Monday, December 26, 2016

The server that smiles only when you pay her/ pretty decent All You Can Eat Hot Pot (MaThai Hotpot Restaurant)

It was a cold night so a group of friends and I decided to look for hot pot. After driving through the Richmond area, we saw the sign outside of MaThai Hotpot for All You Can Eat hotpot for $21.95. To be honest, I was not too sure about how the concept of All You Can Eat for hot pots work.  If you think about it, soup fills you up and it's also cheap. By that rationale... you would get full really fast via hotpot, but I learned that there's more to it than that.
    The restaurant itself wasn't big, in total it could probably hold roughly 40 people. When we got in, there were only 2 people working that night and they seemed tired. We quickly got seated and the menu was brought to us. It was confusing at first because there were separate pricing for things (despite it being All You Can Eat). After asking one of the servers, we found out that we had to buy the soup base separately, and the All You Can Eat portion only referred to the things that go in the hot pot (like meat, fish and etc...). Apparently you can get more than one type of soup base (but they cost separately).
   We all decided to get the pork soup base. When the soup base came, there were huge pieces of pork in there. Compared to some other hot pot places I've been to, which adds the soup base using powder, they actually have the real meat in their soup bases. We started to order the things to put into the hot pot (I want to call them condiments, but that just sounds like ketchup... so let's just call them "things we put in hot pot for now).
   We decided to put an order for about 3 of everything to see what we are dealing with. In terms of the selection, there were many to choose from. From meat (lamb, beef, pork, chicken) to fish (shrimp, squid, and assortment of fish balls) to dim sum (such as dumplings, XiaoLong Baos) to things such as deep fried buns, potato cakes, nuggets to fish skin to quail eggs. In terms of vegetables, there was a fairly good selection as well. They also had skewers as well.
   After we put in our order, the first wave of food started coming. The portions were a bit smaller than we expected. 3 orders of meat really amounts to only a few pieces of meat in reality. The vegetables came in buckets, but the other items were similar in the sense that each portion/ order was small. After all of the raw foods came, the fried foods and grilled ones started coming too. The part I loved the best was the fact that the fried and grilled food was freshly cooked (hence why it took longer to come). You can also taste the freshness as it just emerged from the fryer. The food itself tasted pretty good, but it wasn't too special.
   That said, the portions were not too big, so we decided to go for seconds. Then we went for thirds... I think the server looked a bit annoyed with us (but understandably they were under staffed). When it was time for the third round, we decided to get more of everything just so we have enough food to fill us and we don't need to make another round. We ordered about 20 pieces of nuggets (of which only 4 came). By the time the 3rd order came, the server notified us that it's our last call (there was a time limit of 2 hours we can be at the restaurant.
   At that time, my friends and I were getting full.. so we decided to get our bill. It was funny when the server came with our bill, she wrote on there explicitly "+tips". When I got up to go pay her, I saw her smile for the first time in the entire time that we were there. The minimum amount of tips we had to give was 12%.
    Overall, I would say the service was a bit lacking, but it's understandable as they are busy and the food was relatively good. The price, after tips came to about $30 per person, which sounds about right for All You Can Eat Hot Pot. That said, for a meal, that tends to be a bit on the expensive side, so I'm open to come again, but not too often.









No comments:

Post a Comment