dine | TABLE TALK
THERE’S A NEW RESTAURANT worth checking out for
an all-you-can-eat adventure. Urban Hot Pot in the Galvan at
Twinbrook apartments on Rockville Pike opened in December. For
the most fun, ask for one of the tables that abuts a conveyor belt
with a constantly moving array of alluring vegetables and proteins.
This is a modern version of Chinese hot pot, where diners drop
various ingredients in hot, ;avored broth and then pick them out
and eat them once they’re cooked. The broth, delicious on its
own, becomes more and more ;avorful as the meal progresses.
At 100-seat Urban Hot Pot, you order from a tablet computer
at your table, then a server brings the broth, placing the pots on
each diner’s individual infrared burner. Broth choices are spicy
beef; “original,” which is chicken- and pork-based; two kinds of
tomato broth, one vegetarian, the other chicken- and pork-based;
pork and kimchi; and herbal chicken.
While your broth is heating up, head to the make-your-own-dipping-sauce bar to whip up a customized concoction, say with
scallions, jalapeño, soy sauce, sesame oil and oyster sauce.
Back at your table, start picking vegetables, noodles and
proteins at will from the conveyor belt, or order them from your
tablet and a server will bring them. Among the dizzying and
diverse choices are razor-thin slices of raw beef (they cook in
an instant), head- and shell-on shrimp, tofu, squid, Chinese
sausages, quail eggs, udon noodles and ramen noodles. A
panoply of vegetables includes such items as taro root, broccoli,
shiitakes, kombu (seaweed), pumpkin, watercress and spinach.
Each table is allotted a two-hour maximum stay. The price
Monday through Friday is $18.99 for lunch and $25.99 for
dinner. On Saturday and Sunday, the price is $25.99 for lunch
or dinner. Some items come with a surcharge, including a whole
chopped, shell-on lobster ($15), oysters ($1 each), scallops ($8
per half-pound) and King crab legs ($25 per pound). “I don’t want
customers to have to spend a lot of extra money beyond the all-
you-can-eat price to have the things they want to eat,” says owner
Vivian Zhu. “We want a place for people to have fun and hang out
with friends.” Mission accomplished. ■;
Urban Hot Pot, 1800 Rockville Pike, Rockville,
Diners can pick up veggies,
noodles, meats and seafood
from a conveyor belt, then add it
to their bowl of steaming broth
at Urban Hot Pot.
Vivian Zhu (right) opened the