Friday, August 26, 2011

A Thousand and One Steps to Mala Yuanyang Hot Pot

It was our last day in Taipei, and still got enough money, that we planned a gastronomical trip to this restaurant called Mala Yuanyang Hot Pot.  Since Day1 we have been eagerly talking about and anticipating this restaurant trip.  What got us? Haagen-Dazs all-you-can for dessert! That's it. That's all you need to tell us to get us scampering to try your restaurant!  

And so there we were, after seeing what our time can afford in Taipei, looked for this restaurant in Ximen, a district that gave me a de ja vu of my Mongkok stay in Hong Kong.  The vibrant and busy feel of the districts were very much alike.

This one's for you Ayn!
It was already 2PM, we were starving, our feet hurting badly due to long walks, and still we could not find the restaurant!  Ayn forgot to get the Chinese name of it.  Lesson learned, all the places you wish to visit, get the Chinese names and addresses!  That way it would be easy to ask around.

I was close to getting in a severely bad mood as we found out that we have been walking past the restaurant for quite a distance already.  So we went back, trailing the length of the street hoping to find that pot of gold.  I was no longer happy and striding lazily behind the my two travel companions when they suddenly turned right and went straight up the stairs.  I saw the sign, could not see any word relating to Mala Yuanyang, only Chinese words, but there was a small Haagen-Dazs logo.  So this must be it! (What could have happened if they missed that logo??)

As we entered the restaurant, it was in its full capacity, meaning no more tables!  Proof that it should be worth the wait, and so the manager asked us to wait for one hour!  I was about to give this restaurant up when we saw a couch and realized we would give anything just to be able to sit down and rest our dying legs and feet.  After 45 minutes, give or take, we were called and given a table.  This was already 3 in the afternoon.

As we were seated, all of our exhaustion seemed to evaporate away, and all smiles there were! We were just so excited with the food!

We were given a menu and asked to choose the ff:
2 soup base -  we chose Vegetable and Sze Chuan (this is really spicy!)
5 meat trays - I chose all beef! There were seafood choices too.

The vegetable soup base was the one we mostly used.  It's similar to the soup base of Healthy Shabu-Shabu which has branches in the Philippines.  The Sze Chuan? We barely touched as it's really spicy for a soup.  It choked me.

On the shelf were several kinds of vegetables, seafoods, meat balls, and other ingredients you could imagine to make up your delicious hot pot lunch.  Eat all you can.

There was also a drinks station with choices of milk tea, sodas,  juices, etc.  There's a tea station.  And what we have been craving for, the dessert station with unlimited Haagen-Dazs and Movenpick ice cream of so many irresistible  flavors!

I took 2 flavors at a time, and then go back again to try the other flavors until I have tried every flavor there is on the freezer.  Yes, I can do that.

They only allow customers to stay for a maximum of 3 hours in the restaurant, which we were able to fully take advantage of.  We started at 3, and a waitress approached us at 5 to remind us that our time's up.

This experience cost us NT$ 549 per head. All in. Not bad at all. Mala Yuanyang Hot Pot  (馬辣鴛鴦火鍋) is located at 86, Dingzhou Rd Sec 3, Taipei (台北市汀州路三段86號).  (Better print out the Chinese details!)  It is open daily from 11:30 AM to 5:00 AM.  This is highly recommended to vegans too as there are a wide variety of veggies and seafoods to choose from.

This is Taipei (click here to view Taipei trip blog post), don't ever leave without going hot pot!  This is a healthy way to be a glutton.  Thanks to Ayn for putting this one in our strategically planned itinerary. ;)

Till the next gastronomical trip! (Most probably in India.)  ♥


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xoxo, Monique

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