Going out for hot pot is always a very long and mindful process. Usually at 2-4 people per pot and at a premium price, we’ve got to get our moneys worth! It’s an all you can eat – give me all of the seafood you have – hand over that menu again, let’s make it 5 rounds of orders, and oh no we’ve got to leave the noodles for last, let’s not get the broth starchy now.
Mini hot pot is my kind of dining game.
Thankfully, Spicy Mafia has recently opened at 20 Gibson Road specializing in personal-sized hot pot and noodle bowls at $12.99 – $13.99. And at a BOGO this was a serious no brainer to try out (BOGO ends Dec 11). Midway, I was so down to go for another order just to try the broths.
By the same owners as Morals Village, they have introduced the very same quality broth at a combo-setting. You simply pick your soup, noodle and meat. If you’re up for it, try their exclusive spicy soup base, the colour of it alone makes me hesitant. With either the hot pot or noodle bowl, you receive various add-ins and toppings. Additional add-ins can be ordered at an extra cost. Check out the menu, here.
The vibe at this restaurant is very quirky and bold. Walls and menus laden with prints of the Spicy Mafia members and the crowd is reflective of the younger look. I wish I could understand Chinese to appreciate the puns on the back of the server’s shirts and writing on the walls.
Especially during this flu-filled season, I would much prefer not to share. The table ordered two house made porkbone soup, and one of each of sweet tomato soup, laksa soup and a very special Chinese angelica soup (more on that bubbling beauty later).
Having a hot pot to myself, I was free to devour my bowl my own way: Noodles first! I wet for adding the lotus root and tofu puffs to soak the broth up first. Check out the broth, it’s so rich, we couldn’t see the bottoms of any of our pots! The same process is also carried out with our mini hotpots, we were refilled with broth as our soup level lowered.
The hot pot combo in particular included the normal fix-ins for hotpot: luncheon meat, Japanese crab meat, HK-style red sausages, shrimp, tofu puff, pork skin, napa cabbage, lettuce, lotus roots, corn and enoki. “Staple food selections” include rice vermicelli, fresh rice noodles, instant noodles, rice and Japanese udon – extra portions could also be ordered for $1! For meats, 5 slices of lamb pork or beef are available for selection. The dipping sauce is always a hard pick for me, particularly here, I love adding raw egg, then a strange overflowing mix of sesame, peanut sauce, green onions and bean curd. But for the combo, only two are available for selection – fermented bean curd is a must!
Toppings for the noodle combo are definitely more of a topping style, inclusive of sesame seeds, boiled egg and cilantro which moreso contributed to the overall flavour.
In addition to our hot pot and noodle orders, we went for a taste of two snacks: cold cucumbers in wasabi oil and fried pork chop. The latter, I’d advise to definitely eat while hot! Although they were tasty, I don’t think I would order these again as these two items were very different from our mains and didn’t compliment the flavours very well.
Of all the broths, the Chinese Angelica Soup stood out the most. It was filled with the typical ingredients: actually, Chinese Angelica, red dates and wolfberries. Very comforting, soothing and full of flavour. I can imagine enjoying this when I feel that I’m coming down with the flu.
If I’m ever craving hot pot, personal-sized would be the way to go for me. The food portion is just-right, not too much and not too little. My only desire would be to have more meat items in the combos, a few fishballs and beancurd would be extra nice. I would advise to try it to comfort yourself in this chillier weather, especially before the BOGO offer goes ends on December 11th.
8333 Kennedy Road, Unit 1073
Markham, ON L3R 1J5