Green Maris Hot Pot in Greenhills, San Juan

16 years.

That's how long most of us have known each other. It all began on the 1st day of class in 1996 (yes loud gasp please..Auntie Franny is not THAT old) when we all went back to school after summer break. It was our first year in high school then. It's part of the system that we all get reshuffled right after 7th grade. I guess the reason behind this is to give us more chance to get to know one another more. Much to our dismay then, this system worked out pretty well as we graduated High School knowing almost everyone in our batch of 240++ students.

High School really was FUN. It was the time where we were still so carefree, all filled with hope and optimism and we didn't have much to worry about day in and out. I enjoyed playing matchmakers to friends during our Prom and Ball seasons and everyday I look forward to just three things: Recess, Lunch and Dismissal (ok, fine, maybe I also love Cooking Class and Club days too). It was during these years that I've built the greatest friendship with three of my bestest friends and a handful of really good loyal friends. I will never forget the jokes shared and the silly antics done that repeatedly got us in trouble. For the sake of my dear classmates, I shall keep them all a secret. :)

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After heading to our respective universities, what made our class extra special is that we never really lost touch with one another. One grand reunion led to another and for almost 6 years now, we have been celebrating Christmases, New Years, Weddings and a lot more other occasions together. This is 4-Fidelity batch 2000 and boy, I love them to bits!

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meet my high school friends

Since a lot were not available during the Holidays, we agreed to meet up to celebrate Chinese New Year. Of course, we just have to stay loyal to our roots by having our dinner at Green Maris Hot Pot in Greenhills. Over Twitter and Facebook we communicated and spread the message to the rest of the class. I'm really happy that there were 15 of us that evening. That's almost half of the class already!

I love Hotpot dinners and this is because of the delicious sauce that we get to create from the following ingredients: soy sauce, chopped garlic, spring onions, satay sauce, peanut sauce and chili. My signature sauce includes everything except the chili with lots of garlic and spring onions. No hotpot meal is complete without this as I love to dip my meat into the sauce before taking a bite.

While others may seemed intimidated by the tedious process of eating a shabu-shabu/hotpot dinner, in reality, it's pretty easy. All you have to do is to keep these easy steps in mind:

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First, you have to choose your broth. In Green Maris, I highly recommend that you get the 2 broth bowl where you get a Clear Soup and the Satay Broth. Satay is slightly saltier but definitely not spicy at all. This one is my personal favorite.

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After that, you order your meat -- my friends made me responsible for ordering our hot pot dinner that evening. Thus, given that we're a big group, I chose to go for the sets to ensure we get a generous amount of noodles, veggies, meat and seafood balls good for everyone.

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We then just added a few more plates of Mushroom Balls, Japanese  Enoki Mushrooms and Beancurd Skin upon the request of my classmates.

Service was pretty fast that we began cooking in no time. We're lucky that our server was very helpful as he took care of throwing and dividing the ingredients into our boiling pot. Just a rule of thumb though, to make your broth even more flavorful, throw in the corn and taro first and let them cook for a longer time. I love biting in the slightly mashed by really sweet taro afterwards. Mmmm...

The choices are endless when having a shabu-shabu dinner. Others would like it with lots of sliced beef or lamb, while I'm really happy with all the seafood and meat balls that I can have from the soup. I also love adding in some sotanghon and a few pieces of shrimps too.

I'll never get tired of having hotpot dinners. It may be messy yet it's loads of fun! Everyone really enjoyed the delicious feast while updating one another with our lives. There will definitely be a next one really soon!

Valentine's Day dinner, girls?

Green Maris Hot Pot is located at the Greenhills Shopping Center, Ortigas Ave., Greenhills
San Juan, Metro Manila. For reservations, call them at 722-5508 to 10, 721-3504, 722-5760.

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