Taipei: Elixir Health Pot (無老鍋@信義)

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We only tried one hot pot the last time we were in Taipei and it was a rather disappointing incident. This time, I was determined to have a good one. I opted for Elixir Health Pot and made my reservation before my arrival at Taipei. I was told that we were only given 1.5 hours to eat as that is the standard time allocation for all diners. I felt that it was a little short to enjoy a good hot pot, but it wasn’t like that was much choice.

As Fat Man will only arrive in Taipei at 9 in the night, I reserved a table at the Xinsheng branch, which is near our hotel, at 1030pm. We were promptly seated when we arrived on the second level. The place was quite crowded. Scanning through the menu, I found that it was quite limited. We decided on the yuan yang hotpot, with spicy mala soup base on one side, and collagen beauty pot on the other. As seen above, the soup had lots of ingredients inside, and smelt so good! In addition, the collagen hotpot also comes with complimentary ice tofu, which is one of the shop’s signature dish. The waiter described the ice tofu to be really good, with a special texture just like ice cream. When it was done, we eagerly tried it. Eh? I thought there was nothing special, just tofu with a more spongy texture. More importantly, it is no where like ice cream. I like the fact that the soup base itself already have lots of edible stuff inside. For example, the mala soup base has tofu and duck blood cubes, while the collagen soup base has beancurd skin and mushrooms.

The beef and pork we ordered were reasonably big portions and thinly sliced, perfect for hot pot. Both meats were quite lean too. This is the first time we ordered refried dough fritters as one of the hotpot items. This is an awesome item to order if you have a good soup base, as the dough fritters will absorb the goodness. A word of caution, if you mala soup base is very spicy, you get one hell of an explosion in your mouth if you do that. The mala soup base at Elixir Health Pot is not very spicy. In fact, it is very manageable. We helped ourselves with the dipping sauces available. Unlike Hong Kong, only vinegar, soy and oil is available here. I guess the logic is that the soup is already so good there is no real need to dip. We will definitely come back again as on top of the good food, the service is excellent and a great environment to dine in.

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