December is officially here and the temperature outside is droppin’ as we speak.
Whether you’re craving something warm, savory, spicy, salty, or just want a quick drink, I’ve got the perfect recommendation for you.

Ten Ren’s Tea Time, conveniently located on the oh-so-famous University Ave., is your one stop shop for a snack, a hearty meal, and even dessert to top it all off. But to sooth your soul from the chilly weather outside, all you’re really going to want is a Joy Pot.

Photo by Gina Han

If you’re no stranger to Taiwanese hot pot, I’m sure you already know what your favorite soup base is at any given restaurant. However, if you’re a first timer, all the different choices might be a little overwhelming at first, because well.. how are you supposed to know what’s good? But do not fear. Trust me, you really can’t go wrong here. In just four easy steps and not-too-many minutes, you’ll be presented with a tray full of goodness.

All you need to do is let your server know exactly what you want:
1. What kind of meat
2. Which soup base (if you’re indecisive, ask for a recommendation or crowd favorite)
3. Spiciness level
4. Rice or glass noodles

That’s it. Now the waiting game starts.

Photo by Gina Han

The Joy Pot comes with your choice of either rice or glass noodles and a special house dipping sauce. If you want that extra kick, ask for some chili sauce and chili oil on the side as well.
Each soup comes with a variety of different vegetables (bok choy, cilantro, green onions, etc), glass or rice noodles, and other add-ons (fish and squid balls, crab stick, tofu, etc.) for you to dip and enjoy. Remember you can order extra add-ons for a little bit more dinero as well.

Aside from the possible burning of your tongue, this meal is one you won’t regret and will be thinking about until your next visit. And hey, burns may not be a bad thing, considering they have some of the best boba drinks around. Next time you’re freezing and need something to warm your tummy, head to Ten Ren’s Tea Time.

Photo courtesy of Ten Ren’s