Official Website: http://www.mala-1.com.tw/en/aboutus.html (for more pictures, click here)
Address: 台北市萬華區西寧南路62號2樓 (Taipei Wanhua District, No. 62, Xi Ning South Road, 2nd floor)
Budget: NT400-600 (Reservations recommended)
Hotpot Heaven is a place in Taipei!
Just imagine: all-you-can-eat hotpot buffet with a plethora of fresh ingredients (including seafood and premium meat cuts), rich soup stock bases, free-flow Haagen Daz and Movenpick ice cream, great selection of herbal teas (and other beverages), and sinfully impeccable desserts.
Reality: YES. You can haz them, all for a decent price starting from NT498!
A hotpot chain reminiscent of my fond memories in Beijing 海底捞, 马辣顶级麻辣鸳鸯火锅 is a premium Sichuan hotpot chain immensely popular with both locals and tourists alike. Hotpot is also the ideal meal for catching up with LG’s Taiwanese friends – from collecting and cooking the hotpot ingredients, to chatting over drinks and ice cream. And if you’re visiting Taiwan in the winter season, hotpot is the best way to keep yourself warm and cosy!
Yes, its “马辣”, not a typo :)
Plethora of Fresh Ingredients
The selection of free-flow all-you-can-eat ingredients is both dazzling and daunting – you can choose from a myriad of seafood such as abalone, clams, mussels, prawns, fish fillet and sea cucumber, to fresh vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes and sweet corn. All the ingredients are of premium quality and freshly prepared.
Short Loin (Beef)
For the carnivores out there, meat cuts must be ordered from the menu, but are served straight from the chilled section. These are premium cuts delicately sliced so that they are cooked after 1-2 minutes of dipping. Really smooth and tender.
Black Pig Bacon (Kurobuta)
Black Pig Pork Shoulder (Kurobuta)
“鸳鸯火锅” is so named because it usually comprises one spicy base and one non-spicy base. At 马辣, you can also order up to 2 types of soup stock, which we did. The Sichuan Spicy Soup stock is not for the faint-hearted: it leaves a numbing sensation after every sip, derived from the heavy doses of Sichuan dried chilli and chilli oil. But for chilli lovers, this is way too yummy.
Our cooked Seafood Platter
And what’s hotpot without your personal concoction of dipping sauce? I am a sucker for sesame sauce, so I usually use sesame sauce as the main base, adding trace amounts of vinegar, soy sauce or minced garlic, topped with sesame bits and parsley. This rojak all-in-one sauce actually tasted really decent.
My concoction of dipping sauce
Tantalising Selection of Herbal Tea
After all that binging, you definitely need some herbal tea to detox and cleanse your body. A wide selection of herbal tea and beverages beckon, including free flow Taiwanese beer. What more can I ask for, really?
Fruits, cakes and more cakes!
But..there’s actually more than just main courses (including free flow short-grained rice) and drinks that 马辣 can offer: there are fruits, cakes and free-flow Haagen-Daz and Movenpick ice-cream! No wonder they say there’s always a second stomach for desserts (despite me suffering from a serious food coma right now).
Free-flow Haagen-Daz and Movenpick Ice-cream
And yes, we left the place thoroughly satisfied, completely bloated, but also enjoyed quality time catching up with our Taiwanese friends. That’s what really matters, right?