I've said it so many times, but cold weather is the best weather for Hot Pot, and with the closure of two of the five Madtongsan stores lately, I decided to branch out a little and try out other stores. Living near Sunnybank, 88 Topokki has long been on my radar, with the recent cold snap, it was definitely time for me to go and try it.
Arriving at 6.30pm, we got a table after some other customers had left. The restaurant itself isnt too big, so it tends to fill up quite quickly.
Cutlery was already provided in a box on the table, along with some tissues. I liked the cute wooden boxes.
The super colourful menus reminded me of my recent experience at On Dam Korean from two months ago. Again, we had a slight pang of indecision, which took a while to be resolved.
After ordering, I had a slight reprieve to appreciate my surroundings. The basic drawings on the wall was quite reminiscent of Madtongsan at Market Square. Without further ado, our food came quickly after.
Our beef bibimbap was the first to arrive, in a sizzling hot stone bowl. We mixed it through and dug in. Compared to other ones we've had at Madtongsan, there was considerably less beef in the bowl than what we were used to, but a bit more in terms of veges. We liked the fresh and crispy veges, and the deliciously toasty rice from the bottom of the bowl. We did find the beef a little bit bland though, and in need of more seasoning.
We also had a stir fried udon, which was quite saucy, but didn't have as many toppings as we would like. Nevertheless, all the sauce ensured that it was quite tasty, although some more meat would have definitely made a big improvement. The udon was the nice square type that I like though, which gave it some bonus points.
Our main focus, the hot pot, came last. We ordered pot number one, which contained tofu, pork, seafood, and veggies. It came with two bowls of rice as well. This was the medium sized pot rather than the large one, but it was definitely more than enough for two people. The highlight for me was definitely the tofu, which was super soft and super smooth. A close second would be the pork belly which was extremely tender and delicious. The seafood could have been fresher, I suspect it was frozen, but this was well masked by the kimchi in the soup.
Sides also came with the hotpot, that night we had kimchi, pasta and pickled sweet potato. The pasta wasn't as creamy as other ones I've had before, but the kimchi, whilst a lot darker red than usual, was nowhere near as spicy, which made it a lot easier for me to eat.