I still remembered those good old times when my friends and I were celebrating birthday at a AYCE hotpot place, but for the past years, more hotpot places opened in Vancouver. And their elegant interior, exceptional service, and premium food quality just bring hotpot to a whole new level. However, these restaurants are relatively expensive, so I didn’t have a chance to try any of them until recently. The Dolar Shop introduces a 30% off promotion on Monday to Friday from 2 pm to 5:30 pm or from 10 pm to 12 am. How can I resist of trying this place on a Friday afternoon?
Tiffany and I arrived at the Dolar Shop around 1:50 pm, and the restaurant looks empty. I was surprised that there were no line ups. In order to enjoy this 30% off deal, you won’t be able to be seated until 2 pm, and you have to finish your meal by 5 pm.
Our server kindly asked if we were there for the first time. Then she explained where the sauce bar is and provided us with some recommendations on what to order on the menu.
In order to get access to the sauce bar, with unlimited condiments and complimentary appetizers, fruits, and ice cream, you would have to pay $3.99 per person. I recommend to get it, mainly because you won’t even have access to basic soy sauce if you don’t.
Instead of one big pot, everyone will get his/her individual one, which ranges from $4.99 to 5.99, depending on the broth. If you prefer a split pot with 2 soup bases, that would be $7.99. We both picked the Mushroom Broth, a relatively light broth. I can always add spice with a spicy dipping sauce. The broth is oilier than I expected when it arrives, but it has a strong aroma of mushrooms.
We ordered the following:
- New Zealand Lamb Shoulder
- Boneless Beef Plate (Canada AAA)
- The Dolar Shop Shrimp Paste
- Flounder Fillet
- Fried Bean Curd
- Fish Tofu
- Tri Color Handcrafted Noodles
- Napa Cabbage
- Romaine Lettuce
You can order half portion for most of the items on the menu, which allows you to have more varieties, especially with a small group of people (like us!).
We both prefer the Lamb Shoulder than the Boneless Beef. Though they are tender and juicy, I think lamb absorbs more of the aroma of the broth. And our sauces pair surprisingly well with lamb. Two plates of meat is definitely more than enough for two people.
I highly recommend to order the Shrimp Paste. It has a generous amount of shrimp pieces inside, and it comes as a big ball in a petite pot. I usually scoop small pieces out and let it boil until cooked. This is a great dish to share!
Tiffany loves the Flounder Fillet, as it is flaky and soft. The portion is generous, with 7 big pieces.
The 3-Second Fried Bean Curd is the best, and it is a popular item for hotpot in Hong Kong. You simply dip the bean curd in the hot soup for 3 seconds, then you can enjoy it. The surface layer will absorb the soup, but it remains slightly crispy in the center.
We ordered the Tri Color Handcrafted Noodles, because we are curious. The presentation is on point, as they hang the noodles on a rack. Although there are 3 colors, the noodles taste the same. It is quite gimmick
I always end the meal with vegetables, and Romaine Lettuce is my choice. However, I did not like the idea of stuffing them in a vase, rather than putting them in a basket. I am not sure how clean the vase is, as it seems hard to wash.
Don’t forget to ask for the ice cream as dessert before you leave. They actually taste pretty delicious. I wonder if they make it in house or store bought.
As my first time experience of having premium hotpot in Vancouver, The Dolar Shop impresses me. The service, ambiance, and food quality is top-notch. After the discount, the bill comes to around $35/person including tips and tax, and we are super full. However, keep in mind that we did not order any wagyu beef or seafood platters. So if you are looking for a fancy meal, expect it to be at least $60/person (even with the discount). Would I come back if there is no discount? Probably not, or it would be a meal for special occasions.
Taste : 4/5 • Service: 4.5/5 • Ambiance: 4.5/5 • Quality-Price: 4/5
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|Address: 5300 No 3 Rd, Richmond, BC V6X 2X9|
Mon to Sun: 11:30 AM – 12 AM