[Taipei] Elixir Health Pot, better known as “Wu Lao Guo” 無老鍋 is considered one of the best and the most popular steamboat restaurants in Taipei.
The name “Wu Lao Guo” literally translates to “never old pot”, and is built on the philosophy of providing diners with hotpots brimming with health and beauty properties.
Although there are 5 branches of this popular restaurant scattered all over the country, early reservations are highly recommended. (The 5 outlets are Taipei Shiming, Taipei Zhongshan, Taipei Xinsheng, Taichung Gongyi and Kaohsiung Lingya.)
(Click PLAY for highlights of Wu Lao Guo 無老鍋.)
The branch of Wu Lao Guo in Zhongshan District is one of the most visited restaurants in the neighbourhood.
I visited the branch at Xinsheng South Road as I could only get reservations there, even though I tried booking 1-2 weeks earlier.
Keep in mind that the prices are a bit on the expensive side, but their naturally seasoned and tasty soups with signature pork and beef slices are worth the price tag.
The interior at Wu Lao Guo was tastefully arranged in olden Chinese décor, matched with neat presentation of the dishes.
Employees were attentive, but at the same time not intrusive. They would explain in detail everything there is to know about your order.
After they explained the dishes, they would take a bow and politely excuse themselves… which is probably where Singapore’s Beauty In The Pot took some reference from.
The good news is that Wu Lao Guo offers a twin “ying-yang” hot pot which means that you can try two of their most popular broths.
The two signature broths are the Layered Tofu (NT$129 per person, SGD5.90) cooked with chicken bone and large pork bone, simmered with more than a dozen Chinese spices and herbs; the other is the Spicy Wulao (NT139 per person, SGD6.30) with Chinese spices cooked for eight hours then added with fresh chicken broth.
I was highly recommended the Creamy Tofu Hotpot, in which the Chinese name goes by “Ice Cream Tofu Hotpot”. Slightly confusing. Order this, as the broth was very delicious.
The soup was one of the most satisfying I had for a hotpot – smooth like milk, flavourful, complements meats well, and didn’t leave me feeling tasty.
I could say it felt similar to creamy tonkotsu broths, without the rich saltiness.
There is an option of adding ginseng at NT$30 (SGD1.40) extra per person.
What you could also look out for is the free refill of congealed pig’s blood and fried tofu skin.
We don’t get the former in Singapore, and the looks and sound of it might turn some people off. BUT, I had a few pieces and thought it grows on you.
As for the Ice Cream Tofu, it was not sweet, but like a soft tofu shaped in a cone that melts in the mouth.
For first timers, the menu has listed a “Tourist Top 10 Food” for easy ordering, which include Shellfish & Fish Paste (NT$278, SGD12.65), Assorted Meatball Plate (NT$248, SGD11.30), Pork Shoulder Boston Butt (NT$288, SGD13.10), and Prime Beef (NT$298, SGD13.35).
Make sure to try the Assorted Meatball Platter which includes squid balls, shrimp balls, fish balls, beef balls. All of them are handmade, bouncy and tasty.
I only didn’t fancy the Assorted Fresh Dumplings (NT$148, SGD$6.60) that much as most were starchy.
While there were only 3 condiments provided, I felt it allowed you to enjoy the natural flavours of the ingredients.
Service, atmosphere, décor and food were on point. It may not have the OTT (over-the-top) service or gimmicks some of the other restaurants employ, but I liked that the focus was on the soups.
One of my favourite hotpot restaurants to date.
Elixir Health Pot (Wu Lao Guo) 無老鍋
Shiming Store No. 143, Section 3, Civic Blvd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104
Tel: +886 2 2731 7928
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 2:00am Daily
Google Maps – Elixir Health Pot (Wu Lao Guo Zhongshan)
Xinsheng Store: No.124, Sec. 1, Xinsheng S. Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei
Tel: +886 2 3322 5529
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 1:30am Daily
Zhongshan Store: No.36-1, Sec. 2, Zhongshan N. Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei
Tel: +886 2 2581 6238
Opening hours: 11:30am – 2:00am Daily
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