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Big Chinese Hot Pot Chain in Chinatown Scores a Star in the Times

Pete Wells says Da Long Yi’s spicy broth isn’t as “deep” as its competitors — but it’s a good spot for novice hot potters

Da Long Yi hot pot Da Long Yi [Official]

Times critic Pete Wells doles out a single star for Sichuan hot pot newcomer Da Long Yi, whose broth he says isn’t “quite as deep or complex” as its competitors.

The critic writes that the broth at Da Long Yi could use some extra flavor — which he achieves by tossing in a few king oyster mushrooms, kelp, and roe-stuffed fish balls. In the review he also praises a few of the restaurant’s competitors, writing that Mister Hotpot serves a “creamy” pork-bone broth and that the “complexity” of the broths at Niu Pot makes it one of the city’s best in the genre.

As for Da Long Yi’s hot pot pairings, he notes that sometimes texture plays a bigger role than flavor:

You can, if you like, follow the custom of Chengdu or Chongqing by focusing on ingredients that are prized more for feel than flavor. The duck intestines, for instance, which quickly contract in the hot broth and come out about 30 seconds later with the texture of barely cooked squid. Or the pale ivory sheets of flattened artery, which after cooking about twice as long have a long-lasting chew that reminds me of geoduck.

Wells approaches the review as if writing a guide for hot pot first-timers. He advises diners with “a low tolerance for heat” to choose Da Long Yi’s split pot, explaining that the chili oil-laced broth sits on one side and a mild vegetable broth sits on the other. He also says that the restaurant’s narrow range of choices makes a good spot for a novice hot potter. One star.

Da Long Yi

159 Canal St., Unit E, New York, NY