Mongolian Hot Pot - Milpitas Ranch 99?
In our quest to eat our way around the world, starting here in the Bay Area, and then go there to compare and contrast, our next stop is Ulan Bator.
We were down at Ranch 99 (Milpitas) last weekend, and saw the Hot Pot City (is that right?) place over on the right side of the complex.
I've searched as best I can on this new search engine (am I the only one who is not happy with how the searches come out?), and have not found any info on it.
So a two-part question:
1. Has anyone been to Hot Pot City and how is it? I am looking for spicy Mongolian Hot Pot, from what I have read.
2. Where are the best Mongolian Hot Pot places in the Bay Area? I will drive there on the quest, so anywhere is OK, North Bay preferred (but not expected). I've read a number of reviews, and it sounds like there is no clear winner.
And a small offering of review - the pearl tea outlet in Ranch 99 Milpitas has the best pearl tea of several different places I've tried. Definitely better than Quickly (we've tried three different ones) though without the cool techno and para-para dance music.
My guess is that it's Coriya Hot Pot City, since they seem to stalk 99 Ranches. If so, it's not Mongolian, more of a shabu-shabu cum Korean BBQ. Taiwanese owned. Speaking of Pearl Tea, the original SF Coriya Hot Pot City was the first place I ever saw Boba tea, and was undoubtedly one of the first places in the Bay Area to offer it.
Somewhere down South Bay, there's rumored to be a Little Lamb Hot Pot, which would be closer to Mongolian than Hot Pot City.
re: Martin Strell
Never tried the Union City branch yet but from the looks of the photos, it does seem like the real mongolian hot pot similar to the highly touted Little Sheep in LA.
The Coriya is NOT in the same league for the spicy hot pot you mentioned. It is far inferior than Little Sheep. However, it is very decent for a buffet place. For a mere $13 you can get all you can eat hot pot and bbq on your table with 2 kinds of broth (spicy and regular).
In the next complex practically next door to Ranch 99 complex is ULFERT (ABC dimsum) is a decent hotpot with a similar name to Little Sheep. This is better for a hotpot than Coriya but it is not all you can eat.
Ninji Hotpot in Newark is another awesome hotpot but I think it is Taiwanese. All the hounds that I heard have anointed this place as one of the best around. I think it deserves to be the best sans the new challenger Little Lamb also in UC.
re: Gary Soup
Coriya Hot Pot is definitely mediocre, but if you want to gorge on the cheap, it might work out. The spicy broth is made from a jarred Sichuan style paste and adds on a surcharge of a few bucks. While it's somewhat ma-la, it definitely lacks complexity.
I find that grilling on the aluminum foil lined tray around the hot pot to be dirty business. Lots of smoke and splatter.
Try Sheep King Restaurant on Walnut st in Fremont. It's very Northern China/Mongolian style. You can get your pot spicy, mild or a split pot with spicy and mild. Hot pot City is better for a large group. For flavor I like Sheep King.