Hot pot restaurants have been popular in Asia for many years. It’s the same idea as fondue, but much healthier because, instead of cooking in cheese or oil, you’re cooking your dinner in broth. It’s also a much quicker process because the meats, while frozen are thinly sliced, so it cooks in a manner of minutes in the broth. Seafood, vegetables and noodles, brought fresh to the table, also cook in a few minutes.
The visit for the review and the review were written before the COVID-19 shutdown. Contact the restaurant for its current dining guidelines.
At most hot pot restaurants each diner chooses their flavored broth which is inserted into the table in front of them and controls the temperature of the broth. The table then orders a variety of ingredients to drop into the broth. Such is the case at Lemongrass Hot Pot.
At Lemongrass, you pay a set price for your bowl of broth (choice of eight different kinds ranging from vegetarian to Taiwanese hot and spicy to Italian style tomato-based) and then add meat from a freezer buffer and order noodles vegetables and seafood from an extensive menu. You can upgrade to some more expensive meat cuts (lamb loin, pork belly) but such additions are not really necessary because the menu of inclusive add-ons is so extensive. The seafood options include shrimp, squid, scallops, clams, frog legs and blue crab. Noodle options are even more expansive and include sweet potato vermicelli, udon, rice and wheat flour pasta.
Veggies include a variety of Asian staples such; as bok choy, napa cabbage, daikon, lotus root, seaweed and Taiwanese spinach, as well as more familiar fare such as zucchini, potatoes, corn, carrot and cauliflower. The selection of mushrooms is almost overwhelming. Delicate enoki, hearty shitake, and oyster as well as exotic seafood mushroom and black fungus.
After all that you might think you were through the menu, but you’ve barely even started. Check out the dumplings and fish balls.
If all this sounds overwhelming, it’s because it is, but the helpful servers are happy to walk you through the process and offer advice (Wait till the broth starts to boil before adding any fish or meat and allow seafood and meat to cook in the boiling broth at least two minutes). After your meats, noodles and veggies are cooked you stain them out with a slotted ladle.
Nine Spices Hot Pot
6820 N. Stirling Rd., Davie
The add-ons for the food pass by on a conveyor belt, not as sanitary as having it delivered to your table, as at Lemongrass.
620 N. University Dr., Pembroke Pines
This is a franchise and doesn’t feel as authentic as Lemongrass.
Rick Karlin is SFGN’s food editor. Visit SFGN.com/Food to read his previous reviews.