I thought the hot pot game in Singapore was strong until Elixir Health Pot 無老鍋 in Taipei blew my mind. Like Haidilao and Beauty in a pot here, your chances of getting a walk-in table at Elixer are close to zero.
There’s only two types of broth, Mala and Soy. And trust me you wanna get both. Elixir prides itself on making soul comforting food. So you get none of that gut wrenching heat that mala is commonly associated with but a broth that’s super drinkable and addictive. The pork and chicken mala base came with potpourri of star anise, bay leaves, licorice, cayenne pepper, white sesame and wolfberry amongst others. The Tofu soup was invigorating thanks to a hodgepodge of fresh ginseng, nutmeg, jujube, burdock, pearl barley, oat, dangshen root, lotus seed, tsaoko. And while herbal soups are sometimes lost on me, this was sublime on a winter’s night, especially with the endless refill of complementary fried beancurd and pigs blood.
Service is impeccable here. At the end of every fulfilled requests, the waitresses bowed a full 90 degrees and at the end they told us if we would like to take the rest of the food away, they’d refill the broth with the original ingredients at no additional cost.