I have been craving hot pot ever since I went to try Urban Shabu last month. Last week I satisfied that craving by trying hot pot at a different restaurant: Bangkok Restaurant located at 11476 112 Avenue. As far as I know, there are only four hot pot restaurants in Edmonton – Bangkok, Urban Shabu, Asian Grill House and Kings (correct me if I’m wrong). I have now tried them all! Though it’s been years since I’ve been to Asian Grill House and Kings, so it may be my new mission to try those out again now that the hot pot bug has bitten me. Mike was actually the one who chose Bangkok Restaurant, based on good reviews on Urbanspoon. It’s actually kind of hard to find. Bangkok Restaurant is located in a small strip mall in the middle of a residential area. We definitely did a few loop arounds before arriving!
Where Urban Shabu is very sleek, shiny and silver, Bangkok Restaurant is not. Lol. It’s very much your typical Asian restaurant decor and vibe. Slightly shabby, slightly run-down. The usual, lol. It’s laid out so the hot pot items are in the centre of the restaurant, sauces are by the cash register/counter, and desserts are close to the front door. Each table has one or two hot pots on it already. For those who have never tried hot pot, my quick explanation is always ‘it’s like Asian fondue.’ You choose the food you want to cook (all-you-can-eat) and you cook it in hot pots filled with broth.
The selection is good. There’s an assortment of sliced meats (beef is always the top choice), seafood (shrimp, mussels, etc.), balls (beef balls, fish balls, crab balls, etc)., noodles and greens. Other items include mushrooms, squid, tripe, tendon, salmon, tofu, chicken, wontons, eggs and more! (There’s a lot of more exotic/weird meats like blood and gizzards and other things that I don’t tend to try so if you are interested in that then the option is definitely there for you!)
Urban Shabu had a far bigger selection than Bangkok Restaurant but at the same time you only eat so much and only keep going back to certain foods most of the time, so the typical ones you keep returning for – Bangkok Restaurant offers.
There’s great options for sauce – my favourites being chili oil, chili sauce and soya sauce.
I was also ecstatic to see that Bangkok Restaurant offers white rice!!!! This was one of my complaints about Urban Shabu. Sometimes with hot pot, you eat and you eat and you eat, but at the end of it there’s still a kind of pit in your stomach as if you’re not quite full even though you’ve had so much and I say it’s because you need a bit of solid white rice to fill everything out. I was thrilled Bangkok had white rice. Of course you don’t want to go crazy on the white rice because it will fill you up so you’ll get less out of the all-you-can-get bang for your buck, but one bowl to go along with some beef and shrimp was heavenly, and ensured that empty void in my tummy was filled.
Bangkok Restaurant offers you a hot pot that features half chicken broth and half spicy broth, which is great so you get more options and aren’t forced to choose.
We went with our friends Tony and Denise, who are seasoned hot pot eaters. We asked for two smaller, separate hot pots instead of one big pot that they originally were going to have us all share – just to make it easier for sorting out whose food is whose, etc. Bangkok’s prices are great for all-you-can-eat hot pot. A single person costs $21.95 but if you are a table of 2 or more, then each person is $19.50. When you can get good quality, all-you-can-eat noms for under $20 per person, you know you’ve landed on a place you’ll return to! (It’s also cheaper for children – between 7 and 11 years old is $10.95 per child and under 7 it’s just $6.95 a kid).
There’s also various Asian dessert options if you are so inclined. I was personally too stuffed beyond belief to go for dessert, and I also don’t really have a taste for dessert or Asian-style dessert, so I opted out. Mike as well, but Tony and Denise went for some and loved it.
Overall, we loved our first experience at Bangkok Restaurant. The quality of food and selection, plus unlimited amounts that you get, for the price that you pay, is excellent. I would definitely recommend trying Bangkok if you are interested in hot pot. The service isn’t wonderful… they kind of give your broth and then ignore you for the rest of the evening, but you don’t really need anything else from them after the initial broth anyway (and refills of broth) so it’s fine. I would now like to try Kings and Asian Grill House just to have a more recent experience to fully compare all of the hot pot places in our fine city (and compare prices, because again, pricing at Bangkok is excellent!)
Have you been to Bangkok Restaurant? What did you think?! :)