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TAIPEI DINING FEATURE
TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE, September 2003

Red Robe Hot & Spicy

104, ZhongXiao E. Rd., Sec. 4, 2F-1
(02) 2751-8500
Open: Mon-Fri 12 pm-2:30 pm, 5:30 pm-1 am, Sat-Sun & Holidays 12 pm-1 am
Credit cards accepted; 10% service charge

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Szechwan Hot Pot : "Red Robe Hot & Spicy"


By Josie Wu
Translated by April Lin

      From its name, "Red Robe Hot & Spicy," you can pretty much know what you're in for at this hot pot restaurant. The owner, wanting to maintain the authenticity of Szechwan-style (Sichuanese) hot pot, sent his chef for training in Szechwan, and imports ingredients from there.

      The special red soup used as the base holds all the essence of Szechwan flavor. Szechwan red robe peppers also bring another level of sophistication to the pot. The red peppers look like miniature red lanterns floating in a rich red sea. The site itself is quite dramatic, matching the strong flavor of the hot pot.

      Made from a combination of different Szechwan ingredients, the soup's spiciness unfolds in several layers. It gently awakes your tongue when you take the first sip. The flavors slowly spreads, creating a buzz of numbness which gradually fills your mouth.

    Customers can choose from a wide variety of fresh raw ingredients to cook in their pots. The owner especially recommends the tender beef; the spiciness of the red soup enhances the natural flavor of the meat. The sticky rice cake seems to be a favorite among female customers.

      A good dipping sauce is key, and Red Robe offers two special dips. Taichi is a dry dip consisting of spicy powder and peanut powder. Hot and Spicy is a sauce dip, a mixture of sesame oil and garlic. The recommended way to eat their hot pot is to first boil items in the red spicy soup, then dip it in Hot and Spicy followed by another dip in Taichi.

      The Fresh Veggie Sticks, a combo of cucumbers, carrots, and celery sticks, refresh the mouth after a spicy repast. The Szechwan signature spicy pot that Red Robe offers will definitely spice up your life!