Saturday, November 11, 2006

Golden House

Golden House Chinese Restaurant is located on 760 Toorak Rad Hawthorn East. It is the latest in a crop of Hot Pot restaurants popping up around Melbourne. This particular hot pot place is an all you can eat one. It costs $20 for the all you can eat hot pot or $25 which includes all you can eat Peking Duck.

The restaurant interior is comfortable and still looks good as it is new. The chairs and table are fairly large, enough space to place the hot pot and all the dishes that will house the various food.

We chose the hot pot with the clear soup and the hot chilli soup as our base to dip all our meats and vegetables.

The range of meats and vegetables is fairly limited since it is all you can eat and they can't afford to give all the expensive options. We picked the usual beef, fish balls, squid balls, crab balls, prawns, tofu, vegetables etc. The beef was quite good and all the other balls were the usual flour made stuff you get from a frozen packet. They also had side dishes of cooked food that you can order. The better entrees were limited to one dish per two people. My friend thought it was one dish of EACH type per two people, so we were marking two dishes of everthing since there was four of us. The waitress then told us it was only one dish out of all the dishes as I had thought earlier. We eventually chose the jellyfish, which was good, and the beef with chilli, which was bad. Other unlimited entrees included things such as pan fried dumplings, spring onion pancakes, beef pancakes and Chinese pork buns, all of which was good.

Overall this place is fairly good value for money. The range of hot pot food options is limited but the meat options is ok. The side dishes are also quite good. Service is passable and the atmosphere is quite good, with noise being well dampened by the walls. The only annoying part was that the hot pot took FOREVER to boil. Once it got going, it was good but they really should throw out nearly empty gas rather than trying to get the last bit out of it.

Overall Rating: 12/20, I would go back if I wanted to eat hot pot and couldn't be bothered doing it at home. The fact that you know it will only cost $20 and you will get full is one advantage it has over traditional hot pot houses with more options, but you may be shocked to find that the meal cost $40 when you get the bill.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

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