Dinner time is a perfect excuse to go out of campus and try new dishes around the area, so we went to eat hot pot. Our local friend, Wang Gang, took us to 北京阳坊大都羊肉 Beijing Yangfang Dadu Yangrou restaurant in Wudaoko. It was the first time I had hot pot and I loved it. This Chinese dish has a history of more than 1,000 years. It was originated in the north of China where people have to fend off the cold weather, and it used to be favored in winter. Now it is eaten throughout all seasons and it is part of the traditional Chinese dishes. The pot is divided in two sides, one is (really) spicy the other one is not.
The waiter brings out a simmering metal pot of stock and places it in the center of the table. Then the ingredients are placed into the pot and cooked at the table (you are the chef!). You can order as many ingredients as you want, more water is poured into the pot if needed. The most common ingredients are lamb, tofu, noodles, vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, beef, fish balls and other sea food. We actually had all of these, and it only took about 5 to 10 minutes for them to cook. The good part about hot pot is that you get to pick your ingredients and your condiments, the not so good is that you cook with chopsticks. Eating with chopsticks is already tough for me, now imagine trying to grab a piece of meat without getting burned o_O.