Chinese hot pot buffet opens today

March 19, 2019

A Minnesota-based restaurant that’s bringing Chinese hot pot cooking to Sioux Falls opens today.

Lao Szechuan is in a retail center on 41st Street west of Kiwanis Avenue in the former Tawooki Mediterranean Chop Chop space.

The restaurant features two areas: one with cook-it-yourself hot pot tables and the other for eating authentic Szechuan and “American-style Chinese” dishes prepared by cooks, said Heidi Jiang, who helps manage the restaurants owned by her friend Hui Wang. The two of them are in Sioux Falls to get the restaurant operating.

While the hot pot buffet opens today, the other section will open April 2, Jiang said.

The hot pot section of the restaurant has three tables that seat six people and six tables that seat four people. Each table has a heating element in the middle of it.

Customers go through a buffet where they select meats, seafood, vegetables and noodles.

Servers bring a steaming pot of  broth — either healthy ginseng, spicy mala or both — to the table. Diners add their ingredients to the seasoned broth and cook them.

Jiang suggests starting with items that take longer to cook, such as potatoes and yams, and then adding the meat or seafood, the noodles next and the other vegetables last “to soak up all the flavor” that has been created in the broth.

Lao Szechuan has posted a video on its Facebook page offering tips on how to cook using a hot pot.

The price of the all-you-can-eat buffet is $20 for lunch, which ends at 3:30 p.m., and $26 for dinner. Children age 4-10 eat for half-price.

Once the Szechuan side of the restaurant opens, a party room can be reserved that seats 10 to 12 people, Jiang said.

Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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Chinese hot pot buffet opens today

Lao Szechuan features a do-it-yourself version of Chinese cooking.

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