Restaurant critic and Drink columnist for the Inquirer.
Authentic hot pots heat up Chinatown
There is something magical about a cauldron of bubbling broth when it's brought to the table.
Heads turn in the dining room to gawk. Crowds of friends huddle around its aromatic warmth. Platters of pristine raw ingredients arrive beside the flame, piled majestically high like offerings to the hot pot gods. And the pace of dinner slows to a leisurely simmer, proceeding only as fast as each thin-sliced sheet of meat, bouncy fish ball, or crunchy fan of enoki mushrooms can be carefully poached, one by one, with the lingering spice of good conversation.
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