By New Times
By Robrt L. Pela
By Lauren Saria and Heather Hoch
By Deborah Sussman
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Eric Schaefer
By Heather Hoch
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.
2330 N. Alma School Road
Chandler, AZ 85224
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.