My First "Wellness" Hot Pot
Qingdao has a lot to offer. Like Hong Kong it has a lot of international flavor. In 1897, it was ceded to the German for 99 years. Then the Japanese took the city during WW2. After the war, it was reverted back to China. Qingdao has a lot of German, Japanese, and Korean (South Korea is across the sea) influence. But unlike Hong Kong, it also has the weather. It is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It is also a very cool place to discover Chinese food not readily available elsewhere.
First Treasure "Wellness" Hot Pot located at 16-18 Min Jiang Yi Lu, Qingdao, China 266071 (一膳宝养生火锅食府青岛市南区闽江一路16-18号) is such a place for visitors who want to have a somewhat out of the ordinary, but not too adventurous, dining experience. It is located very near the Crown Plaza Hotel.
When we arrived, I noticed this is a local favorite but yet it was different as the décor and atmosphere was quite western. The restaurant was busy but not crowded. We were seated in a private dining room. Our waiter came and greeted us and made us some recommendations. I have to admit service was very attentive.
Since we are novices, we took the waiter's suggestion and ordered more traditional dishes. We ordered beef, scallops, clams, razor clams, and shrimp. (Hey, this is Qingdao, famous for seafood.) We also ordered a variety of mushrooms. These came in different shapes and sizes. And we added vegetables, tutu, spinach, Chinese chives, and fresh bamboo shoots. Finally, we ordered cellophane noodles, and dumplings. For sauces, we selected sesame garlic paste, seafood sauce, and the house special sauce.
When the food came, the waiter set a big pot of soup on a stove that was built in the table. He lit the fire, added the house spices and herbs, and allowed the soup to simmer. Then he added may be a third of what we ordered according to our preference, allowed to cooked. Then dished out the ingredients, piping hot, to which each of us added sauces. The combination tasted so good that I can feel the warmth up from my stomach. While we were eating, the waiter continued putting more ingredients into the soup pot, cooking and serving us without interruption until everything was cooked, served, and enjoyed..
I have had hot pot in Hong Kong, New York, and LA before. But, by far, this was the best. Two things stood out. First and foremost is the soup base with the spices and herbs. My body felt really good after drinking the soup. Second were the sauces. Since the meats, seafood, and vegetables were all cooked in the soup, the sauces really brought out the natural flavors of these foods. I was so full after wards that we did not order any dessert.
Overall, this was one of the highlights of our Qingdao visit.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Arts and Culture
LiuGongDao in Weihai is a beautiful island just a short boat ride from the city. There are a few museums giving the history of the war between China and Japan in the late 1800s. There are also many trails around the island to explore. If you desire you can eat fresh seafood right next to the sea. Be carfeul while wandering around - the island used to be where the Chinese northern naval fleet was stationed and there are still areas of the island that are off limits to guests.Related to:
- Museum Visits
- Hiking and Walking
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