Months before our trip, my friends and I began fixing our itinerary. It's a good thing that we all wanted to shop and eat. Jeanny and Karl, having been to Taipei before, were tasked to take care of our last day. Initially the plan was to feast on Xiao Long Baos at Din Tai Fung for lunch and have a special eat-all-you-can hotpot dinner before heading to the airport.
However, we had to move our schedule around as Mala Hotpot cannot accomodate us for dinner and has only one slot for us that day -- 2PM to 4PM. Still, we were all determined to give Mala Hotpot a try after Jeanny told us that they have eat-all-you-can Haagen Dazs and Movenpick ice creams!
Yes, they are THAT in demand and for busy restaurants such as theirs you are only given 2 full hours to enjoy your meal. Paul and I had light breakfast that day and headed straight to Ximending where Mala Hotpot is located. There, we met up with Karl and Jeanny as we waited for the others who spent their last morning at the zoo.
Despite having a very unusual lunch hour, the place was packed with families and big group of friends enjoying their meal. Everything was just so good no wonder this restaurant stays busy all the time. We were even told that some had to make their reservation a month in advance! Woah!
The servers were pretty constantly bugging us to start with our meal because we strictly have two hours only. We complied and chose two soup base for our pot: a spicy red soup and a refreshing vegetarian stock. It was perfectly divided as the guys liked the spicy soup stock while Jeanny and I enjoyed our vegetarian soup.
It's an eat-all-you-can hot pot wherein you get your choice of veggies, meat, seafood and more. There's a wide-array of meat balls, corn, taro and more!
From the menu, you can order as much US Angus beef, lamb and shrimp that your heart desires. It's a good thing we all love lamb and beef thus we had a lot of those that day.
Paul offered to get our fill of seafood and meat balls, shell fish, crab claws and more.
I, on the other hand, carefully filled my plate with veggies, taro, tofu, sweet corn and three quail eggs.
While waiting for your meat to cook, choose your drink from the various dispensers available. I opted for a bottle of Coke while others would go for the Lemon water, juice or beer. It's drink-all-you-can as well!
We had a blast cooking and eating that we didn't notice that it has almost been an hour and a half since we started. I love this taro ball that has a tofu-like covering and a soft taro filling. I think I ate almost five pieces of this.
Halfway through our meal, we were joined with the rest of the gang. Despite having just an hour left to eat, they also had a great time as they quickly filled their pot with all the delicious ingredients available. The good thing about Mala Hotpot is they continuously refill each ingredient so you are assured of get quality items at any given time of the day.
On the last fifteen minutes of our slot, we all headed towards the ice cream chest freezer and helped ourselves to scoops of their Haagen Dazs and Movenpick. I got a scoop of Strawberry Haagen Dazs and Caramel Cream Movenpick ice cream. I personally preferred the Movenpick scoop as I find the Haagen Dazs ice cream a tad too sweet for me.
Jeanny also told me to try the Maple Walnut Ice Cream. I was feeling a bit full already that I requested Paul to just get a spoonful for me. I guess he got too excited that he actually got a huge scoop of ice cream instead. I took a bite and I loved it! It had a rich maple syrup taste combined with chunky walnut bits. Needless to say, I was able to finish off my bowl of ice cream in no time.
It was such an amazing experience that I am definitely putting it on my must-eat list everytime I go to Taipei. It was definitely worth every penny as you get to enjoy the freshest ingredients thrown into your pot of boiling delicious soup. We just kept on eating and eating as we enjoyed every minute in Mala Hotpot. Thumbs up to Jeanny and Karl for bringing the gang here for lunch.
Weekday lunch: NT399++
Weekday dinner: NT499++
Weekend: NT 499++
** ++ add 10% for service/cleaning charge
*photos taken using a Canon S95
Mala Hotpot is located at the 2nd floor of No. 62, XiNing S. Road., Xi Men Ding. They're open from 1130AM to 5AM daily.
MRT Station: Ximen Station (Exit 6)