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Dot Com Pho – Paying To Cook My Own Dinner Edition

written by John Chow on January 29, 2011

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Instead of going for the normal Vietnamese beef noodle soup like we do every Saturday for Dot Com Pho, we decided to try something totally different by paying to cook our own food. Normally, when you go to a restaurant, the chef cooks the food for you. However, at Seven Star Pepper Szechwan Restaurant in Seattle’s International District, they have something call the Hot Pot.

A Hot Pot, less commonly known as Chinese fondue or steamboat, refers to several East Asian varieties of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table.

The kicker is the dinners does the cooking. You have to decide what to put in the pot and how long to leave it in there for. If you under cook the chicken and get sick, that’s your problem. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, noodles, egg dumplings, and seafood. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce.

Seven Star Pepper gets its name from its hotness scale. While most restaurants go up to five stars in terms of heat, Seven Star Pepper adds two more to bring it to molten lava level. In addition to the Hot Pot, Seven Star offer more traditional dishes from the Szechwan aera of China, including their famous Szechwan crab. We were actually there for the crab but it was sold out so we went for the Hot Pot instead. We’ll have to try the crab next time.

The key to a goot Hot Pot is the soup base and base used at Seven Star Pepper is among the best I’ve tried. The soup base was very spicy but you can tame some of the hotness by using the included peanut sauce. If burning up your insides isn’t your thing, Seven Star can make a normal non-spicy soup base but the server will look at you funny and call you a sissy in Chinese.

Joining me for this Dot Com outing were the boys from Unique Blog Designs. It was their first time trying Hot Pot and I doubt it will be their last. If you like the idea of paying to cook your own food, then head on down the Seven Star Pepper and give their Hot Pot a try. Just remember to order lots of beer if you go for their seven star soup base.

Seven Star Pepper Szechwan Restaurant

Seven Star Pepper Szechwan Restaurant

Seven Star Pepper Szechwan Restaurant

Dot Com Pho Vancouver: Lubrication Edition

Seven Stars Pepper Szechuan Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Hidden Object Games January 29, 2011 at 5:53 pm

The food looks really good.

Who’s the guy in the starting of the video, the guy on the left side to you ? Why is he so shy

I liked the video and the concept of the restaurant too

John Chow January 29, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Nate Whitehill. He designed my theme. He’s not shy. Well, maybe a little.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog January 30, 2011 at 1:03 am

Boy that one is really interesting concept.

But John I think we are loosing the glamour of dot com pho. Even at Vancouver no such enthusiasm is there.

You should add some kind of spice or may be some contest … like earlier I told you to trace where the dot com pho is.

Hidden Object Games January 30, 2011 at 8:58 am

Nice work by Nate. But he’s shy

Email List Building January 30, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Hey John,

Watching the video after reading the post was very helpful. The food looks quite good and I would like to try it once.

Liberty Reserve February 24, 2011 at 6:16 am

Yes, After Watching the Food. It is looking quite Good.

r4 ds card January 29, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Hey John. I love hot pot. Thankfully, here in Burlington, Ontario, there;s now a couple of fairly decent hot pot restaurants, though none of them are quite spicy enough to be honest (I do like to burn my insides right up :) ) but they do have some pretty darn good soup base. My favorite hot pot restaurant was actually a really big one in Shezhen China when I went there with a friend. Spicy beyond spicy, beers a plenty – and eating for a good 2 hours or more (had to take breaks frequently as we kept losing feeling in our tounge after 15 mins of eating.

John Chow January 29, 2011 at 8:52 pm

The thing I noticed about spicy Szechwan food. It numbs your tongue more than burn your mouth up.

Aaron Koo January 30, 2011 at 3:44 am

Yah. That’s one of the characteristics of Szechwan pepper corns. I remember I had a mapo tofu one time with traditional Szachwan pepper and I couldn’t feel my tongue. And I ‘d say it had a weird sourness to it.

Email List Building January 30, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I wonder if the taste buds get numb too because that would take away their full functionality and the pleasure of tasting the food.

Aaron Koo January 29, 2011 at 9:01 pm

That hot pot looks pretty f***ing good.

John Rampton January 30, 2011 at 8:15 am

I totally agree!

Email List Building January 30, 2011 at 9:01 pm


Do you mean the hot pot looks that good or what’s inside of it?

Fairooz January 31, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Really dude! i agree with that!

Liberty Reserve February 24, 2011 at 6:17 am

Realy dude, I agree wtih you.

Hidden Object Games January 31, 2011 at 10:19 am

I totally agree aswell

Bob January 29, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Want to try that soup too. I like Asian food.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog January 30, 2011 at 1:09 am

There are huge difference in Asian food.

Chinese and Indian food have huge difference. Try Indian food and I am sure you will love it.

Hidden Object Games January 30, 2011 at 8:56 am

True. Indian Food is the best in the world.

Human Development January 30, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I’m agree with your words !
Being an Indian I love to explore it all in my day to day life.

Email List Building January 30, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Indian food is very good too. I’m quite familiar with food from the north of India but not as much from the south. I wonder how much variety there is on the whole subcontinent. The cuisine must have many different styles.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog January 30, 2011 at 1:05 am

Vancouver video is only for the duration of 2:16.

Michael my friend … add some spice to dot com pho … start some kind of contest.

Michael Kwan January 30, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Yeah, I know. I didn’t record enough this time around. Was too busy eating and talking. ;)

Email List Building January 30, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Hey Michael,

2 minute videos are OK too. Maybe we can try to make a really long one. The next time I’m there I’ll do one over 15 minutes and see how many people want to watch it.

ZK, now that you have spoken in favor of longer videos I hope that you’ll watch the long ones till the end end invite all of your friends and their friends to watch them too..

Techmaker January 30, 2011 at 3:07 am

Wow it seems to be delicious. can I have it too? Oh im getting hungry now lol…

Fairooz February 1, 2011 at 12:27 am

Me too, was hungry while reading this post! :D

fas January 30, 2011 at 6:44 am

How much dd it cost?

John Chow January 30, 2011 at 9:11 am

The Hot Pot was $15.95 per person.

ikki January 30, 2011 at 12:29 pm

not too expensive

Email List Building January 30, 2011 at 9:13 pm

It’s not cheap either. I would have guessed between $12 and $15 at most.

I guess it depends on the ingredients doesn’t it? Perhaps less meat and more veggies could be cheaper.

Fairooz January 31, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Looks like pretty expensive! :D

John Rampton January 30, 2011 at 8:15 am

That sounds like a ton of fun to do that. What is the cost on something like that?

Human Development January 30, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Fun and happiness at John work can’t be control under pricing because that all about priceless !

ikki January 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm

yummy food

PPC Ian January 31, 2011 at 12:53 am

Yeah, the food looks yummy for sure. I always get hungry reading John’s blog! :-)

Fairooz January 31, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Really yummy for me too :P

Kirk Taylor January 30, 2011 at 12:30 pm

OK, I’m out on this one…. I used to love hot food, pure hot sauce on wings and all, but I’m all burnt out now! I’d have to go for the mild soup and take my punishment….

GTA 5 January 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Woohoo!!! You re so lucky man!!! Why wasn’t I with you John!!!

PPC Ian January 31, 2011 at 12:42 am

Looks great! They have some hot pot restaurants around here in the Bay Area.

Fairooz January 31, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Wow! This is a the tastiest blog ever, from John Chow! :D

Neon SRT4 February 2, 2011 at 6:58 am

The Video is Looking Nice. The Photos are Excellent.

Jeff February 2, 2011 at 10:12 am

Hi John!
The food looks really yummy. It made me hungry right now >drooling< hehe

Spy On Any Cell Phone February 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm

That food looks absolutely delicious, reminds of a place we have around here called the melting pot. Good stuff.