Monday, October 20, 2014

Chubby Lamb Hot Pot 河豚火鍋 (Under new ownership)

"What do you want to eat? Hot pot? Is it worth the drive and $80.00?", lmfao this is how the conversation started when deciding on a place for dinner. A big reason for visiting Chubby Lamb Hotpot in Richmond is because the restaurant serves the best Chinese chicken and herbal soup base! The broth is consistent, tastes rich, and the owner always encourages us to have a couple of bowls each before starting on the hot pot!

However, the restaurant is now under a new ownership and management. Chubby Lamb has been closed for a couple of months and I assumed the restaurant was being renovated, but the biggest sign of a new ownership was the staff. The staff is different from the last few previous years and there are polaroid photos of the new team by the counter. The fish bowl sitting on the counter is another sign as well!

Walking in, the restaurant was empty but the room filled up fast. Both the waiter and waitress at the front of the house were friendly and inviting, especially the waitress. The waitress appears to be related to the owner and is a very hard worker. She is also extremely polite and even says "Hello, welcome" as well as "Please, right this way" in Chinese, which is actually a first for me out of 150+ Chinese restaurants I have blogged about. Furthermore, she followed up with every table and made sure to say goodbye to everyone.

As for the interior, Chubby Lamb is one of the smaller hot pot restaurants so reservations are recommended. There are only a couple of seating arrangements for parties of more than six and less than twelve tables. After ordering, every table is provided with soy, peanut and satay sauce, and extra condiments are $0.75.

ADULT $22.50 || CHILD (5-11) $14.90 || AGE (3-4) $5.00
BROTH $7.00 - $12.00 || UNLIMITED POP $1.50.

CILANTRO ($0.75).
One thing different about Chubby Lamb compared to other AYCE hot pot restaurants is that the restaurant offers a variety of drinks. Asides from the generic pop, plum juice and beer, Chubby Lamb offers coconut, peach and mango Asian canned drinks.

The restaurant does not offer "Chinese herbal chicken soup" so wine chicken soup was the closest to what we wanted. There are very little herbal ingredients such as dates, wolf berries along with dang shen roots, but not much of a herbal flavour. The wine flavour is also very subtle and the cooked items later on tasted a bit salty because of the wine.

Included with the order of a wined chicken soup base is half a free range chicken. The chicken looks fresh and we waited for the broth to boil before tossing the meat in. If anything, majority of the food arrived before the hot pot so it was like torture having to wait for both the pot then for the broth to boil!

We would have also preferred if the kitchen boiled the soup base for us like many hot pot restaurants because we had to skim out the foam, which delayed the process of eating! Grr.

The housemade spring rolls taste fresh and have a light crispiness. There is a potato, carrot, and bean sprout filling, and resembles Filipino style spring rolls without the pork. The spring rolls are only average but are good enough as fillers, and I was extremely hungry having to wait the ten to fifteen minutes for the darn soup base to boil!

Watercress, spinach, sui choy and tong ho. The vegetables are throughly rinsed and taste fresh.

Starting with the sirloin, the meat tastes lean as expected. We requested for only four slices just in case the sirloin is thickly sliced and tastes dry as well as chewy. However, the meat is very thinly sliced so the beef does not taste chewy. Following, the "special beef" (ribeye) is well marbled and tastes tender along with a beefy flavour. Continuing along, the slices of lamb along with the pork taste tender too.

Rice cake, pork and beef balls, konnyaku noodles, tofu puff and quail eggs. I rarely have rice cakes so these were like a luxury! The rice cakes taste soft and have a nice light chewiness. As for the balls, we requested for only a couple of each but received a bit more. The balls are not housemade and are generic frozen ones, which I personally prefer.

Prawns, mussels, chikuwa fish roll, fish tofu, fish slices, pork neck meat, bean curd roll (fresh bean curd sheets), imitation lobster meat balls, enoki mushroom and pumpkin slices. We requested for only "four" pieces of each item but received more, so make sure to be specific for those who do not want too much food. Beginning with the fish slices, the fish does not taste fishy (which oddly has happened) and tastes moist. As for the pork neck meat, the presentation is not very appealing but that soft crunch is there.

The dumplings and wontons are housemade and have a smooth skin. Both have a pork filling which tastes tender and not too gritty, essentially being good enough as fillers.

TOTAL: $57.50 + TIP $12.50 = $70.00.

The prices at Chubby Lamb are slightly higher compared to the majority of AYCE hot pot restaurants. Also, the selection is more limited and there is currently only one cooked item. But having said that, I would revisit Chubby Lamb because this is one business I want to support and I believe the menu will expand after a few months. The waitress is very welcoming and aims to please, something that is hard to find at many restaurants! In addition, on a full house with only two waitstaff at the front, the restaurant was understaffed but the both of them made sure to check in on every table. They were efficient in refilling drinks along with the soup base without having to ask, and simply being polite makes a huge difference. I also like how the waitress handed out tea to those who were waiting for a table.

- Open late night
- Fresh ingredients
- Attentive, friendly and welcoming staff

- Selection is limited
- A bit pricier than other hot pot restaurants

- 10% off until November
- Staff is fluent in Chinese and English
- Restaurant is small, so make reservations
- Kitchen decides the portions per person, so make sure to request only a couple of pieces for those who want a little bit of a certain item

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 4/5

Chubby Lamb Hot Pot 河豚火鍋 on Urbanspoon


  1. You've done it - you've inspired me to officially hit the hot pot circuit this year. Which one would you recommend??

    1. Yay! Lol.
      My favourite hot pot place is Tak Heng in Richmond because they offer a few kinds of dessert (coconut, mango and wolf berry), the cooked chicken wings are so tasty, and restaurant has a few other cooked items that are above average. The complimentary sauce station has a large variety and the restaurant looks nice too.

      If in Vancouver,
      Fatty Cow offers live seafood and is worth trying once, but I would not revisit because I like consistency and am picky.
      Little Sheep Mongolian on West Broadway (I do not like the Metrotown or Richmond location) has good quality meat but only two choices of soup bases. This is my go-to if I do not want to travel to Richmond for hot pot.

    2. Oops, nevermind. The sauce station at Tak Heng is very basic and the restaurant with a large variety is K.K Dollar., K.K Dollar has individual sized pots



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