Two days ago I went out for Hot Pot with one of my Hungarian friends and two of her friends, one of which can speak mandarin fluently – she spent 3 years in Beijing. The restaurant, Mimóza Kínai Étterem, is a bit hidden – almost in the middle of no where, but right in the middle of Budapest – on Hungaria krt.
When you enter, you’ll be greeted in the entrance way by a display case of what they have available for hot pot. It was all pretty standard stuff. Veggies, tofu, seafood and meat. I got so excited seeing veggies that I haven’t seen in over a year (ie. fresh taro!). I wonder where they get it from, cause I really have no idea where to source this stuff.
We got two soup bases: one spicy and the other was a clear broth – maybe chicken? The spicy one was barely spicy. I could eat consecutively from it and not be dying from heat. The clear broth had no flavour and was really missing the salt. For a dipping sauce, we all got satay. I didn’t hear the order for this or else I wouldn’t have ordered one for me. I don’t like satay and would have just preferred a dish of soy sauce.
In the end we ordered 2 plates of beef, tofu puffs, dumplings (they called it shao jiao, but they tasted more like wontons), lettuce, and spinach. The others weren’t so adventurous and didn’t want seafood, which was fine with me. Its really expensive! I saw things that would be commonly served at dim sum such as chicken feet.
Service was completely in Chinese. In fact, most of the clientele were Chinese. It was very strange to be sitting in a room full of Chinese people again, all of whom were shouting at each other in mandarin.
All in all, it was good for Budapest standards, but I could make better hot pot. The broth just weren’t very tasty, and it was clear that many things were previously frozen. The best part of the meal were the dumplings which came frozen – they didn’t even make it. But it was nice to take a break from Budapest and pretend I’m back home.