My family enjoyed a rich treat this past weekend when we went to Zigu for dinner: The restaurant just launched their Mizutaki-style hotpot on Saturday, and it's only available through February 3. Usually, I wouldn't pay much attention to items offered for a limited time, but this was so good that I have to tell you about it.
In Japan, a hotpot dish cooked with water is called "mizutaki." It's usually comprised of chicken meat, cabbage, and a few other vegetables, and is accompanied by ponzu and yuzu kosho for dipping. Mizutaki uses relatively simpler ingredients and flavors compared to other hot pot dishes so the flavor of the chicken is the main focus of the meal.
At Zigu, chef Masaki Nakayama reduces the chicken stock for several hours until the broth is rich and milky. We are all hotpot veterans and have tried a variety of broths, but this was by far the richest broth we'd ever had. We didn't need much to enjoy the full flavor; in fact, the most delicious method of eating this hotpot (for us) was to put some spicy yuzu kosho on a piece of chicken, dip it into the ponzu, then eat it with a sip of broth as the chaser. Oishii! This new item is $38 for two people minimum (on special for $30 as of this writing), and an additional $19 per person.
The very best part, however, was at the end, when Zigu's Makoto Hasegawa made zosui, or rice porridge made from the leftover broth and ingredients. In addition to whatever was left, he mixed in two fresh TKG eggs to add to bind and flavor the porridge. My niece Ahnya said that it was so good, she could probably eat a bowl of that every day. My sister in law Lisa Konove ended up whacking two bowls of it. The zosui is $7.50 extra, but I would highly recommend that little extra, as it was well worth it.
The hotpot was actually the final course in thoughtfully progressive meal. Zigu is one of Lisa's favorite restaurants, and she wanted us to share her favorite dishes there. Once we ordered, they served us in courses that appropriately led up to the hotpot finale.
I had to commemorate the meal with a photo of my sister in law and the Zigu team, since her love for the restaurant sparked the idea for dinner. We'll definitely be back for more hotpot, especially on cold nights!
413 Seaside Ave.