Visited on the 2nd of July 2013.
Hotpot is something I’ve always loved; although not as peaceful, to me it’s the urban equivalent of sitting by a campfire and roasting marshmallows. It’s a great chance to catch up some friends whilst having some fun cooking and eating. Traditionally, I’m used to having one large boiling pot of one or two broths in the centre of the table and an array of meats, vegetables, noodles and seafood on the side ready to be cooked in the boiling broth.
As the name “Ipot” suggests, rather than having one centred pot, every person sitting at the table is able to have their own hot pot (rather than one large community pot). This allows everybody to choose their own unique broth and avoids mixing of ingredients (this was useful as I have a friend who doesn’t eat lamb).
I think most of the menu items are self-explanatory so I’ll keep the commentary to a minimum in this post =p.
Before I get into the food we ordered, I absolutely have to mention the sauce bar. When I go to hotpot, I usually loath ordering sauces as it’s an expensive up-sell in my view and sometimes doesn’t compliment the broth. At Ipot I didn’t have this dilemma; $4 per head ensures you unlimited access to shallots, chilli and virtually every sauce and condiment you could ever hope for at any hotpot.
This was my individual pot, we had four small pots at our table and each of us chose our own broth. I liked my broth’s level of chilli; it was spicy enough to give a good kick but not too spicy to eat (I certainly didn’t need any chilli sauce for the rest of the evening!).
Fair warning however, I do have quite a good tolerance for chilli (just in case you were thinking of ordering this).
The most expensive item we ordered on the evening was the first to arrive. Although the meat was tender (check out that marbling!), I didn’t feel that this was necessary for hot pot; as long as you don’t overcook your meat in the broth, I find most cuts of meat to be tender. $48 for 8 thin slices of beef is really steep and I’d much prefer to order larger quantities of the other meats we had during the evening.
I really enjoyed these! Ox tongue has more bite to it relative to the other meats we ordered during the evening.
Lamb is my favourite thing to order during hot pot; I love the slight gamey flavour and it’s almost always tender as lamb is quite a fatty meat. Ipot’s lamb was no exception, we ended up ordering three servings by the end of the evening! I also felt that serving size of this was quite generous.
I liked the heart shaped presentation; I’m fairly certain this is just fresh cuttlefish in paste form. It solidifies when cooked and you can play with it by forming different shapes before you drop it into the broth.
Similar to the cuttlefish noodle wah above but served in a plastic piping bag. Because it comes out in a piping bag, you can create cuttlefish in the shape of noodles!
I really appreciated the way in which the noodles were brought to the table. Each noodle bunch is individually tied/knotted which meant that I didn’t have difficulty of ‘fishing’ for stray noodles in my both.
Ambiance: The decor was clean and modern; it was nice to see especially at hotpot venue. The area was well lit and noise levels were moderate; I’d say this place is most appropriate for fun casual evening out with a friend or small group.
Service: Service throughout the evening was good. There was enough staff coming around to order food on a continual basis and wait staff were also polite.
Final thoughts: Slightly above average pricing relative to other hot pots in the CBD. I had a good experience here; the food was presented nicely, portions were fairly generous (asides from the wagyu beef) and the produce was of great quality (super important for hotpot in my books!). Ipot is a nice addition to the hot pot options available in the Sydney CBD & the return factor there for me.
4-10 Goulburn St
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 8355 3188