I went to Dyker Heights for their famous Christmas lights and stopped by Sunset Park on the way for this restaurant. I had never been to the Chinatown in Brooklyn, but the area was quite large and full of Chinese restaurants and shops. I didn't think I needed a reservation, but the restaurant was really packed with Chinese people and our party of 2 had to wait for 30 minutes. Although we got a table, we had to share one table with anther group.
There was a hot plate installed in the table. A waitress asked me what kind of broth we wanted to have, and since we had no idea, we asked the other group at the same table what they recommended and they told us to choose both the spicy and the pork broth. Before we ordered ingredients to put in the broth, we were already surprised at the price of a pitcher of beer. It was $10! We, of course, went for it.
There were too many options of ingredients and before we had a chance to decide, the broth and hotpot were already set on the hot plate. Both of the broths looked really delicious (the spicy broth looked really spicy as well!)
The waitress gave us seasonings for the dipping sauce and complimentary vegetables for the pork broth. Based on my knowledge of delicious food for Chinese hotpot, we ordered Fuzhou Fish Balls, Pork Blood, Mushrooms, Sliced Fatty Lamb, Potato Noodles, Drunken Chicken and a shrimp paste ball in a cut out piece of bamboo (Sorry, I forgot the name.) We dipped or boiled the ingredients in the broth. There is no rule for which ingredient is for which broth, it's all up to you!
The Fuzhou fish balls, as I expected, were awesome! The fish ball was so firm and moreover, it had juicy meat inside. I promise that this is a MUST-TRY for everyone.
You might think that Pork Blood is disgusting. But you are mistaken! It was really delicious. The blood is fixed naturally, not artificially. Actually, the blood itself doesn't have a strong taste, but it has a gelatinous texture. It was especially great in the spicy broth.
I regret that I didn't take note of the name of this dish, but the shrimp paste was amazing! We put a small portion of it into the broth using the stick provided to us. The fish roe gave it a texture that popped, so we enjoyed not only the taste but also the texture of the shrimp's chewiness and fish roe's pop.
The mushrooms were very thick and fresh. The fatty lamb was something that is a typical ingredient found in Chinese hotpot. It was not particularly good, but still good.
The drunken chicken was pieces of chicken soaked in Chinese alcohol. We were already full at this moment, however, we pushed our limits because it was really tasty.
The Potato Noodles could have been better. Although they were good, they were hard to eat because it became a ball and we couldn't cut it after it had absorbed the broth. They could have cut them in advance or at least told us not to put them altogether at once.
We ate too much, but don't be surprised. It cost just $35 each including the pitcher of beer. Each plate of ingredients cost $3 - $5. There were only Chinese people except us and the official language there is Chinese. You may have no idea what to order from the many options. However, I highly recommend this restaurant. You can ask the waitresses or other groups for their recommendations and just take their word for it! Don't forget to bring many friends so you can order more ingredients and treat them to pitchers of beer for them!
By the way, we also got an ice bar, because we showed our Yelp check-in coupon. This ice bar was actually pretty good too.