Han Shi Fang
Han Shi Fang is proof that you can indeed have it all. This Scarborough restaurant is the first Toronto location of a large Chinese chain headquartered in Beijing - they have more than 300 locations in China. The main draw is their special grill/pot combo where you can have barbecue and hot pot at the same time.
While standard AYCE rules apply, you do get two options: a regular meal for $25.99 and a non-seafood meal for $19.95.
The grill/pot utensil is a culinary marvel. You cook your hot pot at the bottom - you have the option between one (+$6) and four flavours of broth (+$10), and you grill your meats at the top. It's so simple that it's pure genius.
Soup/base wise, I try the deliciously spicy Sichuan Ma La, the slightly sweet Tomato, the nutty Satay and the citrusy Tom Yum broths.
Ingredients include a perfectly marbled Angus beef that offers the ideal combination of meat and fat.
For the barbecue, I can't get enough of the enoki beef roll. The fattiness of the beef melts beautifully on the grill, infusing the mushrooms with a meaty flavour that can't be beat.
The spicy fish filet is also worth a try. I love that it tastes as good grilled as it does boiled in the soup. The seasoning on the fish is a perfect mix of salt and spice.
Han Shi Fang also offers a variety of traditional Chinese dishes to augment the hot pot experience.
The Never Forget Chicken ($9.99) is a delight for those who can appreciate cold meats. Cooled boiled chicken seasoned with Szechuan chili oil is what to eat if your tastebuds are craving spice.
The Beef Noodle Soup ($7.99), a traditional Taiwanese dish, is tender and well-seasoned. It's not too spicy, not too salty, just right.