Finally had a chance to introduce my boyfriend to Sichuan hot pot at Uncle Liu's (2972 Gallows Road Falls Church, VA 22042). We met up with another couple who were trying hotpot for the first time, plus two other friends who went with me on the first UL's adventure. Hot pot works best with a group of 4-6 people so you can order a nice variety of ingredients. We ended up sitting at the same round table as last time. This time we tried the spicy broth with a whole fish (tilapia) included ($20).
Hot pot broth warming on the tabletop burner. The spicy broth was oily, and I missed the milder, creamy chicken broth from the half-and-half broth option.
In addition to the tilapia already in the broth, we ordered spicy beef, chicken, spinach, sliced lamb and mushrooms.
We also chose meat dumplings, bean sprouts, Chinese cabbage and chrysanthemum leaves.
Bubbling cauldron of spicy broth.
After the ingredients were cooked, we dipped them in our bowls of sauce. AA saw a food blog recommended mixture of sha-cha sauce with hot chili oil, cilantro, garlic, soy and vinegar. I made a different version of cilantro, soy, chili oil, sesame oil, and scallions. With a couple of TsingTao beers, rice, dipping sauce surcharge ($1/bowl) and two wonton soups, it was $21 per person including tax and tip for all six of us.