Brooklyn's Chinatown in Sunset has an abundance of places to usher in the "Year of the Monkey." We found ourselves at Favor Taste on 61st Street near 7th Avenue. The first thing you notice is the friendly service as we were greeted with a warm cup of tea while waiting for a table. The place is popular with families and large groups. They even offer private rooms for celebrations.
The food is divvied up into two choices; hot pots and Korean-style barbecue. It is all you can eat for about $20-$30 dollars per person. Jackets are placed in clear plastic bags to avoid splatters and splashes, something that seems pretty much unavoidable.
The hot pot features several different broths - kimchi, spicy, pork bone, congee, herbal and original - with original being among the mildest. Next, drop in your favorite fixings ranging from pork and beef to mini sausages and head-on prawns. The list is actually pretty long. Add vegetables and noodles and then have fun fishing 'em out.
On the barbecue side, stick with any of the beef offerings (short rib, beef in pepper sauce and boneless steak) along with the grilled prawns that are cleaned tableside. They are cooked up fresh. Duck and pork belly, however, start out as frozen chips and we found to have a bit of a freezer taste. Freshly grilled eggplant, on the other hand, was fantastic as were the mushrooms cooked in a garlic sauce. Different types of tofu are also available for vegetarians.
Diners are given 2 hours to eat as much as they like, but wasting food is frowned upon, as is sharing a hot pot with people eating barbecue. Still, it's a fun night out and kids seem to enjoy it the most.