>> Tasty Pot 味鼎 | Eat the World NYC

14 November 2019

Tasty Pot 味鼎


Since becoming enormously popular in the Bay Area a few years back, Tasty Pot has been testing their feet in the waters of Southern California, Florida, the Midwest and now a few on the East Coast including their newest in Brooklyn's Sunset Park, opened about a month ago. The Taiwanese hot pot trend has yet to secure a footing in this town. Pot Pa Hot Pot opened in Flushing early in 2018 but barely survived a full year.

Tasty Pot, with its own success elsewhere and a city that must be near peak Taiwanese exposure, will try to settle in. On a strip populated with other large eateries and KTV spots, the warming individual cauldrons await.

The dining room is a hodgepodge of colors and neon, textures of vinyl and metal, and shiny decor on every surface. Panels and solar shades have scenes of Taipei to surround the eating area and set the mood.

Besides the foundation of individual hot pots, part of the formula here is also providing Taiwanese boba drinks, of which they have a full menu from A-Cha brand. At lunch time, each pot comes with a standard iced green tea, so the boba menu was not sampled on the first visit.

At the top of the hot pot options are Taiwanese flavors such as stinky tofu and Taiwanese supreme spicy, but the first offering of beef hot soup ($13.99, above) is a great place to start.  The rich soup can be heated up from zero to four peppers, known as "flaming spicy," so feel free to go nuts. The thin slices of beef do not get overcooked too quickly, showing that quality is pretty good for the price point.

The specially-designed hot pot stand comes with a well-covered fire source that you can adjust or turn off yourself. The soup will remain bubbling for a long time if you let it go. Bits of tofu, meatballs, corn, vermicelli noodles, and a good amount of napa cabbage will require cooling before bites.

Each order comes with the option of an extra portion of vermicelli noodles or a bowl of rice. The green tea tastes a lot better once it has the soup broth to contrast with its sweetness. In addition to the bold tastes already in each pot, a set of three additional flavors is available on each table (below), a soybean paste, chili oil, and garlic soy sauce. After some experimentation, a fun combination of the three is great for dipping slices of meat.

Not as good as the beef is the kimchi dumpling hot soup ($13.99, above), Tasty Pot's ode to Korea. Unfortunately the napa cabbage and spices used do not really replicate fresh kimchi, and the dumplings are a little boring. After a recent couple days in Seoul, what it did most was raise a craving for kimchi jigae or soondobu. Keep these desires to your next visit to a Korean restaurant.

Like Korea, the restaurant has hot pots that try to replicate the flavors of Thailand (probably tom yum?), Japan (miso), and Sichuan Province, which should probably be turned down if the kimchi pot is any representation.

On a future visit, the cheesy milk hot pot is most looked forward to, with its freshly grated orange cheddar that melts after arriving.

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Tasty Pot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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