|Peanuts and Kimchi to pass time|
|Prawn Sui Mai|
|The heater on the table|
The Swiss of course have the cheese fondue in which the pot called a Caquelon is filled with cheese and heated with a spirit lamp. You dip pieces of bread and eat them with pickles and dried meat washed down with White Wine. You could also have a Chocolate fondue where the pot would contain liquid chocolate in which you dip pieces of fruit. You could have a fondue Bourguignonne where you have hot oil in which you dip pieces of meat to eat with various accompanying sauces.
The common theme in all these fondues and hot pots is that they are traditionally eaten in winter and are particularly well suited to a meal when you have kids with you or, if you are at a party with lots of happily drunk folks. Very interactive, great entertainment.
At the Pan Asian we got get a selection of raw marinated proteins [lamb, pork, beef, chicken, squid and prawn] and a selection of vegetables [Zucchini, Baby Corn, Bok Choy, Broccoli and two types of Mushroom]. The meats are sliced very thin so that they cook in seconds. You also get a bowl of boiled Noodle to supplement your soup. Condiments offered to spice up your soup are minced Garlic cooked in oil, a Peanut sauce and Green Onion.
|The condiments - Peanut Sauce, Green Onion and Garlic in Sesame Oil|
At the Pan Asian the method was slightly different. The meat, and at our request, only the mushroom and Bok Choy were added to the cauldron merrily bubbling in the centre. I really did not like the idea of loading my soup with Baby Corn, Broccoli and Zucchini. That is fine for the Jains, Khandelwals and Shahs, not me. After a few moments the meat was cooked and we ladled out portions of the soup and the meat into our bowls and ate. Once the meat was eaten we put in the squid and prawn as this takes a fraction of time to cook. The stock itself was a decently spiced Sichuan style stock and was quite tasty. The quality of the meat and fish was top class.
|A glass of Red for HRH the Queen to wash down the Hot Pot|
To finish, we were given a bowl of Tub Tim Grob a Thai desert. It is a classic, sweetened coconut milk with vividly coloured water chestnut dumplings. Actually, the dessert worked after those heavy flavours.
|Tub Tim Grob|