CHOMP! Views

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Little Sheep Mongolian Hotpot

On Sunday I went to go check out the new hotpot place in Plano. Everyone has been talking about it and they don't take reservations so the wait is usually 2+ hours!

Little Sheep Mongolian Hotpot
240 Legacy Drive
Plano, TX 75023
(972) 575-8887
Price: $$

We decided to go at 5pm before it gets busy. We were immediately seated. There were only a few other tables there at the time. It started filling up by 6-6:30ish. And by the time we finished at 7 or so the entire front lobby was packed! WOW...

If you've never done hotpot before, here's some simple directions to get you started...
1. Order a soup base
2. Order different foods to cook in the broth
3. Cook foods in the broth. Keep in mind different things take different times to cook completely. For example, napa cabbage will take much longer than a thin slice of beef. If you are unsure, you can ask the waiters for suggestions.
4. Eat! (You can order extra dipping sauces, but the broths have flavor already so it's not necessary.)

We got the Half and Half (House original and house spicy soup bases) $8.95~ The spicy wasn't spicy enough. Both broths had a lot of spices in it and different kinds of Chinese herbs. Reminded me a bit of Chinese medicine, but in general flavors were fine. A bit too salty though. And the spicy side is usually too oily for my preference (even when eaten in Asia).

Ribeye Thin Cut $9.95~ Pretty large pieces of beef and good quality but very few slices.

Slice Pork $5.95~ Pork is my favorite protein for hotpot. Not surprising... haha. These were sliced super thin. Just the right amount of fat and meat.

We had to ask for Extra chilies!! It wasn't spicy enough! My family eats really spicy. The waiter informed us that they have to have a standard spicy level for the general public but brought us extra. It still wasn't spicy but was definitely numbing enough!

(From top left - clockwise)
Enoki Mushroom $4.95~ Always a must in hotpot in my family.
Tong Ho $3.95~ Interesting vegetable. Kind of looks like a weed. Has interesting flavor. Kind of herbal, has a spice to it. I like it. Doesn't take long too cook at all!
Napa Cabbage $3.75~ Another staple for hotpot. This takes longer to cook so I'd recommend putting it in first!
Homemade Beef Meat Ball $6.95~ I wasn't a fan of this. I only eat one kind of meat ball for hotpot and it's "Gong Wan" (貢丸). It's more Taiwanese style so since Little Sheep is more mainland style, they didn't offer it. :(
Shiitake Mushroom $4.50~ Mmmm. Love mushrooms.

Egg Dumpling $4.95~ They ran out of the fish dumpling so we just got the egg dumpling. Pretty good portion for the price. It was tasty. I think I ate 70% of the entire order. haha.
Thick Noodle $3.50~ I try to avoid carbs but my sister wanted noodles. We usually have noodles when doing hotpot at home. I'm just trying to eat less. These don't take long to cook depending on how al dente you want them to be. It had good texture.
Premium Beef Slice $6.75~ We got more beef. This time a cheaper kind. Smaller pieces and sliced super thin. Also pretty good. Next time we can skip the ribeye and just go for this. hehe.
Pork Intestine $4.95~ I love pork intestine. It's so bad for you, but so good. Not something for the weak. haha. But if you are daring, give it a try. :) The intestines come pre-cooked, so all you have to do is put them in to heat up and it's ready to eat!!

For their grand opening they did an All-You-Can eat deal for $20 a person. Unfortunately it ends today... last day of October. But just to give you an idea. All the food we ordered (and we couldn't finish it all) was for 4 of us. We were stuffed and ended up around $20 a person...

All in all it was decent. We don't have anything remotely close to this in Dallas (as far as I know) so it's something interesting to try. It pales in comparison to all you can eat hotpot places in Taiwan, but I don't think we can compare anything here to foods in Asia. haha. The ingredients were all really fresh and good quality. The waiters were very informative and very efficient. I guess they have to be with the wait they have.

If you can't make it in today for the all you can eat, still give it a try. Just make sure you go SUPER early!!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hypnotic Donuts

Ahhhhh! I've waited so long to try Hypnotic Donuts.. I've been following them even before they opened up shop at Pizza Guy on Preston Rd. I finally got to go this past Saturday after my 5k (the Undy5000...hehe) at White Rock. It was just down the street from Hypnotic's permanent location.

Hypnotic Donuts
9007 Garland Rd.
Dallas, TX 75218
(214) 668-6999
Price: $

We arrived around 10AM and the line was already to the front door. But we were lucky because after we ordered the line was OUT the door! haha. It's a pretty small place too. A few tables, 2 small sofas in the corner, and a small countertop. We lucked out and got a table, but my friend and I had to share a chair. hehe.

I was super excited. There were 5 of us so we wanted to get a bunch of different things to try. We studied the menu very hard. haha. Everything sounded amazing. We KNEW we wanted to try the chicken biscuits because I've heard everyone rave about them and that they are HUGE! I also really wanted their seasonal pumpkin donut. :)

Maribeth's Chicken Biscuit (white peppered gravy & tator tots) $6~
Pretty hefty indeed! Probably the shape and weight of a brick. hahaha. The chicken was fried nicely, super juicy and the gravy was great. I wish there was more tator tots though. I only got 1 piece in my quarter of the share. haha. Everyone loved it.

Wavy Gravy Gone Crazy Biscuit (covered in peanut butter & white peppered gravy) $4~ Plus Fried Chicken +$3~
I can eat anything with pb on it so I challenged my friends to be a little daring and try with me. haha. Of course we added chicken! We opened it up and the pb was super ooey gooey. NOM! I loved the pb combo with the chicken. My friends were a bit put off by it. haha. But the overall combination, with the doughy biscuit and sticky pb, it kind of coats the inside of your mouth and takes a while to eat. haha. I don't think I can eat more than 1/3 of this without getting sick though. It's a bit much. Oh... and a tad less pb, and more gravy!

Jenny's Evil Elvis (peanut butter, bacon, banana, honey) $4~
LOVE the sweet and savory combo as you all know and this includes my two loves...pb and BACON! I liked it a lot. Could've done without the honey since it was already plenty sweet. The bacon with banana combo was nice. Donut was moist and dense. Yummy.

Smores (chocolate sprinkles, marshmallows, graham cracker) $3~
This was good but surprisingly not my favorite. I wish there was more chocolate sauce or ganache or something on it. The cake felt a little drier than the other donuts we got. But still tasty, don't get me wrong. Just didn't compare to the others.

Pumpkin (with cream cheese frosting) $2~
This was the main reason I was here. The cake was super moist, not too sweet. The thin layer of frosting on top was just enough. Not overwhelming. YAY! :)

The donuts were pretty dense, but wasn't as large as I had expected. But that's probably a good thing. hahaha. And oh yea, one guy out of our group decided not to eat. So this was all consumed by just 4 of us...mostly me hahaha... :P My body totally hated me after that tho.

Here are some other delicious pictures for your viewing pleasure (I tried to include descriptions for the ones I know):
(From Left to Right) Hypnotic (chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, topped with pb Cap'n Crunch and pretzel); Almond to the World (chocolate sprinkles, sliced almonds, coconut); Smores; Blueberry?
(From Top to Botton) Poppin Berries (strawberry frosting and crushed mixed berry Pop Tarts); Boo!Bee! (vanilla frosting and donut hole in the middle with strawberry frosting); Zoo Ropa (vanilla frosting, sprinkles, iced animal cookies) 

Definitely a tasty experience in Dallas. I don't think I know any other place in the city that does funky donuts like this. Go check them out! :)

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vancouver Part 3: Casual Family Meals

First night in Vancouver we met up with some of my relatives and we went for dinner. We wanted to get some spicy food!

S&W Pepper House
4500 Kingsway
Burnaby, BC V5H 2B1, Canada
(604) 451-3916

It was a tiny little restaurant. We had to squeeze into one round table.. haha. Nice and cozy I guess. They do GuiZhou Style Chinese Cuisine.

Beef Shank and Beef Tripe with Chili Sauce $7.95~
Sauteed Snow Pea Leaves $9.95~
Shredded Pork in Sweet Soy Sauce (with pancake) $12.95~

Deep Fried String Bean (with minced meat and pickled vegetable) $9.95~ One of my favorite dishes in general. I love the one at JengChi Bakery in Dallas too.
Canadian Broccoli with Beef $11.95~
Crispy Duck
Boiled Sliced Fish with Assorted Vegetables $11.95~
Guizhou Style Fish with Cilantro & Chili $16.95~
Sliced Pork with Garlic Sauce $6.95~ One of my all time favorites matter where we go. Of course it's got fatty pork in it. haha.

None of the dishes were really that spicy. We were a bit disappointed. But all tasted good. Still overall a good meal.


We went for dim sum before we headed to the airport on Monday. This place was within walking distance from where we stayed. My uncle says he thinks they have one of the best dim sum in Vancouver.

Garden City Hot Pot
#1205 Cosmo Plaza
8788 McKim Way
Richmond, BC V6X 4E2
(604) 303-0909

Congee with Chicken and Thousand Year Egg. You pick 2 ingredients to go into the congee base. We chose the chicken and egg. It's pretty cool that they serve it on a stove top for the whole table. Good flavor. And I love thousand year eggs!!
 Peanuts, Pickled Vegetables, Green Onions to put in the Congee
Crystal Shrimp Dumpling. These are massive. Very fresh. One of our staple dishes during dim sum.
Steamed BBQ Pork Bun. Pretty standard.
Deep Fried Shrimp Spring Roll. My uncle really wanted this. He says it's the best. It was pretty damn good.
Steamed White Turnip Cake with Dried Scallop. Not your typical pan fried turnip cakes but still good.
Sauteed Vegetable
Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce. Can't have dim sum without Gai Lan.
Pan Fried Rice Noodles. Normally these come steamed so this was a nice change too. Came with an interesting peanut sauce which was yummy.
Sticky Rice in Banana Leaf
Baked Tapioca Pearl Pudding with Black Sesame Paste. I saw black sesame and I HAD to get it. It came with marshmallows baked on top. OMG... So good. I wanted another one just for myself!!

This was a really good meal. I wasn't even hungry after the weekend of binging. But still.. look at how much we ate. haha. There were only 6 of us for dim sum btw...

So lesson for the day: Vancouver has amazing Asian food (particularly Chinese) and also lots of variety. If you can't afford going to Asia, just go to Vancouver. haha. But go for more than just 3 days so you don't feel the need to stuff yourself silly to try everything! :P