Reviewers drooled all over two Upper West Side restaurants last week, using descriptions like “rapturous,” and “a species of heroin.”

Eater’s Robert Sietsema loved the new 108 Food Dried Hot Pot at 2794 Broadway at 108th Street. The restaurant, which opened in April, serves dry hot pot, a communal dish that is a little different than other hot pots you may have tried in New York.

“Dry hot pot is different than regular hot pot in that a standard hot pot involves cooking at the table by swishing morsels of food in a bubbling broth. Dry hot pot uses many of the same raw materials, but they’re cooked in the kitchen as opposed to at the table. This hot pot is not a soup but a stir-fry and the finished product glistens with oil, not “dry” in the least. The communal enjoyment on the part of the diners and a similar roster of ingredients is what unites the two types of hot pot.

Here’s how it works at 108: You step up to a lavish display of raw ingredients deposited in metal tubs at the rear of the restaurant. An attendant with a sense of humor, her baseball cap turned askew, will assemble the ingredients you point to, putting the meat, poultry, and fish in one metal bowl ($10.99 per pound), and the vegetable matter in another ($9.99 per pound).”

It’s an affordable delicacy, and Sietsema gives it very high praise.

“I’d put the food quality at 108 Food up against that of any Chinese restaurant in town at a similar price.”

Read the whole thing and check out some mouth-watering photos here.

What's a good burger without a nice cold beer? @ChefRobMcCue is changing over the taps @TheFatMonkNYC today and we've got the perfect pairings to go with your Monk Burger, Braised Short Rib, Brûléed Bone Marrow, and the list goes on. Find your Friday night fancy at #TheFatMonkNYC. Visit us online to make your reservation: 📷@mflatowphoto

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In the New Yorker, Jiayang Fan praised The Fat Monk at 949 Columbus Avenue (107th Street), which opened this winter. Chef Rob McCue is clearly not afraid of flavor, or fat.

“‘No rules!’ is how the Long Island-born head chef, Rob McCue (who appeared on the cooking-competition show “Hell’s Kitchen”), describes his unapologetically indulgent menu. The bacchanalia of brûléed bone marrow, pig knuckles, and bone-in rib eye makes the cheese board and devilled eggs look like dieter’s specials. In this no-rules suzerainty, calorie counting might be the only criminal offense.”

McCue apparently spent more than a year perfecting the duck burger, including finding the right bun to keep the grease from soaking through.

Read the whole thing here.

Top photo by Loren.

FOOD, NEWS | 16 comments | permalink
    1. Jeff says:

      I went to 108 today and can confirm it’s delicious. You get to customize a spicy stir fry just like a salad at Sweetgreen.

      On a separate note we’re getting spoiled with all the Sichuan restaurants in 100s, very cool.

    2. Tim says:

      The attractiveness of hot pot is the hands-on aspect of dunking and cooking your own stuff with others. This “dry hot pot”, which is cooked for you, makes me imagine a pizza place calling their concept “flat bread hot pot” after you select a few items you want cooked on top of the bread! Lol

    3. BillyNYC says:

      No thanks! Just looking at it looks like a set up for a coffin 😱 suicide food 🥘

    4. Wendy says:

      is it just me, or does that Fat Monk hamburger dish look really disgusting?

    5. Hugh says:

      Dried Hot Pot is amazing! They have other things on the menu besides the hot pot fare. I’m vegetarian (usually vegan) and Fat Monk has nothing I could eat. While I had drinks and a greasy appetizer, my girlfriend said her plate was disgusting.

    6. TERRA says:

      I wondered in to 108 on a weekend afternoon and was completely confused as I am not use to this cuisine. The menu is mostly in Chinese. If you find the take out meny, it has English
      No one at the counter helped me, I was ignored
      I decided to order something from the menu that looked familiar. I did not even order from the hit pot b/c no one talked to me or explained how it worked
      As I waited for my food, I saw 2 guys walk in, look at the menu and were completely confused.
      I handed them the take out menu to help them
      They asked a woman at the hot pot line how it worked, she replied incoherently.
      Finally the guys walked out b/c it was too confusing
      When I finally received my food to-go, it was ok. Typical Chinese food but more expensive

    7. Felina Gallagher says:

      Fat Monk is a lovely food experience- we’ve taken the kids and we’ve gone all adults – always great options, servers who trulry seem to enjoy where they spend their days and really delicious foods! Love the Alice in wonderland staircase that brings us to a full spread rstaurant downstairs. I think this restaurant has much to offer our neighborhood and I will continue to patronize and recommend them”