Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Boiling Point

A lot of my friends are foodies - not necessarily bloggers, but they do like to share what they have been munching on via facebook mobile uploads. And that is how I discovered Boiling Point: a Taiwanese hotpot style type cafe that serves stinky tofu! Something that is rare in Vancouver. There use to be a stand at the Richmond Nightmarket that sells a fried version of stinky tofu, but they stopped selling those for a while now. Pity, I loved those crispy skewers of stinky tofu paired with a sweet chilli sauce and pickled carrots and daikon. From what I have heard, but never actually looked up on, the commercial production of stinky  tofu was banned from the lower mainland - so I am not really sure how Boiling Point can serve it, maybe it is just a rumor. Anyways, I paid Boiling Point a visit for on Saturday with B, and a new munchie, C. 

It wasn't busy when we walked in, so we were seated right away at a back table and me being picky about where I sit, requested for a booth. Surprisingly, I didn't smell the tofu or any hint of the tofu. Maybe it's because I was already use to the smell from before, or maybe because my definition of stinky is different from others - I think durian smells delicious! Haha. Their menu is in a flip-stand format, with a picture and description of each hotpot on each card. Each hotpot comes with predetermined items that vary, but you can buy add-on's for $0.50-3.50. As we were here for dinner, we missed out on the drink special and had to order drinks separately. B chose the Lamb hotpot with Honey Aloe jelly green tea, C had the House Special hotpot (the one with the stinky tofu!) with Honey Aloe as well. I ordered the same thing as C, but with a Yogurt green tea. When you order, you're asked how spicy you wish your hot pot to be - none, medium spicy and none, were our choices. They have a total of  five spice levels.

Our food came shortly after we ordered, followed by our drinks, followed by the complimentary bowls of rice. And while the boys went to mix some sauces up at the self-serve sauce cart, I started taking pictures of the food. I don't really remember what sauces were there, but there was only three kinds and one of them was garlic. Now onto the food.

My hot pot came with a fish ball, quail egg, a few slices of meat, pork blood, enoki mushrooms, and I'm sure there were a few other items. At first I was confused at where my stinky tofu was. I thought they forgot! But after some digging around, it's actually on the very bottom and yup, it stinks. In my opinion, the stink itself was only disturbingly overpowering if you bring it up close to your face, other than that, it added a nice flavour to the soup. The soup base was very flavorful and aromatic (in a good way) with the tofu smell. Each food item soaked up the flavour of the soup, so the sauce wasn't really necessary. Now comes for my most anticipated moment: the stinky tofu. It was a dense tofu and nicely saturated and flavored with the soup. It had a lingering-slightly-barely-noticeable sour aftertaste. I didn't like it. It wasn't so much the flavor that bothered me, it was the texture. It was a bit rubbery and combined with the moisture and smell... it just didn't work out. I think I preferred the deep fried version much more. C, on the other hand, loved it and ate my share as well.

B's hotpot looked amazing and was also full of food. His soup was flavourful as well, but I preferred mine. After taking a sip of mine and then his, his seemed like it was lacking something - something like stinky tofu! B's drink was nothing out of the ordinary, basic honey green tea with crunchy aloe cubes. My yogurt drink on the other hand is something I will order everytime I am there. I've tried a lot of yogurt drinks at different places, and it's usually too sweet or just not right. I, myself, work at a bubble tea/dessert cafe and find it hard to make a good yogurt drink. Boiling point's yogurt green tea tasted literally like those little bottles of yogurt drinks you get at Asian grocery stores. Yummy.

Dinner came to around $15 each person, and we were also given stamp cards and candies. Overall, I enjoyed boiling point but really only came here for the stinky tofu - which I wasn't a fan of. But their hot pots were fairly good and filling, so I think Boiling Point is worth another visit. I have my eye on the Seafood and Tofu hotpot next.

Boiling Point 沸點 on Urbanspoon


  1. Ahem.... I ordered medium spicy thank you very much!

  2. Have you tried the place next door to boiling point? Takifugu? highly recommended - one of the best Japanese places outside of Japan. Very pricey (last I was there dinner for two cost us $91) but well worth it

  3. I remember always passing by and seeing ads for it in Klip, but wasn't so sure about the price because - judging from the pictures - they seemed pricey. Maybe I'll give Takifugu a try one day :)