Entering Xiang Hot Pot, a sprawling restaurant on Fort Hamilton Parkway in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, you get the feeling that you've just been whisked away to China. Elaborate woodwork, fountains and oversized decorative lamps above each table resembling paper lanterns immediately catch the eye.
At the center of each marble table is placed a stainless steel hotpot. Diners have a choice of several different broths ranging from the mild pork and mushroom broths to the "spicy pot" which we would describe as an inferno in a bowl. Even the boldest among us had difficulty dealing with the heat generated by this cauldron of chili peppers and sea of chili oil. It's really that hot. If you're not so daring, it's best to get the combo pot which offers a choice of two broths, a sort of a yin-yang approach.
Now the fun begins. Dipping various items in the broth and fishing for them with your chopsticks. Diners can choose from a refrigerated buffet with shelves of all-you-can eat of various mushrooms, dumplings, fish balls, Chinese sausages, noods and veggies that are stacked atop each other. Diners also have a choice of thinly-sliced beef and lamb. The buffet is moderaterly priced. For those lookingto upgrade there's lobster, seafood combo and Wagyu beef among others to purchase a la carte.
As we dunked our meats and nibbled on fresh shrimp, clams, baby squids, and yes, even Spam, we enjoyed some lively conversation and a few rounds of Tsingtau beer. Our hosts could not have been more friendly and helpful as we savored this flavorful and adventurous Chinese feast.
Xiang is located at 5816 Fort Hamilton Parkway, Brooklyn, NY (718) 851-5888