Mandarin Grill and Hotpot

Mandarin Grill and Hotpot is a DIY Chinese restaurant in Budapest's Chinatown (Monori Center). The restaurant specializes in the food of Dongbei, a region in northeastern China, reflecting Chinese, Mongolian, and Russian influences and a cold climate. The restaurant is split into two: the right-hand side booths are for hot potting, the left section is for self-made barbecue.

If you go with barcbecue, which I recommend, you'll first need to select your ingredients — raw meats and vegetables — from a computer tablet. You can ask an English-speaking server for assistance. The choices range from chicken thigh to pork ribs, lamb chops, gizzard, pork offals, and even bull’s penis (it tastes like a gelatinous rice cake; in China they believe in its libido-enhancing powers). It pays off the go with a mixed assortment. Once the skewers arrive, all you need to do is monitor them until they're cooked through over the hot charcoal before you.

Each skewer costs a few euros and anywhere from seven to nine pieces are sufficient. Be sure to also order a bowl of geda tang soup, a wonderfully reviving traditional Chinese thick vegetable soup strewn with pinched wheat dumplings.

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