A hot pot for a chilly day | Arts & Appetite
Plus: Remembering Waroeng Jajanan Indonesian market
Last updated 9/30/2021 at 11:33am
I have to guess that most people have already been to the Boiling Point in Edmonds – on a cool day, when the chill in the air makes you shiver?
Since we have had a few of those lovely, cooler days, we get to pull on a warm hoodie or sweater and we get to have soup again! I do love a good bowl of soup, and a hot pot is one of the most remarkable bowls of soup you will ever have.
A "hot pot" is a traditional Taiwanese hot soup with no shortage of ingredients and flavors. The base of any of these soups is the broth, and the main ingredients are enoki mushrooms, a protein like beef, pork, or tofu, taro root, cabbage, soy, and vermicelli.
At the Boiling Point, though, they take this starting point and keep on going, adding unique flavors and ingredients that bring this family meal to a wider audience.
The hot pot is usually served boiling, literally, at the table, in a huge bowl overflowing with goodness, so you have to wait a few moments after your meal is served to dig in. Because of recent delta variant news, we are back to takeout and were able to enjoy our dishes as soon as we got back home. (Yes, hot pot is a great option for takeout.)
Calling in my order was a piece of cake, and the small restaurant has the in-room dining and take-out, as well as a small market area, very well separated.
Our choices, after much back and forth studying the menu, were the lamb (#5 hot soup) and milk cream curry (#6), as well as the hot spring egg on rice appetizer ($3.60). The soups came in well-sealed containers (both at $15.80), with extra vermicelli noodles on the side (steaming in hot water), and while the two were very different on a flavor profile, they were similar in being incredibly yummy.
The lamb hot pot was a veritable smorgasbord of tastes and textures, with sliced lamb being just one of the proteins in addition to crab, fish cake, fried tofu skin (yes and so very good), clams, firm tofu, and an egg.
The Napa cabbage maintained its crunch, but was warmed through from the incredibly rich broth, and the mustard greens, fried taro, and two kinds of mushrooms really made for a satisfying meal. Every bite is different, but the soup broth, well, I can only imagine how long it takes them to get that depth of flavor.
The milk cream curry was like nothing I had tried before, and I am so glad I did. It, too, had Napa cabbage, vermicelli, mushrooms, crab, fish balls, and fried tofu skin, but also sliced pork, corn, potatoes, Chinese string beans, and a sea salt cream that made the curry broth so very flavorful.
The egg on rice was my favorite bite of the night, though. With the sweetness of the green onion and the creaminess of the perfectly poached egg (flavored by the dashi, soy, and mirin), the rice was a bowl of comfort food that my dad would have raved about.
Boiling Point started in California with one restaurant and just three hot soups, and they have since expanded to five Boiling Point locations in Washington, as well as several in California, one in Japan, and a couple in Canada.
They are slowly bringing their version of the hot pot to many soon-to-be fans.
The Boiling Point is located on Highway 99 in Edmonds (22001 Highway 99, #100) and is open daily from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (9:30 on Friday and Saturday). Info: bpgroupusa.com.
Most of you have likely heard the news about the fire and suspected arson at the Plum Tree Plaza on Highway 99. The store most badly damaged because of this senseless crime was the Waroeng Jajanan Indonesian market, which I reviewed in May 2019 (bit.ly/398XQs2).
It is always terrible to see someone suffer the loss of their livelihood and the fruits of their labor, and this one is also a big loss to all of us who live nearby.
Waroeng Jajanan specialized in Indonesian street food, and it was the place to go if you had traveled to Indonesia and wanted to be reminded of the sights, smells, and tastes. It was both a market and restaurant, and the staff were so very kind and helpful, as well as enlightening when it came to recommending menu items to try.
In my original review, I recalled not only the warm service and fantastic food, but the 20-minute tour of the market we were treated to by the two folks working that night. They explained all of the ingredients and how some of the dishes were made.
They were wonderful ambassadors for their restaurant and their cuisine. More importantly, they were welcoming members of our community who understood that reaching out and learning about each other is what makes us human.
I don't know if Waroeng Jajanan Indonesian Market will be able to rebuild, but I hope so.