A quick walk from Chinatown and Adelaide’s Central Market. PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Slippery gatherings of glistening baby octopus on a clam shaped dish, pyramids of rolled lamb, slices of beef layered over plates, and scallops to be freed from their shells and swiftly chopstick-flicked into the bubbling broths below…get the picture? Steamboating is a fabulous way to dine! On your table, a mini gas stove wields a mighty pot. Its ying-yang shaped reservoirs give a holistic, healthful air to the experience, made more so with one of them yielding a ‘Chinese herbal medicine’ soup base. The other is loaded with a weapon grade chilli soup.
A checklist is provided to nominate the sea creatures you intend on sacrificing to the waters. With octopi on side, other seafood desirables include oysters, squid, river prawns in the shell, and live Murray cod. From the earth comes Chinese cabbage, tong hao, hairy gourd, and baby-fresh bok choy all nursed in wicker baskets. A fist-sized cluster of virginal white enoki mushrooms arrive ready to have their purity thrust into the boiling cauldron. Select your ingredient such as a sinfully dark halo of black fungus – bath it in the hotpot then slather it with a pungent sauce. Before it reaches your lips shower it with fried ground garlic. Salivating yet? It is both a sensory and sensual experience. You are reminded of the textural effect of food – mounds of chopped coriander alike piles of green petals, crispy cylinders of fried bean curd coated in rich sesame paste, and soft slimy seafood. Then there are the sauces…ahh, the sauces. Chilli oil that leaves a sexy bite on your lips, a velvety sesame paste, and a fermented bean curd sauce will all have you day dreaming days after – until your next Ming’s hit! That is not all. The a la carte dishes are highlighted by salted egg yolk prawns, and you just have to love a take-out menu that offers chilli intestines!