Following my experiences at Narati, I was pretty hooked onto the concept of Malatang. Having heard that there was a pretty popular one in Runcorn Plaza, I made a point to drive over to try it out and see whether the hype was substantiated.
Arriving at lunchtime on a weekday, it was not yet half full. Decor was simple and pleasing to the eye.
Like most DIY malatang places, we started off by grabbing a bowl and tongs before proceeding to making our selection.
There was quite an impressive selection of foods available for us to choose from,
but the quality of some, especially the meats, were a bit questionable.
Being the decisive person I am, my choices were made rather quickly and covered a few of my favourites.
As expected in a Malatang place, we weighed up each of our bowls before paying. Despite being weighed with the bowl in total (no negative weights taken into consideration), the weight of the bowl was deducted upon payment.
Rather than getting a number for the table though, we got a number for each bowl we ordered, which I guess alleviates some of the confusion on the part of staff.
As with most no frills Chinese restaurants, cutlery and sauce was served on a DIY basis.
I got my usual concoction of soy, sesame oil, garlic and shallots (a pretty unbeatable combination in my opinion).
Given how empty the store was, our food did take some time to arrive.
The three steaming hot bowls of soup came in quick succession, and were very well received across the table. Myself and one companion opted for a non spicy soup, whilst the other companion opted for a mildly spicy one. The soup base was extremely enjoyable, and the manager advised us that it was a slow cooked pork bone broth. Initially I had concerns with some ingredients being overcooked whilst some others were undercooked in the boiling process, but this proved unfounded. Although the meat was slightly more cooked than I would have personally preferred, it was still tender and had a good texture. I really liked how the ingredients and especially the noodles absorbed the tasty bone broth, and despite the hot summer, it proved to be a very enjoyable meal.
Price Range: $10 - $20pp