Last week, I was super-excited to see that Living Social was offering a half-price deal for new Chinese hot pot restaurant, Up 2 U. Chinese Hot Pot, sometimes called ‘Asian fondue’, is one of my favourite cuisines, so I’d already been once before after reading about Up 2 U’s opening on In the Taratory. On a Friday night around 8:15 in mid-July, the restaurant was practically empty, so I didn’t bother making a booking this time around.
I don’t know if it was the Living Social deal, or if the word had just spread, but arriving again on a Friday around 7ish, I could see that the place was busy and full. We were told there was a 10 minute wait for a table, which we gladly agreed to.
I was very very excited and got a bit over eager and forgot to take many photos so this will be a relatively short post. Up 2 U offers a $30 all-you-can-eat hot pot experience ($15 with the voucher). You order as many meats as you want from a paper checklist slip, and help yourself to plates of veggies and dipping sauces from a centrally located (though not entirely convenient) table.
Though I’m used to hot pot as a communal experience where everyone shares one large pot in the middle, Up 2 U serves their hot pots as individual servings and a choice of six different broths. Having made the novice mistake of ordering laksa the first time, I went with a simpler pork bones broth this time. The laksa, while tasty, overpowered the food in the broth, and also rendered the dipping sauces (my favourite part) useless. The pork bones broth was a much better base to have with my side sauce of soy, garlic, chili oil, and chili paste.
Boyfriend got the miso base and a side of peanut dipping sauce. I have to admit, I think the miso is my favourite broth.
At the recommendation of Tales of a Confectionist, I just had to try one of the clay rice pots. I ordered the beef with oyster sauce ($13.80). Again, I was too excited and forgot to take a picture! But I can still say I loved it. There was a very unique flavour to the rice from the meat and sauce that tastes like it’s steamed in and the beef was incredibly tender.
For whatever reason, boyfriend didn’t enjoy this dish, but I think I’ll be ordering at least one clay pot on the side of my hot pot every time I go back, which I hope will be many more!