One of the great delights of Asian cuisine, and popular not just in Asia but all over the world, is the hotpot.
There are many ways of organising a hotpot, but the basic method is the same. Diners choose what they want to eat, such as strips of meat or vegetables, and cook them in bubbling soup in the hotpot.
Melbourne's CBD has many restaurants featuring the hotpot, but it is not so easy to find in the suburbs. Now there is a new restaurant in St Albans, TT Hotpot Buffet, which offers this service. And it is a service that many diners obviously want. Since opening on 16 March, TT Hotpot has been booked out.
The cuisine is mainly Vietnamese, but also includes entree dishes such as chicken wings, satays and Japanese Gyoza pork dumplings. For the buffet itself, you choose what you want from the carousel, and cook it in any of five soups. The soups are plain or spicy chicken, tom yum, miso and vegetable, suitable for vegetarian or vegan diets.
TT Hotpot Buffet also offers a variety of traditional Vietnamese desserts. They include banana leaf wrapped glutinous rice, grass jelly with coconut milk, and banana with tapioca pudding.
Located in a new shopping precinct next door to the refurbished St Albans railway station, TT Hotpot Buffet is easy to get to.
TT Hotpot Buffet is open Mon-Thurs 12pm-10pm, and Fri-Sun 12pm-11pm. This makes it ideal for lunch, dinner, or a late supper. It is also good value for the customer, at $30 per person for the lunch menu, and $34 per person for dinner. The price also includes a small plate of seafood for each person.
TT Hotpot Buffet is at Shop 7, 4 Main Road West, St Albans (near St Albans Station). For bookings, phone 9364 6779.