|Pretty snazzy sauce station, hey?|
Mala, the numbing spices common in Sichuan and central China, and loved in Taiwan, is pretty common in hotpots. You've probably had it before. But mala hotpot with medicinal herbs? That's definitely news to me. So when we saw it on the menu at this super sleek hotpot restaurant, Hassen (or in Mandarin, Ba Qian), we just had to try it.
|Eat your colours|
|Never thought a hotpot place could look this good...|
The good thing about being in Taichung is that they have excellent access to farm-fresh vegetables. Taiwan is small, and being in a small city in the middle of it makes sourcing so much easier. Hotpot is a great way to be able to taste all this produce - although admittedly the mala soup base isn't the best canvas for that. So hopefully if you do go, you're not alone, so you can get at least one mala and one 'normal', like the pork bone (think light broth rather than tasty, but heavy, tonkotsu) or fish.
Hassen (八錢 pronounced Ba qian in Mandarin)
25 Gong Yi Rd, Section 2
Nan Tun District
+886 4 23191768
Book ahead for weekend dinner, it's very popular
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