I got back just a few days ago from Taipei, and man do I love this country! It's affordable, there's great food abound, and not to mention the well-known "熱情" (hospitality and warmth) of the local Taiwanese - It's extra enjoyable if you can speak Mandarin and communicate with the locals with ease, something I really appreciate especially after returning from Seoul haha.
Most people always make a pit-stop in Taipei for their famous hot pot or "火鍋" in Mandarin, and you might have heard of "麻辣", one of the most well-known hot pot restaurants in Taipei. However, I want to recommend another restaurant that I personally feel is so underrated and yet extremely value-for-money: 滿堂紅頂級麻辣鴛鴦鍋!
I was first let in on this super awesome cheap and quality hot pot buffet secret thanks to my local Taiwanese friends, and I've gone back twice ever since then!
Believe it or not, for less than 25SGD per pax, you can enjoy a full-fledged hot pot buffet with 11 different kinds of meat, seafood and other offerings, free-flow drinks, even unlimited Häagen-Dazs ice cream - The only problem you're going to have is figuring out how to get EVERYTHING into your tummy! You really want to enjoy this hotpot buffet on an empty stomach for the most value-for-money experience!
滿堂紅 Man Tang Hong Hotpot Buffet
There are four branches located around Taipei, and I was fortunate that one branch was located just a short 15 minutes walk away from FX Hotel on Nanjing East Road where I stayed at during this particular trip.
Man Tang Hong at Songjiang RoadNo. 185, Songjiang Rd,
Taipei City, 104
Weekday Lunch: 11:30~15:30
Weekday Dinner: 17:00~01:30
Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays: 11:30~01:30
Check branch locations on Man Tan Hong's English website here
Man Tang Hong is VERY popular with the locals, so I highly suggest booking a reservation either online or their hotline (available on their website here) to ensure you get seats! It can be fully booked even during lunch times at certain branches, so do make a reservation just to play safe!
1. Select Your Soup Bases
At Man Tang Hong, you can pick from different soup bases - My top recommendations are the 麻辣鍋 (Spicy) and 牛奶味噌鍋 (Milk) flavours, I LOVE these two soup bases!
In the Mala soup, you even get fried tofu and cubes of duck blood, which YZ absolutely relished. Duck blood is well-loved by the Taiwanese, but cannot be found in Singapore due to some AVA food regulations.
2. Order Your Food!
You will be given an order chit like this - Ask for an English one if you have trouble deciphering the Mandarin! We had skipped breakfast for this lunch and went a little crazy with the ordering, 7 plates of meat was a tad too much, even for the two of us big eaters. HAHAHA.
What we ordered: Seven different kinds of meat (beef and pork - there's also lamb and other organ parts if you fancy), vegetables, fresh clams and prawns, mushrooms, squid/prawn paste, corn, yam and Prince instant noodles (王子麵)! What a feast!!! At just 25 SGD per pax, I don't think you can get any better than this!
If you walk pass the kitchen, you'll see all the different kinds of meat displayed in the freezer, and you can even watch how the meat is machine sliced on the spot when orders come in!
No time to lose - LET'S EAT!!!
We were really a little too greedy because the seven plates of meat was somewhat excessive for two of us. Thus, I recommend dining in a group of 3-4 pax because you then get to try all the different meats and you can then re-order whichever meat you like best!
I found that I had a preference for the pork over the beef, but I don't think you'd be disappointed with the quality of the meat either way - For a 25SGD buffet, you'll never be able to find anything close to this standard in Singapore!
The Milk soup is amazing, it has this rich creamy sweet flavour to it and tastes REALLY good with the veggies and pork!
Wang Zi Mian 王子麵 or Prince Noodles can be ordered at Mantanghong and for the instant noodles junkies, you'll love this. Not sure how they do it but it has a nice taste to it and a good springy texture!! Oh you can buy this home from the supermarkets in Taiwan too, it comes in a pack of five!
This may sound like a strange thing to rave about, but please also order the 金吉芋頭, or Golden Yam Cubes! Let these yam cubes cook for 20-30 minutes, and it'll soften into a stringy and creamy melt-in-your-mouth texture that is INSANELY GOOD. How come we don't get this kind of yam in Singapore?
Don't forget to concoct your own dipping sauces - Much like what we have in Singapore at Hai Di Lao or Beauty In The Pot! The soups are already very flavourful, but dipping sauces make the meats taste even better.
3. Desserts - Free-flow too!
It's quite a common thing in Taiwan, but free-flow ice cream is readily available, inclusive in your SGD25 cost per pax! It's not any nameless cheapo ice cream, but good quality Hagen Dazs and Meiji ice cream, with an array of flavours too!
Please save some space for ice cream, because it is the perfect ending to a satisfying hot pot meal.
Yes, they even provide wafer cones too! Crunchy and non-soggy ones, may I add :D If you're wondering why my ice cream looks so nice, I used to work at Swensens 10 over years ago and mastered the art of creating a perfect scoop of ice cream during my time at Swensens LOL.
Final Bill For 2 Pax
Our final bill for lunch came up to 1095 TWD, roughly SGD 50! SUPER VALUE-FOR-MONEY AND SO WORTH-WHILE! Both of us were bursting to the brim, really.
If you're planning for your next trip to Taipei, do not miss out on 滿堂紅 Man Tang Hong Hotpot Buffet! It is honestly the most affordable and cheapest hot pot buffet I know of that still has such good quality food! I'm letting you in on this little locals' secret only because I want to share the good stuff! I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
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More travel blog posts coming up soon, so stay tuned!
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