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Qi La/齐辣
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We love hotpot, and we know you do too. Admit it. There's no shame. While the MORE crew has seen a lot of good and bad ones come and go in our fair city, we were especially thrilled to have a chance to eat at Qi La. It seems to be done a bit like Chuan Wei Guan and its clones, but without being a direct rip off. Besides, the place is plastered with pictures of Taiwan-born superstar Qi Qing, and that was reason enough for us to check this place out. Upon entering, it was clear that this would elicit painful memories of shopping-mall eateries, but we kept our chins up as we took our seats. Unfortunately, the WC is a huge disappointment, since there isn't one. If you want to wash up, you'll have to take a voyage outside the restaurant and down a hall to the mall bathroom, but don't despair; finding it is easy if you just let your nose be your guide. The snippy wait staff was also pretty quick to discourage us from taking photos, as is typical of most Chinese spots. However, they dissed us in total style as they rocked black, autographed, Qi Qing T-shirts that are merchandised at this venue, and available to you die-hard fans who need to show your support. Our meal was made up of: a yin-yang divided hotpot with the usual mild recipe chicken broth on one side, spicy red soup in the other. Thinly-sliced white fish was served, head and all. Sliced rolls of fatty pork made for a great texture and flavor, with sliced rolls of lamb making rounding out the meat portion of our order. Baby bok choy provided the guilt-buffer for justifying our protein-rich meal, and quail eggs that scald your mouth when you bite down on them are delightfully hazardous. The enoki mushrooms and la mian noodles also helped broaden our palate of flavors. There's a signature secret sauce served with this meal made up of roasted garlic, spicy pepper paste, and sliced bits of scallions. So it's not that much of a secret, but it's actually quite good, as the roasted garlic makes the flavors of the foods really shine with more complexity than the raw bite fresh garlic provides, although it won't make you too popular afterwards. Parking is not much trouble in this yet-to-be completed piece of urban sprawl on the north end of the block, but it will probably become nightmarish later on, so hurry up and check this place out. Prices are not exactly cheap, with our meal costing over 200RMB, including only one bottle of beer. 

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2013A, 2/F, INCITY Mall, 588 Gudun Road

0571 8898 0707

Opening Hours:
10am - 9:30pm
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