Chi­nese hot pot

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There are few of these around Dubai, each with their own charm, but since we’re in Bur Dubai — and we like this one more — we picked Xiao Wei Yang Hot Pot for our ul­ti­mate soup crav­ings. No place sat­is­fies quite as gen­er­ously. This restau­rant is also per­fect for feed­ing big groups of peo­ple with their com­mu­nal- style large ta­bles — the req­ui­site in­duc­tion plate smack in the cen­tre.

So what’s the fuss over the soup? For starters, it’s the broth. There are two dif­fer­ent types, one is spicy, made ob­vi­ous by its dark red tinge, and the other is a mild, even medic­i­nal white to clear soup. Note: You could try the Ying/ Yang and they’ll bring out both in a fancy boiler. The stock is made from aro­matic roots, herbs, and bones ( and other scraps) and we all know how good mar­row is for your health. In fact, if you’re feel­ing a lit­tle un­der the weather, this is the place you want to come to. The spices are very del­i­cate and you can taste the Sichuan pep­pers, chill­ies and hints of leeks, gin­ger and gar­lic in the soup. The clear broth is even sim­pler and nu­anced, in­fused with what I be­lieve is a kind of Goji berry, which, ac­cord­ing to East­ern medicine, helps to tone the blood.

Once you’ve picked your broth, then it’s time to pick what goes into it – one can­not live on broth alone! The menu lists all sorts of meats, veg­eta­bles, tofu, meat and fish balls, seafood and fungi ( dif­fer­ent kinds of mush­rooms). You could go for the plat­ters that cost about Dh100 and can eas­ily feed 2- 3 peo­ple, and comes with a lit­tle of ev­ery­thing, or you can pick and choose from the menu. There’s chicken and beef, sliced pa­per- thin carpac­cio- style and aro­matic beef mince balls that go well with the soup. If you pre­fer seafood, there are shrimps and shrimp balls. There is also wa­ter spinach ( Kan Kun) if you think you’re not get­ting enough leafy greens. The va­ri­ety of mush­rooms is im­pres­sive and worth try­ing. Other gems in this place are the Se­same Rounds, Golden Buns and the Scal­lion Pan­cakes.

There are few places in Dubai that get this au­then­tic with food, and keep the ex­pe­ri­ence in­ter­est­ing enough for re­peat vis­its. And who doesn’t love hot pot? It’s per­fect af­ter a night out ( these guys are open late) or even for a quiet date night.

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