Many countries around the world are famous for their wine, countries like France, Italy, Chile, Spain, Australia, South America, and even the United States. It would come perhaps as a surprise to most that Lebanon, a small country in the Middle East that borders Syria and Israel, is the home to the world famous Chateau Musar wines. Adam Levin, of Slim’s burger renown, invited us to a special evening at his new Binjiang location for a Chateau Musar wine tasting. It was, we were told, to be a night we would never forget, and we can easily say this was completely true. Wine tastings are always exciting, all the sparkling glasses lined up waiting to be filled and paired with delicious food. This night at Slim’s will remain in our memory not only for the wine and the amazing food prepared by Chef Adam but frankly because of what a delightful experience it was meeting Serge Hochar and his son Marc Hochar, the vintners of Chateau Musar.
Now that autumn has come to an end and the winter months have settled down for a short while, us poor devils have to do all that we can to prevent ourselves from succumbing to the frostbite. An exaggeration, I know, but nevertheless, the Chinese Hot Pot is a real cockle warmer and the perfect antidote for a bad case of the winter blues.
As the weather has turned cold, there is truly one suitable meal that warms the cockles of your heart and brings people together – Hot Pot or huo guo. Hot Pot is perhaps one of the most widely enjoyed meals in China. You can travel as far north as Mongolia to find this popular dish, go west to Sichuan, even way down south in the warm climates of Hong Kong you will be able to find Hot Pot in some various iteration. And it doesn’t stop there. It goes by the name Steamboat in some Southeast Asian countries and nabemono in Japan, with varieties including Shabu Shabu and Sukiyaki. Go to Korea, Vietnam, and even Thailand, and you can find their own versions of this broth-based meal. Sure, China remains famous for dumplings, dim sum, and other tasty delicacies, but if you are a foreigner residing in China, you have certainly at one point or another come across the ubiquitous presence of Hot Pot.