Tang Hotpot is unlike anything I have ever had in New York City and beyond. It’s something that I would like to try again, although to be quite honest I had a hard time figuring out the ins and outs of the entire process prior to putting all of the extraordinarily delicious ingredients in one bowl.
In my many years of food writing all around The Big Apple, I have only ever experienced a hotpot location once before. That experience was definitely memorable, so when I found out about Tang Hotpot, I had a feeling that this one would be just as fabulous if not better.
The Lower East Side hotspot, located at 135 Bowery, prides itself on being a modern Chinese restaurant with authentic Sichuan ingredients and flavors in every bite or spoonful you take. The space is nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to the decor, but to be honest that is not why I was there to begin with.
The focal point was their hotpots, which essentially allows you to order a variety of fish, vegetables and meat and combine them in a variety of broths. The broths range from spicy to sweet and sour and even a pumpkin flavored one (no we aren’t in the fall here), all of which have a distinct taste to them that really blend well with the food you are placing inside of it.
They also provide you with a ton of dipping sauces to experience once you hoist whatever is in the broths and onto your plate.
There are four different platters to choose from, each of which costs around $40-$60 per person which really isn’t bad given the amount of food they actually provide you with. If you are more of the carnivorous type, then go with the Meat Lover Platter like I did which features raw versions of a variety of meats from pork shoulder to Angus beef tenderloin and more. The vegetables in this platter include glass noodles, frozen tofu and even winter melon.
Regardless of you being a meat or veggie person, it all works as you can throw each and every item into your desired broth (you can split and do two even), and watch the hotpot go to work.
Something to notice, piggybacking on what I said earlier, is to follow the instructions regarding how long each item should be in the broth prior to eating it. I made that mistake early on, but made up for it when I finally used my brain and was able to eat each item properly cooked.
Outside of the hotpot, they also have some Spicy Crawfish that is a must have this summer. The crawfish is prepared in authentic Sichuan fashion, bathed and wok-fried in an array of Sichuan pepper spices, and again sautéd in Tang Hotpot’s special hot pot base, retaining the unique flavor of the house. Another flavor available is the Garlic Butter, a non-spicy, soft flavor that softens the tongue. Yum. So yum. Overall, Tang Hotpot provided me with a fabulous experience that I recommend any of you trying soon.
For more information on Tang Hotpot, please check out their official website.