Kichi-Kichi Express Rotary Hotpot
OK, I have to confess that this was my second time here. I didn't think that I would come back; after all, how could anything be good at a conveyor belt-driven hotpot place? (And one that amusingly featured little square icons that were clearly a ripoff of iOS app tiles!) Besides, it's not like I really cared for the broth, sauces, nor ingredients last time. But I needed something fast, light, and yet generously portioned for lunch today, and this all-you-can-eat chain featuring single-serving pots came to mind.
And yes, somehow this place kinda worked for me today, but not without keeping in mind the lessons learned from last time. Ingredients? I loaded up on veggies and fish with only just a little meat. Sauces? I went au naturel...except a quick touch of the sesame dip. Broth? I definitely didn't get their "Szechuan" version, which was not the bright red mala broth one would think it to be, but rather a clear one with a slice of that Sichuan pickled vegetable stuff. I stuck to the mushroom broth instead, which provided just the light yet savory taste that I was looking for.
It was then that I realized what it was I was really after: the now defunct Mushroom Park from Taiwan, whose steaming cauldron of tasty mushrooms in a light broth with just a touch of meat and sesame sauce on the side is something no longer available in Singapore. The quality of ingredients here certainly wasn't anything like theirs, but in the absence of any other choice, this had to do for now...and yes, I dumped a ton of mushrooms into my bowl. (Side note: interestingly, this place is apparently from Vietnam. I never would have guessed their origins given that the food was nothing like Vietnamese lau.)