Do you think you can handle spicy foods? That’s cute, because no, no you can’t. I’ve bragged about it in the past that I can eat spicy foods. When given the chance and am able to choose the level of spiciness in a dish, I’ll forego “very spicy” and ask for “ETHNIC SPICY”. I once went to an Indian spot in Cote des Neiges and the waiter asked me how spicy I wanted my food. I told him to make it as spicy as he would eat it. He asked me THREE TIMES if I was sure, and I told him THREE TIMES that I was. I regretted it 20 seconds after I took my first bite. This was the first time I made this mistake. The second time I made the mistake of ordering ultra super spicy, was at the newly opened all you can eat Chinese hot pot spot in Ville Saint-Laurent, Première Fondue.
If you’ve never had Chinese hot pot before, first, I’d like to invite you to join us in 2017. If you’ve ever had fondue before, it’s the same principle. Raw foods blanched relatively quickly in a pot of boiling broth.
They offer five different kinds of soup; spicy, “Royal” spicy, herbal “healthy” soup, mushroom soup and tomato soup. IF something is spicy it’s typically red in colour right? Because of chilis, obviously. Ever eat something so spicy that the thing was BLACK. This. It was spicy. Did I already mention that? BECAUSE SPICY SOUP IS SPICY. Not only was it spicy, it was incredibly fragrant and robust in flavour. Packed with aromatics like bay leaf, ginseng, szechuan pepper, cilantro. We ordered half and half, The other side of the pot was the tomato soup. It was slightly sweet but still very savoury. We found out after as we were being hosed down with yogurt that the “Royal spicy” soup was actually not as intense as the “spicy”.
Première fondue features three gigantic fridges packed with over 50 items. From various fish and seafood balls, fresh vegetables like watercress, chrysanthemum greens, daikon, mushrooms… etc, sliced and marinated meats, noodles and fresh seafood – squid, fish, shrimp. Sliced beef and lamb are not kept in the fridge as they’re sliced to order. Delicate sheets of marbleized beef and ribbons of fatty lamb take seconds to cook. A mere dunking in the boiling broth will suffice.
The service was fast and courteous, the waiters were attentive and helpful. Despite the fresh vegetables looking like they were maybe sitting out in the fridge a tad too long, it wasn’t a big deal. The price per person changes depending on the day. Cheaper during the day for lunch and during the week, a few dollars more on the weekend. Reduced prices for children. There is an extra charge for the soup. The first time I’ve ever encountered this. Ranging between $4.99 to $5.99… on top of the set meal price.
There’s an undeniable funk that comes with having Chinese fondue. The aromatics in the soup the boil and permeate the air will latch onto your clothes like velcro. Releasing only on laundry day or until you burn everything you were wearing. Première Fondue does the courtesy of covering your jacket on the back of your seat with a protective covering to prevent the funk seepage into your clothes. Points.
1320 Boulevard Marcel-Laurin
Ps, the spicy soup is spicy.