Daily: 12:00 - 15:00
Daily: 18:00 - 23:00
This hopot restaurant is prettily decorated to recreate the feel of a Szechuan home. You can choose your hotpot broth, and enjoy a buffet spread of fresh ingredients. Dont miss the spicy dips and have a cup of eight treasures tea at the end to aid your digestion.
Reservation was made for a weekday evening as I last remembered The Magic of CQ was always packed. So I was a little surprised to see a few empty tables upon our arrival and through our dinner. But nonetheless, I am always happy to know restaurants are still in operation after all these years.
Upon seated, what happened next took place really fast. Before we warmed our seats, the staff came over and asked for our selection of soups. Since we knew at least 1 of the soups has to be spicy, we were quick in going with ma-la tang. And while debating over our choice for the second soup, the staff mentioned there’s also a shark’s bone cartilage soup on top of their menu’s ‘old faithful chicken broth’ and ‘preserved sour vegetable in chicken broth’. And hence we decided to go with that.
Once the first staff left after taking our order for soup and drinks, a second staff came and said she’ll start us with some dishes. I guess the staff assumed everyone was here for their buffet. But having been here and being too hungry to compare the a-la carte and buffet menus, we nodded our heads and let them took charge.
And with that, we started our buffet dinner priced at $34.90 per adult (weekday) with:-
1) Soups – We went with ma-la tang and shark’s bone soup. We topped up additional $20 for the latter which had the staff putting in 2 balls of the goodness into the soup. I will definitely recommend the shark’s bone soup. The soup was rich, flavorful and sweet.
2) One standard serving – Part of the buffet menu, we were each given one standard serving of handmade pork ball, fish golden nugget, handmade fish noodle sausage and crispy spring roll at the start of our dinner.
Due to the (silly) 3000 characters limit, continue to read my review on other dishes here: PART2
When it comes to steamboat, the few things which I look out for are the quality of food (freshness), the dipping sauce and if the place is air-conditioned (Need not be very cold though). I prefer eating in comfort lah. So The Magic of Chongqinghas met all my requirements, as with previous visits.
And service was great. Besides designating staff to allocated tables to make sure customers’ needs were taken care of, they also have a system where additional staff would go on their regular rounds in topping up our soup and tea. And while talking to staff, they learnt that we preferred our ma-la tang to be spicier. And they immediately offered to up the spiciness level. However, since we were halfway through our dinner, we turned them down. But it was a great gesture nonetheless.
We booked a table for10 for 7 Feb 2016. When we went into the room, they already stood by 8 cups of cold 8 treasure tea. If it is complimentary, I have no comments, but each cup of tea is chargeable as an extra. We told them we did not want the tea and told themto take it away. They should notbe assuming everybody wants 8 treasure tea and have it cold so that is blunder number one. During the steamboat, we took orders that never showed up on at least 2 occasions and when we questioned the waitress (a thin old lady), she said in Chinese "it is like that during CNY". So is the restaurant saying that during CNY the standard will drop? I had to literally walk in n out of the room at least 5 times getting plates, glasses, and getting the waitress in to take orders etc. It is not my first time going to chongqing and can only say that their standard of service is getting from bad to worse.
It was the worst service that I ever had! The manager had the worst mannners and accused diners of things that they never did. To add insult to injury, she did not apologize!!
The customer service is the worst and the food is getting worse as well! Thus, I don't recommend people to come here to eat hot pot. It is not worth the time and money to go there for such an experience.
They charged us for edamame we didn't order. It was brought to the table when we sat down. Later showed up on our bill for $3. We didn't order it, we complained. They said we were supposed to return it if we didn't wanted, then pointed to the whole buffet menu and said, see, it's not on the buffet menu. As if we could possibly scrutinize all 50 items and see that edamame wasn't included. Where I come from, if an item is given to you without you asking in a restaurant, it's free.
They also charge you $1 for cold tap water to drink. Yes, you are charged $1 for tap water. At least they gave us refills free of charge!
All of this might be forgivable if the food was good. Unfortunately, the soup base was extremely salty and bereft of actual flavor. The fish slices we ordered were tough.
Online, they advertised their dinner buffet as being $37.90 per adult. That's what the menu said too. But the night we went wasn't particularly busy, and they said, for whatever reason, that it would be $39.90 tonight. At least they mentioned that *before* the bill came.