Budget-Friendly Bites: Chili Hot Pot

Happy New Year~ I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday break as much as I did! :D I flew back home to Edmonton where I was able to spend ample time with my family, friends, P, and as always, some great food.

On one cold night, some friends met P and I for hot pot at Chili Hot Pot. Chili Hot Pot is the newest dig in Edmonton for hot pot on the south side. The owners, Mr. and Mrs. Chan have actually been around for a while. They used to own and manage Chili Hot Hot downtown, then Unforgettable which was actually at their current location across the street from Strathcona High School. Unforgettable was in pretty good shape in terms of business, but it just got too busy and taxing for Mr. and Mrs. Chan, so they decided to take a bit of a vacation for a while before returning. There was a Thai restaurant that ended up taking over the space, but I guess they didn't do particularly well, because it was renovated and reincarnated as Chili Hot Pot!

For those of you who aren't familiar, "hot pot" is basically a Chinese version of fondue. You get a constantly boiling pot of soup to cook various meats, seafoods, vegetables, noodles, and so on. Your table will be given a sheet of paper that's basically like a self-checking All-You-Can-Eat menu, but for hot pot food items.

At Chili Hot Pot, it's about $25 per person plus $3 for the soup which is actually lower than the norm, but after 9:00pm, it's 20% off which is an even better deal. We totally went for that. They allow you to choose to share bigger pots or have your own individual ones. We had 10 in our group, so it worked out better to have individual hot pots, but even then, you could choose between having 1 or 2 different soup bases! Interestingly enough, Chili Hot Pot also offers chocolate fondue for $15 per person, but I haven't delved into that just yet. If someone does, please let me know how it is!

P, as lovely as he is, took the photos for this post! I'm sorry about not having too many, but since we came after 9:00pm, everyone was very hungry including the two of us!

I opted for one soup base - Satay. It has a bit of kick to it that builds as you continue cooking and eating. Great for keeping warm!

P opted for 2 soup bases, both which looked like deathly pools of chilies and spices that would make the average man cry (much to his liking - the spice level, not the man crying). He seemed to enjoy it too! :) 

Here is one of our plates with items to cook. It had fish balls, meat balls, dumplings, strips of bean curd sheets, bittermelon, and another type of tofu.

Here, you can see our plate of lamb, and our gorgeous plate of Alberta AAA beef. Hot pot was one of my ways of scarfing down as much of the stuff as I could over the break before heading back to London. You never realize how much you miss something until it's gone...I'm sorry, but Ontario corn-fed beef just isn't the same.
The food selection is diverse and plentiful, the hot food (prepared by Mr. Chan himself) is very tasty, and the prices are reasonable at Chili Hot Pot which makes it a great place to get together with friends and/or family. There are a couple of minor setbacks, but they have nothing to do with the food or service provided. First of all, you'll notice that the parking in front or behind the restaurant is rather limited. Second, especially if it's cold outside and you wear glasses, it takes a few minutes to get used to the hot pot sauna that gets you as soon as you walk in. Other than that, I have yet to hear a complaint about its operations!

Some friends and I believe that they keep an eye on how you're doing from a distance. Our table had filled out a third sheet, triple checking the beef, but they must have noticed us dying as we tried to clean up from the previous order because that triple checked beef didn't make it to our table. Thank goodness.

I love having hot pot on a cold winter day, and we have plenty of those every year in Edmonton...I keep telling my friends how I found the dry squeakiness of the snow, the sound of chipping ice off of cars, and feeling the cold bite in the wind oddly comforting! If you don't find comfort in the cold as I do, and happen to be in the University area and it's particularly cold, I would definitely recommend going to Chili Hot Pot to fill up on your protein and hot soup! (I plan to go back when I'm in town again. ;P)


Chili Hot Pot on Urbanspoon

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