you to choose two flavours ($5.99 for small or $9.99 for large); financially, the large one doesn’t necessarily save much unless you’re sharing amongst more than two people.

For my first visit, I split the pot between homemade pork bone soup, which surprisingly incorporates a host of Chinese herbs resulting in a smooth creamy finish, and sweet tomato ox bone soup. In the future, I’ll stick with just the tomato broth (by itself $4.99 for small or $8.99 for large) as it adds a lovely flavour to all the ingredients so sauces aren’t even necessarily required.


Nonetheless, each person will be charged $0.49 for condiments, but allows them to mix-and-match from 19 items. Overall, what’s provided is sufficient, but Potman should consider giving the soy sauce in a pourable container (rather than the actual dipping dish) as after a few dunks the broth already starts to dilute everything.


While you can opt for a seafood platter, without a description of what comes with the dish it seemed safer to order the items we enjoy most. The shrimp ($5.99) was relatively good value with six large ones to an order… much better than the jumbo scallop ($2.99), which is essentially one scallop cut in half. Moreover, the small scallop pieces tended to get lost in the broth and became overcooked.


Most diners opted for the meat platter, but being carnivores, we stuck with single orders of the Angus beef ($6.99), pork ($4.99), and ox tongue ($6.99). My first time trying tongue in hotpot, I enjoyed the fattier cut that creates a flavourful bite – perhaps an alternative to the luxurious wagyu that costs $14-$50 a portion.


Where a platter works is for the vegetarian items ($7.49 for choice of 5 items) and the meat balls ($7.99 for a mix of 15) given Potman allows diners to choose what’s included in the mix. For the vegetarian items, you don’t get a lot with the leafy greens since they take up so much space, but for compact ingredients like wintermelon it’s a sizeable portion (these are also great for hotpot since they can be forgotten in the broth without ruining the vegetable’s texture).


For the meat balls there’s a choice of handmade or regular – I went with the regular machine-produced version and they were still very good. The cheese ball was our hands down favourite, very unique and I loved how after biting through the springy crust there’s a creamy molten cheese centre that’s enhanced with a sweet corn flavour. Their shrimp ball is also different holding shrimp roe in the centre – just be careful biting into it given the juices are hot and will squirt out.


Another one of my go-to ingredients is the fish tofu ($2.99), at Potman theirs is smooth while incorporating a rich fish flavour. The fish noodles ($1.49) isn’t the squeeze from a bag version, but rather comparable to wonton noodles with a chewier finish. While still tasty, the fish flavour is mild and somewhat lost if you add broth. Personally, I enjoyed the udon ($1.49), especially with the piece of ox tail accompanying the tomato soup base, it cooks relatively quickly without becoming mushy and goes so well with the tomato broth. On the other hand, the Korean rice cake ($1.49) breaks apart too easily and gets mushy in a matter of minutes.


While ordering a feast can get expensive - our indulgence costed $50 a person including taxes and gratuities (although to be fair we over ordered) - not being all-you-can-eat means staff have more time for service. Our food came out very quick (even add-ons) and our pots were constantly refilled to avoid it drying out. The service was excellent compared to other hotpot establishments. Moreover, there isn’t the pressure to stuff yourself silly, although with all the choices, that can still be difficult. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 633 Silverstar Boulevard

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!
Other Gastro World posts similar to this:

 Potman Hotpot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cadet (Montreal)


Despite sitting in simple tables that resembled cafeteria seating, there’s something buzzy about Cadet. It could be that every table was filled with smartly dressed patrons laughing over cocktails and shared plates. Sipping on the overly sweet West coast spritz ($8), thanks to the liberal pour of orangey Aperol, the trendy restaurant made me feel hip … cool even (what do the kids say nowadays?)

With their small plates format menu there’s bound to be hit and misses - the worst offenders the meat-based offerings. The beef tartare ($14) was flavourless and mushy; the dish certainly could use something crunchy and zippy like chopped pickles to give it bite. The presentation could also be improved: if it weren’t for the radish slices and snippets of chives, the bowl of loosely cubed meat would feel like eating Alpo.

The pork shoulder ($14) was better, the meat tender and juicy, pairing well with the mustard. Even the edamame beans were fine – adding a bright splash of green and crunch. It was the sweet grapes and dry mealy falafels mixed into everything that threw me off, it simply didn’t work together.


Of all the meat dishes, the chicken wings ($12) were best, smothered in a sweet and sour glaze with crunchy peanuts and scallions for interest. They’re good, but hardly inventive, and rather salty so you’ll want these served last or it’ll take away from the other dishes.


So, all the carnivore based selections were passable. It’s all right - Montreal already has so many restaurants dedicated to beef and pork that Cadet can focus on everything else. The broccoli ($10) was fantastic: small roasted florets mixed with crispy pan fried speatzle and smooth tangy lebenah. Everything from the textures and flavours worked together so nicely; even the bits of pistachio threw in for crunch.


Incorporating a light jalapeno yogurt and sweet melons, the scallop ceviche’s ($18) flavours were well balanced and refreshing. I liked that the ceviche didn’t rely on the typical lime juice, which can overpower delicate seafood and changes the scallop’s texture. In fact, the dish was closer to sashimi than ceviche, the scallops remaining soft like silken tofu.


Soft and meaty, the cubes of octopus ($17) paired perfectly with the earthy king oysters mushroom. Between the octopus, mushrooms and the soft plump romano beans, this is a hearty dish that could substitute for a meat one any day.


The crispy coating on the fried halibut ($12) was a nice change from all the other saucy dishes. Cadet’s batter was oh so airy, filled with tons of pockets for crunch. What a great vessel for dipping into the creamy gherkin laced tartare sauce.



Don’t leave without trying the clams ($14) – for a table of four you’ll need two orders as they’re that good! The light curry was fantastic, full of Thai flavours and not too thick as to overpower the clams. I wish there were more pieces of dried bread thrown into the dish, which soaks up the sauce. Even better, a bowl of steamed rice … *sigh dreamily* ... that would have made the night complete. 


Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10



How To Find Them
 Location: Montreal, Canada
 Address: 1431 Blvd Saint-Laurent

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Cadet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


CLOSED: Kochi Fukaba 東風吹かば (Tokyo)

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Address: 21-1, Udagawacho, Shibuya (in the Seibu Store, B2F)

Type of Meal: Lunch 


During cold weather nothing beats hot soups and shabu-shabu, a Japanese method of placing thinly sliced meat and other ingredients into bowling soup, certainly hits the spot. Koichi Fakuba, located on the B2 level of the Seibu building in the heart of Shibuya’s busy scramble by the train station, offers this cooking method at reasonable prices.   


When the pot of soup is first brought over a lump of collagen sits in the broth; slowly it infuses into the soup as it heats up. I’ve heard about the Japanese practice of eating and putting collagen products on their skin for beauty benefits and thus excited to try it. After returning home and researching more about it on Livestrong.com, it’s a bit disappointing to find out that your digestive process would break down any of the amino acids in it and thus there is no benefit. Luckily, there is nothing harmful with it either and I’d like to think that I did myself a great service for eating shabu-shabu for lunch.



Koichi Fakuba offers all you can eat and a la carte options.  We decided to stick with something where we wouldn’t over indulge, so I ordered their pork and beef (¥1,480) meal. A dish of approximately six slices of thinly sliced meat and another filled with vegetables (pumpkin, shredded root vegetable & carrots, spring onions and napa cabbage) arrived. The meat only took a few swishes in the boiling broth to cook through while still retaining its tenderness. There really wasn’t that much taste to the beef or pork but ponzu (a citrus soy sauce) and goma (a creamy sesame sauce) accompanied the platter to help flavour the cooked products.  The goma went perfectly with the meal and I enjoyed how its thicker consistency helped stick to the ingredients more.

A pot containing a ladle and strainer is used for skimming the impurities off of the top of the soup, gathering up all the slivers of vegetables and if you incline for scooping up the broth to add to the rice or drink on its own. Personally, I found the meal was the perfect amount of food so that I was satisfied without being overly stuffed.  Plus, for only ¥1,480 it was also an affordable option.
 
Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10



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____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!