Have you ever been for Chinese hot pot (fondue)? I have fond memories of this Sunday night ritual around our house. Our family crowded around our kitchen table over a boiling pot of simmering aromatic brother sitting on a butane burner. Cooking platefuls of quick cooking ingredients like thinly sliced beef and lamb, to noodles and strainers upon strainers and fresh greens was our family meal that ended the weekend. By fun I don’t actually mean the family fun time cooking over a communal pot; I’m talking about my dad yelling at my oldest sister for bailing to go out and see her boyfriend my parents didn’t like, the other two talking on the phone and being a picky eater and then me busting out a random nosebleed out of no where. Whether or not you share this kind of memory or have never had hot pot before, here’s a spot where you can.
Growing up in a Chinese home and being sent to school with some sort of funk in my lunch thermos that would permeate the lunch room did not help my popularity in elementary school. Last night’s dinner of braised pork belly with pickled mustard greens over rice would be the only thing on my mind leading up to lunch time. Nowhere to be found in my He-Man lunchbox were there any fucks packed by my mom to give about the kids who thought it was gross; frozen chicken nuggets or peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat and other latch-key loveless lunches. Trying to explain what my lunch was, I fought fodder for ridicule and ultimately groomed my passion for Chinese cuisine and subsequent appreciation.
When was the last time you were having shabu shabu and said to yourself, “you know what would be sooo good right now? GOLF!” You’d be surprised at how often that thought would go through my head… that’s if I played golf. And now all of our golf/hot pot gang bang fantasies have been answered. I recently hit up this place in NDG aptly called “Shabu Shabu – Screen golf” on St. Jacques. Hold up, hear me out. I know what you’re thinking, because I was thinking the exact same thing, “How is it possible that one place is able to defy all laws of physics and everything that we have come to know as science, to be able to contain so much awesome without being blown up to bits, or at least hover two-feet off the ground like Sigourney Weaver from Ghostbusters when she was possessed by Zuul, The Gatekeeper?!”