Foodies will always crave for new gastronomic experiences. Although hotpot meals have become popular since the 1980s in China and hotpot restaurants are sprouting in Malaysia, there’s one in Eco Botanic City, Gelang Patah which you should consider giving a try.
Why? Because it is believed to be the first in the Southern region of Malaysia that offers hotpot style which originated from Northeast China.
In case you didn’t know, China is known as the home of hotpot and the tradition had come from Mongol warriors who sat around a pot over a fire to keep them warm as they ate in the harsh cold winter.
Food from each Chinese region has its own distinct flavors – sweet in the South, spicy in the East, sour in the West, and salty in the North.
The restaurant, called Reunion Iron Pot, which opened for business four months ago, serves authentic Northeastern hotpot dishes which is the ideal for big families, a group of friends or colleagues to bond together over a meal.
However, the restaurant serves individual Malapot dishes on the ground floor for small families or a single diner. For Malapot, one can choose from six soup bases from non-spicy to very spicy.
It is the same with the iron pot cuisines, which are served on the first floor. One can request the degree of spiciness in the soup, to make the dishes children-friendly and palatable for those who can’t take spicy food.
The first floor has five round tables and two private dining rooms. On the third floor is a spacious private dining room with karaoke facilities.
“Diners have to book a day or preferably three hours before coming over if they want to eat iron pot dishes as we need time to simmer the main ingredients of your choice, whether it is chicken, pork ribs, seafood or mutton.
“Our menu also has various stir-fried dishes,” said Lai, a former marketing executive who quit her stable job to venture into the business.
“I like the thrill of running a business. It definitely isn’t easy but I’m prepared for this new challenge in my life,” she said.
Lai also explained that they chose the name “Reunion Iron Pot” because the round pot in the middle of the round table symbolizes reunion. At the same time, the burning fire and rising steam denote a fulfilling life.
Meanwhile, Bi said that hotpot restaurants are widely found in Northeast China because of the cold seasons.
“People like eating hotpot, especially during cold weather. They would eat hotpot during an annual reunion, a family celebration, or when there’s a gathering among colleagues and friends because hotpot is a symbol of unity,” he said.
“Stewing goose, chicken, duck, oxtail and mutton in a big iron pot over a long time brings out the flavour and you get a pot of healthy soup. A hotpot meal may look simple but the vegetables and the different types of meat and the time that you put it into the pot to simmer makes a whole lot of difference.
The signature dishes include 猪皮冻 (pork skin jelly), 大肠头炒尖椒 (stir-fried pepper with large intestine), 榛蘑 (Hazel mushroom), among others.
“Hazel mushrooms from the Changbai Mountains bring out the fresh flavor of the chicken,” Bi said, adding that Northeastern Chinese dishes comprise mainly wheat-based dishes, namely, corn cakes, flower rolls (steamed buns) and noodles which go well with the soup.
Reunion Iron Pot
Address: 33A, Jalan Eko Botani 3/7, 79100 Gelang Patah
For reservations please call: +6012-7719793
Opens daily 11am to 11pm