Pop Pot & Tea
Opened: January 2023
This cute Taiwanese restaurant turns out many of the island’s most famous drinks and dishes, including boba tea and hot pot offered in 20 variations. Although it’s tempting to dive right into those furiously bubbling soups, the snack section of the menu, rife with street foods from Taiwan’s famous night markets, makes a better introduction to this heady melting pot cuisine. Crispy, salt-flecked popcorn chicken is way more sophisticated than you’d imagine — aromatic with five spice and as delicate as tempura ($8.99). Crunchy deep-fried century eggs, cured until the whites turn grayish black and develop a gelatinous rim, are rich and salty, their creamy yolks akin to hard-boiled eggs ($6.99). Meanwhile, juicy Taiwanese sausages, also perfumed with five spice, are simple, straightforward deliciousness paired with slips of raw garlic ($8.99). Hot pots (which feed two) brim with ingredients to be plucked from the broth, including cabbage, kamaboko, crab stick, enoki mushroom, quail egg, fish ball, dense rice cake and a noodle of some sort, but each has variations. Taiwanese Spicy Pot also contains pork tripe, clam, fried tofu skin, sliced beef and squiggly instant noodles ($20.99), while Japanese Miso Pot is afloat with mussels, shrimp, scallop, calamari and udon noodles ($20.99).
Wild Card: Sweet, creamy boba tea makes an excellent dessert ($4.99-$6.99).
2015 N. Dobson Rd., Chandler, 480-219-9466, poppotaz.com