I love hotpot. It fills my heart and soul with warmth and joy (not to mention all the meats).
For those of you who don't know, hotpot is where you cook your own meats and vegetables in a simmering pot of broth. It's kind of like fondue. But instead of dipping your food in melted Swiss cheese, you're dipping your food in a Chinese soup.
The other day, I went to hotpot with a friend (yes, for once, I did not dine alone!). I've had hotpot alone, and I've enjoyed it, but hotpot is really something that's better experienced with company, much like fondue.
We went to Kintaro, a local chain that offers all-you-can-eat hotpot. During lunchtime, you can get the hotpot for $16.99 plus tax and gratuity, which is a great deal, especially during these times of crazy inflation. And did I mention that it's all-you-can-eat, so you can consume all of the meat and vegetables your heart desires?
At Kintaro, I always get the Chinese herb soup base, which is a clear non-spicy broth. The other soup options are chicken broth (my friend's go-to), Sichuan spicy, shacha soup, mixed soup, and tomato soup.
In Chicago, I once made the mistake of getting spicy soup with my hotpot. If you're a fellow spice wimp who's trying to get your money's worth from all-you-can-eat hotpot, I suggest getting a non-spicy broth. Because if you do end up getting a spicy broth, you'll be filling your stomach with cold beverages to deal with the spice instead of the meats.
Of course, at Kintaro, I ordered a ton of beef and chicken. I also ordered clams, beef meatballs, fried fish balls, dumplings, and fried tofu. After I cooked my food in the soup, I dipped my meats into various sauces I got from the sauce bar. To really amp up the flavor of your hotpot, you should hit up the sauce bar at Kintaro. The sauce bar includes soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, oyster sauce, and more.
I had a wonderful time catching up with my friend, and it was made even better with the fresh meat and delicious sauces from Kintaro. At the end of our meal, we were both stuffed and beyond contented.
Kintaro has 4 locations in Ohio. My friend and I went to the Brooklyn location at 7325 Northcliff Ave, Brooklyn, OH 44144. There's also a location in Fairview Park at 3111 Westgate Mall a128, Fairview Park, OH 44126. If you live on the eastside, there's a Kintaro in Eastlake (33550 Vine St, Eastlake, OH 44095). And there's a location in Akron as well (4054 Medina Rd, Akron, OH 44333).