Where is the best Sichuan hotpot in Toronto?
There's Sichuan House, the most authentic for downtown. They don't really focus on hotpot, but I recall they had a one person hotpot option on the menu. Give them a call.
The two hotpot spots in Chinatown are Liu Liu and Prince's. Neither are that great, but they're convenient if you have that craving. I rather make the trek to....
Uptown, there are quite a few hotpot places (Little Sheep, iCook, 100degrees, Made In China etc). Most will have a spicy sichuan broth option as a $ add on, but I find them to be meh. Flavour King was the only one that advertised itself as a Sichuan hotpot restaurant, I believe they went out of business. I had a serious case of msg thirst the last time I was there, but it was 麻辣.
To answer your question, I haven't had anything noteworthy in Toronto. Hotpot here is ayce, so the quality of the ingredients are average at best. Of all the uptown hotpot places, I do like Kim Tao the most. Their house made meat/fish balls have a nice texture to it. They're unfortunately all the way up in Richmond Hill.
Considering our climate, I'm often perplexed by the lack of ingredient driven hotpot/shabu places in Toronto. It's an untapped market, but the existing market (ie. Chinese) only want ayce.
Telltale sign of quality control, check to see if the veg is washed properly. A lot of places are really lazy, you'll find dirt or critters lying aboot.
First. thanks for the amazing reply.
Sounds as if I'm going to be seriously disappointed. I've been to China over 50 times on business, often for lengthy stays. Best hotpot ever is from several Sichuan places in Beijing - even better than in Chengdu,
I did have good hotpot recently in San Francisco - may wait until I get back there.
And you're right on about AYCE. That doesn't interest me at all, especially because I like ingredients like kidney and brain. I won't sacrifice freshness.