After the disaster called Emperor Japanese Shabu Shabu, the boyfriend and I were on the search for cheap hot pot restaurants. Since we’ve been eating more in Brooklyn lately, we stumbled upon Hottest 86 Hot Pot in Bensonhurst. Hottest 86 offers All-You-Can-Eat-Hot-Pot for the low price of $15.95. If you’re a big party, they bring you over a pitcher herbal tea, which is perfect to accompany the hot pot. The waitresses are constantly refilling the pitcher so you never run out of tea.
Each hot pot order comes with a menu of unlimited food options – fish balls, beef, chicken, pork, an assortment of veggies and even eggs. They also have a menu of free or discounted cooked foods that are given to parties of 4 or more. If you have a party of 4, you get to pick one free item. If you’re a bigger party like 7, you get two free items.
The hot pots are sunken into the table here at Hottest 86, which is something I’ve never had before. Most of the time, the hot pots are on the top of the table. I actually really liked this method because I didn’t have to reach over to peer into my pot of soup. I was able to put food into the pot easily and track what I had inside. For my soup base, I chose the Cantonese soup base, which is preserved egg plus cilantro. I’m not a big fan of cilantro so I decided to just get the preserved egg. Mmmm!
The sauce station is in the back of the restaurant and they have a large variety of sauces – more than Emperor Japanese Shabu for sure. They had my favorites – hoisin sauce, satay sauce, barbeque sauce and many others. Here, you can get tiny plates of the sauce and bring it back to your table to mix in a larger bowl. At home, we always mix sauces so I really loved it here.
By the time I got my sauce, the food had already arrived. Service was fast and they brought everything that we ordered out at the same time. The winter melon was my favorite veggie of the night. After leaving it in the pot for a while, it came out very moist. I’d skip the corn though – it’s not that sweet.
The beef was fatty and abundant. But the star of the night was the chicken and the fish. Usually when I go hot pot outside in restaurants, I don’t order the chicken because most of the time it’s too rough and dry. But Hottest 86 marinates their chicken in such a way that even prolonged time in the pot won’t make it dry. We were so impressed that we ordered seconds of the chicken and the fish. Definitely a must try!
We finished the night off with some steamed milk and egg white – one of my favorite desserts of all time. My usual place that sells this dessert closed so I’ve been on the hunt for it for a while. I usually like my steamed milk with ginger juice but this wasn’t bad either. I polished this whole bowl off by myself – that’s how much I love this dessert.
I think Hottest 86 might be our newest hot pot go-to spot because the service is just amazing. Compared to Emperor Japanese Shabu, the service at Hottest 86 might as well be Per Se status. The waitresses even came over during the night to ask if we wanted MORE food. They also came over during the night to add soup into our pots without us even asking for it. Plates were changed during the night – again not at our request either. I thought the service was so much better than Emperor Japanese Shabu. Despite the fact that it’s all you can eat, they never rush you or make you feel like they don’t want to give you more food. I can’t gush enough about the service here.
If you’re ever in the mood for some yummy and cheap hot pot, check out Hottest 86! You won’t be disappointed.