iPot Chatswood – A Modern Way of Hot Potting

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Hot pot can be made in a variety of ways, for example the newly opened iPot  minutes away from Chatswood station has taken inspiration from a fusion of traditional Chinese cooking and Australian cuisine. The fun factor about this hot pot experience is custom made electric tables allowing EACH CUSTOMER to boil your own selection of ingredients to their liking. The restaurant has been furnished with comfy leathery red chairs and inbuilt glossy hotplates for… you guessed it HOT POT. What’s different about iPot and ordinary hot pot is their soup bases. You’ll be convinced to try all available options because of its unique components. In other words, it’s WORTH a HOT POT VISIT.

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Oh look at the sauce bar…feeling saucy 😛

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Unlimited supply of sauces for ($4 per head)

Pay extra EXTRA attention to the sauce bar, you can’t miss it! One of the more intriguing option that I came across is the minced beef sauce. The cooked minced beef is marinated with flavours of garlic oil. Feel free to double or triple the sauce if you like it really really SAUCY.

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WOW, Minced Beef Sauce, now that’s interesting.

Do you like a bit of spice in your life? If you can handle ultra hot chilli then Hot and Spicy Soup Pot ($9) is pleading for you to order it. This pot arrives with a mass of dried chilli, black cardanin, fennel seeds, peppercorn and floating dried bay leaves. You must watch the spicy soup bring to a steady bubbly boil because it looks like a potion pot, haha. Heads up, this soup may cause a good tongue paralysis.

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Hot and Spicy Soup Pot ($9)

In addition, staring me right in the face is the Soy Milk Seafood Pot ($12) – Similarly to Masuya but not even close  to taste is a soy milk and miso soup with added SEE-FOOD ingredients hidden like prawnclamscallopmussel, two pieces of crab leg. It looks great and the milky broth is completely a combination of Japanese and Western invention.

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Soy Milk Seafood Pot ($12)

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Found some treasure in my Soy Milk Seafood Pot

It’s also remarkable that iPot serve Smokey Mushroom Pot ($7) – A mixture of savory, smokey broth with a culmination of earthy mushrooms, gojitomatocup mushrooms and Chinese mushrooms. The flavour is a nice balance of sweet and salty but it’s also terrific with a toss of sliced meat being dunked into this flavoursome pot to add additional savory flavour.

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Smokey Mushroom Pot ($7)

Totes up to you which ingredients you’d want to cook. For me, I couldn’t resist the Beef and Lamb Combination ($22) – Dunk those frozen slices of beef or lamb into the pot and watch it slowly swirl and that’s when you know it’s cooked.

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Beef and Lamb Combination ($22)

It’s rare to see Abalone Mushroom ($8) so when we saw this on the menu we HAD TO ORDER IT. Its name is resemblance to the abalone shellfish. When cooked it has a solid, meaty texture. They have a juicy flavour and at times slippery texture with light anise scent.

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Abalone Mushroom ($8)

You may also want to try Dried Bean Curd ($4) – Might sound or look enticing ingredient but it’s texture is very silky and is made from the skin that forms on soymilk. They also have a delicious chewiness if combined with other ingredients like pork fat or mushrooms. Much like the texture of tofu, these bean curd absorb the flavours of whatever you chuck inside your pot.

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Dried Bean Curd ($4)

Serious Asians tend to order the Fresh Chrysanthemum greens ($5) when it’s hot pot hour. If you fancy the natural fragrant smell of chrysanthemum flowers, then consider ordering these greens. When boiled these chrysanthemum greens contain a mildly grassy, herbaceous taste and texture. With the stalks they bring out the sweetness and slightly remain crunchy even when dunked in hot broth.  

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Fresh Chrysanthemum greens ($5)

It’s up to you to order the Handmade Noodles ($5) but I am telling you, this bowl does offer fresh exquisite stringy noodles. It’s very stomach-nourishing with rich flour fragrant, so it’s a YES for me.

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Handmade Noodles ($5)

Some of the more captivating options include Fresh Shrimp Wah ($13)– The trick to preparing the shrimp wah is to not to toss the entire thing in. So when the pot is simmering, it’s best to use a spoon and scoop it into dollops of round balls. It doesn’t have to look that professional, as long as you find it pretty enough to eat.

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Fresh Shrimp Wah ($13)

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Looks round enough…HAHA

Behold the tofu is frozen, yes it’s literally FROZEN! I normally eat tofu when it’s extra silky and soft, but what changed was the the flavour and texture when I witness the Frozen Tofu ($5). If you look closely the water context inside the tofu looks like crystals. This technique does give the tofu a toothsome texture.

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Frozen Tofu ($5)

There are plenty of more adventurous dishes like Mushroom and Pork Mini Wah ($7) – which is a mash up of porkgarlic and mushroom. These juicy little meatballs beautifully go so well with the hot pot. Fantastic flavour when coated with your soup base. You’ll feel good when stuffing your stomach with these- they’re creatively delectable.

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Mushrooms and Pork Mini Wah ($7)

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Did you know…these Mini Wah are handmade.

These pretty Cuttlefish and Oyster Wah ($18) has infused a lot of cuttlefish and oyster flavour. You’d want to continue eating these until it’s all gone. You can’t go wrong with these because they are perfectly prepared with no mess and no fuss.

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Cuttlefish and Oyster Wah ($18)

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Are you aware these oysters are delicious?

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An oyster is hidden in there!!!

We ended up paying $35 per head between 4 people and managed to eat a large froyo afterwards. You’d be fascinated with the sauce bar but be warned that’s additional ($4) per head and they didn’t bother to mention that to us. I personally think they qualify as a unique hot pot with their range of soup base and dishes like Cuttlefish and Oyster WahMushrooms and Pork Mini Wah and Fresh Shrimp Wah. If I didn’t have to think about the cost of each plate then I’d come here every night during winter.

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Photos by Vanny Tang

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14 thoughts on “iPot Chatswood – A Modern Way of Hot Potting

    Michael @ I'm Still Hungry said:
    May 19, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    A pot for each diner? This is a concept that I hope takes hold more effectively in Sydney – a lot of hot pot restaurants in China have been offering this for some time (though perhaps more out of hygiene reasons).

    iPot is quite expensive, given the model, but it definitely delivers! Looks like your visit reaffirms that 🙂

    There’s another hot pot place that does a similar “each to their own pot” thing in Chinatown, but the name escapes me!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      May 24, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      You heard me, individual hot pot! Love how Sydney is adapting to Chinese style hot pot. Yes iPot is a tad xxx but I really like the concept of their dishes.

        Michael @ I'm Still Hungry said:
        May 26, 2014 at 6:07 PM

        Sometimes you just gotta live a little – great for the occasional treat.

        Nessy Eater responded:
        May 26, 2014 at 11:27 PM

        True about that! Agree with you on that, occasional treat indeed.

    Helen | Grab Your Fork said:
    May 19, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Perfect for OCD diners! Also so fascinated by that triple-tier stand for hot pot ingredients too. Fancy!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      May 24, 2014 at 8:04 PM

      I fancy triple-tier too! It’s not everyday hot pot presentation can be so classy 😛

    irene said:
    May 20, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Oh wow, I didn’t know this place before! The frozen tofu looks like sugar cubes, I wonder how they taste like. And I wanna try the chrysanthemum greens too!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      May 24, 2014 at 8:03 PM

      You’re right! Totes didn’t think of sugar cubes lol. Texture of the tofu is really silky and a tad spongy. I haven’t seen chrysanthemum greens for ages since iPot.

    ionlyeatdesserts said:
    May 26, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    This looks so delicious – omg that amount of meat ❤ Wish we had a good hot pot eat out place in Adelaide (a lot are super expensive!) I usually eat hot pot at home with the family, still delicious!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      May 26, 2014 at 11:27 PM

      Can’t go wrong with hot pot in Sydney and definitely can’t go wrong having hot pot at home.

    ChopinandMysaucepan said:
    May 30, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Dear Vanny,

    Chatswood has literally become a melting pot of so many different restaurants. Interesting concept and hotpot season is coming too!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      May 30, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      I think hot pot season has already arrived! 😀

    Joseph (@UpForAFeed) said:
    June 21, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    This place looks heaps good! I want to try it out. I like that you get your own pot

      Nessy Eater responded:
      June 22, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      This is a perfect dinner spot for cold weathers outside. Individual pots are the best because I can stuff as many meat as I wish 😛

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