Noodles were another great add-in, from thick, silky udon to toothsome glass noodles to chewy flat rice noodles, which weren't strips of dough but actually oblong discs. King mushrooms were firm but silky, while tiny enoki added springy interest to a tangle of tender cooked greens (baby bok choy might be familiar, but try something different, like bitter gai choy, peppery tong-o, or sweet, bright pea tips).

I highly recommend the quail eggs, which are a little tricky to open but worth the effort (the shell is brittle, but the inner membrane is thicker, so you have to pick and then peel a hole in one end). Although you could hard-boil them, I liked mine poached, their oozy yolks adding richness to my own individual bowl of soup.

Korean pumpkin takes longest to cook, but once it softens, it adds a gentle sweetness to the mélange. On the flipside, handmade, adorably bite-size pork and veggie dumplings cook up rather quickly and deliver instant gratification with creamy, flavorful filling. Don't miss them if they're a nightly special.

Bring your appetite and adventurous friends to Tien Wong, where everybody at the table adds to the do-it-yourself hot pot soup.
Jackie Mercandetti
Bring your appetite and adventurous friends to Tien Wong, where everybody at the table adds to the do-it-yourself hot pot soup.

Location Info

Map

T.Spot

2330 N. Alma School Road
Chandler, AZ 85224

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Chandler

Details

Tien Wong
2330 North Alma School Road
Chandler, 480-802-2525
www.thehotpots.com
Hours: 4 p.m. to midnight daily

Yin-Yang broth: $5.95
Udon noodle: $3
Sliced black pork: $4
Shabu shabu beef: $5

If you crave a sweet, cool finish, try creamy green tea cheesecake — or, if you've gone overboard, expect a gratis glass of sugar cane juice at the end of the meal.

Chu says he opened Tien Wong in Chandler as a way of testing out the hot pot concept, and that he'll open a second one in Central Phoenix if it's a success. So far, so good — I know I'm not the only Asia-phile making the trek. If there's anyone who can introduce CenPho to the joys of communal, cook-it-yourself dining, it's Chu.

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