Boiling Point is a chain of Taiwanese hot pot restaurants that originally started in the United States and has over 10 locations in the US, and two locations locally in Burnaby and Richmond. My cousin introduced me to this restaurant in Richmond for its famous stinky fermented tofu hot pot (臭臭鍋). I was curious about this restaurant so we made a stopover to try it out one evening.
How Boiling Point works is that they have a set menu of 10 different choices of individual servings of hot pots to choose from including their House Special (stinky fermented tofu hot pot), Korean Kimchi, Thai Flavor, Japanese Miso, and more. Your pot comes with a pre-selected number of ingredients including pork or beef or lamb or vegetarian, vegetables, tofu, and a selection of vegetables. It also comes with a bowl of rice or noodles and sauces. During lunch, they even throw in a complimentary bubble tea, but at dinner time it is at additional cost. The cost of the bowls range from $10.99 to $15.99 depending on the pot selected and whether it’s lunch or dinner (lunch is $1 cheaper). In addition you can add extra ingredients if you don’t find the hot pot filling enough.
For our visit, I ordered the House Special tofu hot pot less the pork intestines and the pork blood, as I don’t like either of those ingredients. My hubby ordered the Lamb hot pot, and my cousin ordered the Thai Flavor hot pot. As an appetizer, we ordered the Spicy Fermented Tofu to start. The Spicy Fermented Tofu was stinky, but tasted a bit like soy marinated tofu, but with light cilantro flavor and spicy kick to it. If you can get over the smell, it’s quite a tasty dish, although I still prefer the deep fried stinky tofu you can get at the night market instead.
Our pots arrived fairly quickly and the server heated the bottom of the pot with a lighter, igniting the flame at the bottom of the pot. From what I’ve learned, the hot pots used are specifically designed by Boiling Point and patented – making it different from other Asian hot pot restaurants. My House Special hot pot included the following ingredients: Nappa, Fermented Tofu, Pork Sliced, Enoki Mushroom, Kamaboko, Meatball, Clam, Quail Egg, Green Nira, Salty Veggies, and Tomato. I chose a mild spice for my hot pot, but it can range from no spice to flaming spicy. For mild spice, it was still quite flavorful and spicy enough for my tastebuds. I thoroughly enjoyed the ingredients and the hot pot, however would have preferred some vermicelli in the hot pot for some more substance. I also felt there were too much nappa vegetables and not enough of the other ingredients to balance out the hot pot.
My cousin ordered the Thai Flavor hot pot which included Taro Stem, Pork Sliced, Enoki Mushroom, Cuttlefish Ring, Fishballs, Clam, Crab, Calamari, Maitake Mushroom. She also ended up swapping her bowl of rice for a bowl of vermicelli to put into her hot pot as well. Her spice level was medium, and it was quite spicy for my tastebuds! However, the soup flavoring was stronger and more powerful than my House Special soup base.
My hubby ordered the lamb hot pot, which included Nappa, Vermicelli, Lamb Sliced, Enoki Mushroom, Imitation Crabstick, Kamaboko, Pork Blood, Fired Tofu Skin, Maitake Mushroom, Clam, Sour Mustard, and Firm Tofu. He enjoyed his hot pot with medium spice as well, however found that the amount of lamb was quite little compared to the other ingredients.
The restaurant is quite busy for dinner time, and is a great visit for those who are feeling like a hot soupy bowl of vegetables and meats. However, the bang for the buck isn’t particularly good at dinner time, but at lunch where the hot pot is the same, but you get an extra drink and $1 discount.