Hot Pot @ Shining Rainbow

Shining Rainbow. Hot Pot. Celina Bean. Daniel B.. AYCE. Awww yeah. Celina loves the hot pot at Shining Rainbow. At $20 for all you can eat per person (plust $10 for the pot of broth), it’s a pretty fun dinner. I think it would be a little on the expensive side for two people, but for a group it’s a really fun way to dine.

I was most excited, because aside from my ghetto hot pot night, I haven’t had hot pot at the grown ups’ table. When I was a kid, it was an adults-only event. Kids got pizza while the adults sat around a table filled with raw goodies, wire skimmers, and a big ass and dangerous bubbling pot of liquid. I would occasionally mooch off an adult and beg for shrimp.

Hot pot heater (it’s an induction burner, so the unit itself doesn’t get hot when you touch it, just when other metal touches it). Then you circle what you want from the hot pot menu. I really think we could have just said “everything and keep it coming” with our group, but. Yeah. We circled just about everything. Mushrooms, whole shrimp on skewers, eggs, veggies, Fish balls, fish balls stuffed with pork (Fuzhou balls. You want them. YOU WANT THEM), oysters, squid… OH THE SQUID (don’t forget those, either), soy bean sprouts, slices of lamb… so much to choose from.

We split our broth between ma la and the herbal broth. Ma la broth had a good bit of kick to it, but I could handle it. It was nice to have two options, though. The ma la broth at the end was awesome. I mean, so was the chicken, but this… good stuff. I initially slurped a little too forcefully and took a shot to the back of the throat that left me coughing and gasping for air. Holy chili oil, batman!

They’d occasionally come over and refresh the broth with some more hot water when it started to get low. God, it really was like the never ending hot pot.

Celina and her oysters. She loves the oysters at Shining Rainbow. I am equally in love with the squid. A few seconds in the broth until it’s all squiggled up and pretty… yum. Tender and delicious. I seriously could have eaten an entire bowlful of these and then some.

At the end, you choose some noodles. I flip my shit over the yam ones (so chewy and goooood), but the udon ones were pretty decent too. Wasn’t crazy about the shrimp wontons – tasted more like shrimp balls wrapped in wonton skins to me.

Oh, oh! There’s also a box with three sauces in it. One brown, one peanutty, and one chili. Mix them up for a dipping sauce for the cooked food from the hot pot.

Celina’s tip is not to be shy about asking for more food. I get a little weird about it, but hot pot’s one of those things that logistically can’t be a buffet. Service was a little on the slow side, but very friendly and accomodating. The owner came by and we all ended up talking to the next table about a limited edition reprint of a famous Chinese piece of art he’d recently bought. Cool things happen when you hang out with Celina.

Oh, and if you know someone who speaks Chinese, it wouldn’t hurt to bring them. They can totally get by on English, but it’s not their strong suit (sometimes there can be a lot of back and forth confirming and reconfirming). Albany John’s Chinese got us some raw eggs and water a few times. Hell, I don’t speak Chinese, so you’re welcome to borrow Albany John if you want.

Now I’ve tried hot pot as an adult. It was fun, and a whole lot less work than doing it at home. And now I wanna go back for dim sum because it’s been way too long since I’ve had Shining Rainbow’s dim sum.
Oh, and btw, their tea is the real deal. I drank way too much tea last night and was up until about 2 am or so. haha. But as a bonus I got at least a little headway on a project, so that was cool.

  1. Perfect meal on a cold day!

    Speak of tea The One of a Kind Tea-House is no more 😦

  2. jess said:

    Oh man. Celina brought me last year and I was blown away. I was all about the crab and the Chinese broccoli..and those rice balls filled with black sesame paste.

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