Red Chilli Hot Pot – Glebe Point Road
Dinner with Tali3sin and The Boss of the World and the VIP.
On this particular occasion, we were being introduced to a true love of The Boss of the World – Sichuan Hot Pot.
So we bundled together with some other friends and with a table of ten we went off to Red Chilli Hot Pot on Glebe Point Road.
It was both mine and GD’s first hot pot experience and we were a bit wary.We paid $14pp for the Hot Pots themselves and we had to decide how we wanted to configure the broth.
The choice of Chicken and Pork Bone mild and slightly sweet and smoky broth and chilli broth. Apparently going half-half is the obvious choice. Where the decision gets tricky is deciding on the level of spice (chilli) and ‘numbness (sichuan peppers).’ The idea of numbness just baffled me, but the friend I’ll call Doctor Science assured me that in some strange way, the numbness was spicy and cooling at the same time.
At our end of the table we opted for a mild chilli and pork and chicken broth which came out looking very peaceful in a Yin-Yang swirl, before it began to bubble and swirl.
There’s all kinds of offals, meats vegetables and seafood. Tali3sin and his girlfriend. had it down and quickly ordered up a load of ennoki and tasy mushrooms, yum choi, potatoes and broccoli.(Prices ranged from $3-$5 for Vegetables). We were also ordering some Noodles and Dumplings. ($5) Tali3sin recommended plates of finely sliced Pork Belly, Beef and Lamb. Not to mention perfectly fresh white fish and calamari. ($8)
Doctor Science won my eternal adoration for adding a selection of puffy tofu cubes ($4). Not a universal favourite but something I’ve always loved as a big time laksa fan.
The Good Doctor and I being big fans of Terry Durack decided to go with the recommendation of Quail Eggs and the most exciting – for us anyways – A Blue Swimmer Crab.
|Enoki Mushrooms ($4)|
|Yum Choi and tasy mushrooms in the background.|
|Meat Dumplings – Mmm.|
|Sliced White Fish – Ridiculously fresh and shiny.|
|Mrs Tali3sin with her adored thinly sliced potatoes.
Note the Blue Swimmer Crab sitting to the side.
|Thinly sliced Pork Belly ($8)|
|Matty B’s beloved Brocoli|
Settling in we quickly got the hang of what we were doing and started to dig in.
I was immediately disappointed with the quail eggs. Contrary to all our popular recommendations the eggs seemed to become awfully rubbery on the exterior and were demon balls of boiling yolk inside.
|Deceptively innocent quail egg.|
Left to cool so they didn’t burn our mouths, they became stodgy and unappealing.
The vegetables seemed to really shine in the chilli broth, where the potatoes and noodles really in my opinion were all the better in the Mild Broth.
I really think the Medium Chilli was more than enough spice for us – and we pride ourselves on being able to handle heat. I seemed to be the lone voice loathing the ‘numbness.’ I found the sichuan peppers to be slimy and very bitter without the cooling numbing effect.
|Tofu Puffs and a ladle of Pork Belly.|
As you can see, the pots become very hot very quickly, lit by gas burners from underneath we found that they had a tendency to spit and it was nigh impossible to hold your hands close for any period of time.
The meats cooked almost instantly and needed to be removed almost as quickly but when done so they were delightful. The pork belly was definitely my favourite, although it did become difficult to differentiate some of the meats when cooked in the boiling chilli oil. The Pork Belly was more easily distinguished by the strips of fat marbling each slice.
BotW loved the potatoes a great deal, and also told us the trick. They need to be left in for a perfect amount of time, to cook through, but if left too long – they collapse. This can be fun when you’re scraping the bottom of the pot and find some chunks of potato and dumpling, but when they’re just perfect. You can enjoy a tender chilli potato slice. Delicious in it’s simplicity (BotW and I both share an unnatural love of potatoes.)
The fish was perfect. One of my favourites and definitely benefited from the chilli broth, being too mild in it’s flavour to really gain anything from the Pork Bone and Chicken broth.
I loved the tofu puffs in the chilli, laksa like in their kicks of spice.
To the most amazing part – The Blue Swimmer Crab. The GD loved it. Even BOTW was a fan. Boiled in the chilli broth in sections, it was perfectly soft and spicy. The only problem, as always with Crab was retrieving the meat. When removed, the shells were hot – Way too hot to handle. But when cooled – cracking and pulling the meat apart became a sticky mess.
|A crab leg – Also, whole cloves of garlic. Epic Win of soft mild garlic.|
|A crab claw, waiting to be devoured by the GD.|
The noodles were a staple of each meal, lovely eggy noodles that worked very well with the mild broth as a coolant for the spicy meat and vegetables.
After a few dips, our neophyte bowls were full of chunks of chilli and sichuan peppers, the noodles were great for sopping all of this up. I also highly recommend the sesame and coriander sauce, which we deliberately added more coriander to, to make it extra fun.
|My noodle, sesame and chilli mess with Corriander.|
By the end of the night my hands were sticky, my neck was sweating and my belly was full. I wasn’t the only one.
All ten of us left the restaurant glutted and happy. I found it a very social meal, and so much fun. However, I think that it may be a bit better with a smaller more intimate crowd. Can’t wait to try it again, perhaps with a smaller crowd.
P.S My apologies for the rubbish pictures, I have finally got my camera working – so next time round there will be no terrible camera phone pictures.