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  • Hey, it's Mike Chen

  • Awhile ago I did a video where I went and tried out and reviewed a lot of all you can eat hot pot restaurants in San Francisco

  • And after that video came out a lot of you guys messaged me asking me to do the same thing for

  • New York City, so I thought go around New York City, and eat at a lot of all-you-can-eat hot pot buffets

  • Let's do it

  • So we're going to go to a lot of the all-you-can-eat hot pot places in the city

  • and we're going to go try them out and like before we're going to review them based on five things: meat quality,

  • quantity of ingredients, the sauce bar, the broth and the service and we'll rank each of these five

  • criterias from one to five, five of course being the best, and because there are so many all-you-can-eat

  • hot pot places in the city, I don't think one video is going to cover it

  • So we're going to make it a series. All right guys. Let's go hot potting.

  • Our first stop is 99 Favors out here in Flushing.

  • I'm starving. I had a reservation at 8:00. It's 8:16, and there's still a bunch of people ahead of me

  • I'm about to munch on this bamboo. I mean pandas do it right?

  • This is actually bigger upstairs than it is downstairs

  • Thank you. Wow, look at how big that table is

  • Here, the hot pot is $22.99 you get a dollar off if you are a VIP

  • I don't know what it takes to be a VIP, but a dollar seems a little low

  • If you want to get Korean barbecue it's $25.99 you want to get them together is $30.99

  • And here you can either get a big family-style pot and have three flavors three broth

  • or you can get a big pot with two broth or you can get your own mini little pot

  • Here you don't mark anything on a slip of paper you just

  • Tell your server what you want and she'll put it into the iPad

  • Now that I pretty much ordered everything on the menu let's check out the sauce situation

  • This sauce bar it's actually really complete

  • It has all my favorites: the chive sauce, sesame sauce, Chinese barbecue sauce and hot oil

  • Sauce number one

  • and one really simple

  • three part sesame one part chive sauce

  • It's soup base testing time and I'm going to start off with the tomato

  • It tastes like ketchup. I was really anticipating that because in San Francisco

  • I had a two middle soup base that tasted really good

  • But this one really just kind of tastes like ketchup

  • This looks amazing

  • This is the pork bone broth

  • so I'm going to take a little bit of meat with my broth

  • The pork bone broth has a lot of porky and herby flavor to it

  • but it is kind of bland

  • Herbal Broth. This is actually really good

  • This is my favorite broth so far

  • It's very herbal-ly there's definitely some Chinese medicine in here. I fare it's really good. Finally the spicy broth

  • It's really spicy. Wow this broth as you can see has a lot of stuff in there, and it does taste pretty good

  • This is Mike my server here. He's dissecting the shrimp

  • You must have got an A in science class; all my shrimp has been beheaded and he's deveining the shrimp right now

  • That's some great tableside service. I of course opted for both the hot pot and barbecue

  • I can never resist that and this is my favorite fatty beef brisket

  • And they mixed in some kind of spicy sauce with it as well. Usually I like these with a little bit of salt and vinegar

  • and sesame oil

  • That's heavenly

  • the brisket's nice ratio of lean and fatty meat

  • It's not sliced as thin as I would typically like but the quality of this meat is undeniable

  • beautiful char on this brisket and the fat just melts. On this side

  • this is duck and

  • whenever I see duck on a BBQ you gotta get it. Duck is marvelous barbecue and look at all that beautiful duck fat

  • Mmm. I love barbecue duck and my conch is ready. I'm really excited. I love conch so much

  • I love conch because of its crunch. Okay, that's stupid. I'm sorry I'm sorry.

  • It's so good; not too much seasoning on that. Short Ribs

  • It's not the most tender short rib you'll ever have, but hey, it's an all-you-can-eat buffet; it's flavorful enough

  • Alright guys I feel really bad right now because during this meal time I've been neglecting

  • Someone and I feel really bad because well, I love that individual and for it to feel neglected by me I feel horrible

  • I need to make up to it. So let's pay the hot pot some attention like I said really delicious broth

  • Let's go ahead and add some lamb and add some beef. About ten seconds in and it's done. Let's try the meat

  • You are able to tell that it's all you can eat hot pot buffet meat

  • I mean, it's not the most tender beef or lamb

  • But the meat is sliced really thin and its able to soak up a lot of the soup

  • And that's soup really adds a lot of heat to the meat. My favorite thing to do is go tell the fried dough

  • -- that soak up some delicious soup

  • That's a beautiful bite. This is the cow tongue. A lot of people might not like this.

  • But I love it. It's really lean, really delicious meat. Dip that in my sesame oil and salt

  • Guys for the first time in a hot pot buffet

  • I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed because look at this I have a stack of BBQ meat here

  • I have the plate of barbecue meat I'm working on here. I have my hot pot meat here

  • I have more barbecue meat here, and I got these delicious sea food items sitting on the grill

  • I really don't even know what to do with myself right now. I don't know what they eat. I'm feeling a little flustered

  • I'm going to take a deep breath

  • Let's start eating

  • I have so much meat

  • I feel like if I don't need these vegetables something bad's gonna happen. A couple of dessert soups and this one looks like uh

  • a little bit of icy rice soup with peanuts and some sort of red jelly

  • That's a perfect little

  • post hot pot desert drink thingy. What I thought was red jelly is actually watermelon

  • and this thing is so

  • refreshing. And my tongue was kind of burning because of all the spice and heat and this thing just perfectly cooled everything down

  • This looks like milk tea with some grass jelly in here

  • And it tastes like milk tea with some grass jelly. Both desserts really refreshing especially after spicy, hot pot. Oh, I just had a thought

  • guys

  • When you come here, you don't need to order any drinks, you don't. Ask for a glass of water

  • Don't ask for an empty cup because that's a little suspicious and fill it up with a milk tea and jelly

  • This is a perfect drink with your hot pot. Now I feel kind of stupid. Alright

  • Let's talk about this place. 99 Favors for those of you

  • who don't know is probably the most recognizable name in all-you-can-eat hot pot in New York City

  • I believe they have four locations already

  • I think two in Manhattan, one of Brooklyn and one in Queens

  • And it's funny the reason they called this

  • 96 Flavors as you saw on the front that's because every time they register a company

  • They have to call it something different

  • So there's just kind of counting down from 99 and if ever if you sound to one favor

  • They would have already dominated the world. Let's talk about the sauce bar. They have all the sauces

  • I really love, so solid 4.5. When it comes to variety although the ingredients were presented in a beautiful looking menu with pictures

  • They don't offer as many items as you would think for example no potatoes,

  • no egg,

  • they only have one type of a lamb, one type of beef and really no dumplings at all. So for variety I'm going to give it a 3.

  • Of all the broth options they offered I tried most of them the spicy and the herbal were pretty good, the other ones were either really

  • Bland or it tasted like ketchup. For broth I give them a 3.5

  • I'm also going to get them a 3.5 for meat quality meat

  • The meat was sliced really thin if you cook it really quickly and take it out

  • It's going to taste pretty good, but you can definitely tell it's all-you-can-eat

  • hot pot meat and it's a little bit tough. Finally, service and I think service is where the chain really shines

  • I mean the guy dissected a shrimp next to me. Everybody was uber attentive

  • I asked a lot of questions, and they answered it very patiently even though they were super busy

  • We did have to wait for about a half an hour even though we had a reservation so for that

  • I give them a 4.5

  • So that will give them at least according to me

  • 19 points and divided by 5 gives them an average of 3.8 and guys I do feel after eating at the Brooklyn, the

  • Manhattan and now the flushing locations. This is a really solid place for hot pot

  • or Korean barbecue or a combo of Korean barbecue and hot pot. Alright guys, onto location number two

  • This is probably one of the more unique all you can eat hot pot restaurant in New York and probably the most economical because

  • Everything you see behind me all this

  • Everything here and all this is included in the buffet for about 12 bucks for lunch, and I think 16 dollars for dinner

  • This is an especially good value if you're a vegetarian because just look at all the stuff behind me we got mushrooms

  • wood ear, more mushrooms, yucky stuff (broccoli). Something else I really like about this buffet

  • They have some of the most unique noodles. I've ever seen my life

  • I mean look at this stuff: fresh pumpkin noodles, spinach noodles, green tea noodles, but this layout here is not just all vegetarians

  • They do have an assortment of fish balls and fish cakes

  • But if you are a meataterian like me you're going to want some beef and lamb

  • And you can order them by the plate for about 4 to 6 dollars each

  • So I got some fatty beef,

  • Some non fatty beef, some prime beef, some rib eye beef and of course some lamb. For soup bases

  • They have dashi, some pork bones, vegetarian or spicy dashi and spicy pork bone

  • I wanted to try the pork bone, but of course I wanted it to burn a little bit

  • So I got the spicy pork bone, and I got the regular dashi - just to try that soup base out

  • This is a Dashi broth something very traditional for Shabu Shabu

  • There's not a lot of flavor in this broth pretty much tastes like boiling water with a little bit of Dashi

  • And this is the spicy pork bone. That's actually pretty good the broth is very pork

  • It doesn't taste very Chinese herby because there really isn't a lot of Chinese herbs in here

  • It's kind of nice porky flavor the sauce bar is something that you typically will not be at all-you-can-eat

  • hot pot place. There are a ton of different sauces here including pineapple,

  • sesame sauce, that sounds interesting, spicy mustard sauce and wasabi

  • They do have a already mixed spring special sauce that I'm going to try. This is their house sauce. Add some garlic.

  • Some wasabi. I don't know what I'm doing here, and let's just try this pineapple sesame sauce. Little garnish.

  • Something I never thought I would ever say on a hot pot buffet; I think there's too much meat on my table

  • I'm gonna go get some vegetables

  • By the way this all counts as veggies. I mean the pork dumplings got some leek in there, and the spinach noodles got spinach

  • Jackpot this is definitely the most expensive item on the dinner menu

  • You don't just eat for taste; you eat for value

  • The meat looks like it's really good quality: thinly sliced,

  • nice marbling. Look how pretty that it is. Gonna try the spicy pork bone broth

  • That's done. That was the non fatty beef and it was pretty lean but at the same time still pretty tender

  • And I feel like enough of the soup base got it soaked in there

  • So that meat tasted pretty good without any sauce.

  • Now let's try the most expensive cut: the ribeye. That cooked in about five seconds. Dip that in a little of the original house sauce

  • That is really good quality meat and the sauce is good

  • It's not as heavy as a typical Mike Chen hot pot sauce; more light more citrusy. I think that goes pretty well with meat.

  • Now this is my sauce -- put some wasabi in there

  • How come I never put wasabi

  • In my hot sauce before?

  • That's brilliant because it was mixed with sesame sauce the wasabi didn't really burn

  • It was like more of a subtle wasabi flavor and that was delicious. Now I'm going to show you guys why, in hot pot,

  • I'm considered a dumper and because I am here by myself