Happy Chinese New Year! 新年快樂! ^_^
There are always traditions many people follow prior and during Chinese New Year. Mr. Munchimunch always finds it weird when I follow such traditions, but he humors me and helps me whenever I need him to.
One of the traditions my family and I use to follow would be having hot pot together on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Since moving to Utah, I no longer have a hot pot “machine” and have resorted to using a fondue pot or just cooking everything at once. One year, we tried out Shabu Shabu in Park City. While the place was delicious, it was on the (very) expensive side. This year, I searched for a more reasonably priced place and we decided on Yum Yum Kitchen because they were opened late. Yum Yum Kitchen also offers an all you can eat buffet style hot pot service.
We started off with a half spicy (right side) and half non spicy broth. I accidentally ate something from the spicy side and it was way too spicy for me! I don’t know how Mr. Munchimunch can stand it!
Here’s a picture of our uncooked food. I grabbed a little bit of everything and went to town! Meats, vegetables, mushrooms, meatballs and fishballs, tofu, you name it, I grabbed it.
While we were waiting for our food to cook, we were offered a plate of dumplings! Per Wikipedia, “In northern China, it is customary to make dumplings after dinner to eat around midnight. Dumplings symbolize wealth because their shape resembles a Chinese sycee.” (A sycee is the form/shape of silver or gold ingots for Chinese currency in ancient times.) I’m not sure if it’s only a northern thing, because my family are southerners and we also believe dumplings symbolize wealth and fortunes. I’m not sure if these dumplings were made in house and I don’t want to be rude, but these dumplings looked and tasted as though they were the frozen pre-made kinds. I can make better dumplings myself!
Here is the plate with our cooked foods that we were sharing from. It was Mr. Munchimunch’s brilliant idea to use the dumplings as a dam/separator of the spicy and non spicy foods so I wouldn’t die from spiciness. Look at all the chili peppers on his side!
Of course, I went back for more (and more and more)! For the sliced meats selection, there is lamb, chicken and beef. Lamb is my absolute favorite with the marbling and fat while beef comes in at a close second. And everyone that has hot pot frequently knows that chicken is the worse. It is dry and flavorless so we didn’t have any of that.
On my last trip, I decided to make it vegetarian. I love lotus roots, tofu, and sliced rice cakes! Each of these items symbolizes good things for Chinese New Year.
Our dinner for two ended up costing about $40+. While the food selection was pretty good, the food itself was only alright. I’m not sure if I will ever go back to Yum Yum Kitchen for hot pot, but I might revisit the place for other dishes.