|Chongqing Cygnet Hot Pot
|11:30am - 10:30pm|
|58, East Sect. 5, 1st Ring Rd. |
|028 8443 1980 |
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Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
Cygnet is a higher-end hot pot option, but we had been told that their all you can eat (自助) was a fantastic deal so we went to try it out. At Cygnet you can also order an individual pot of soup, so if you happen to be solo and craving hot pot it's a great option.
The menu is illustrated (though not everything is pictured) and has English translations, most of which are helpful. When we asked for all you can eat, we discovered our choices were limited and we had to choose from a characters-only menu card. They said their beef (牛肉) was good, but we decided to go with fish slices (鱼片) and batter-fried pork (酥肉). We also asked for potato (土豆片), tofu 'skin', (豆皮), cabbage (白菜), enoki mushrooms (金针菇), and rice cakes (年糕).
While many hot pot restaurants pride themselves on their soup, the main draw at Chongqing Cygnet is the 'tiaoliao' seasonings. They have an enormous self-serve table of oils, sauces, and spices you can mix together for dipping, coating, and sprinkling over your cooked food, each labelled in Chinese and English. Since we'd ordered their spiciest soup we kept things traditional with a sesame oil, raw garlic, cilantro, and onion concoction. We then tried satay sauce, xo sauce, and toasted sesame sauce. Exploring the different flavour combinations of these seasonings was lots of fun.
Besides free tea they left a gratis pitcher of sour plum juice, which worked surprisingly well at cooling down the heat from the soup. We thought that at 56RMB per head, the all you can eat option is only a good deal if you usually do a large, meat heavy order. We want to branch out beyond their all you can eat menu next time.