Chinese hotpot restaurant chain Uniboil finally opened its fifth West Coast location at 5599 Hollister Ave., Goleta, and is unapologetically serving mouthwatering dishes.

Prior to coming to this restaurant, I wasn’t exactly certain of what hotpot was, but, upon trying it, I quickly learned that it is absolutely delicious. For those of you who don’t know, a hotpot is a Chinese cooking method in which a pot is kept simmering with East Asian foods and ingredients, then placed on the table to cook. This method of cooking assures that the meal will be warm and fresh at every bite.

When I arrived at Uniboil I had no idea what to order, so I asked the servers which dish was their bestseller. They informed me that their most popular dish is the UNIBOIL Sizzling Plate w/ Rice, and, without further question, that was what I ordered.

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When the dish arrived on its portable stove, it pleased me to discover that it was vibrant, with acolorful mixture of corn, yellow and green onions, rice and raw egg, and was topped off with the sizzling sound of black pepper steak cooking to perfection. It was a pot filled with simmering goodness, and the savory flavor of the black pepper sauce brought it all together.

The waiter suggested that I mix all the ingredients together and that, once everything was cooked to my liking, I should push the special button on the side to turn off the portable stove. I waited until my meat was well done, and then I mixed all the ingredients well to make sure I’d taste all the dish had to offer in each and every spoonful.

After doing some impromptu cooking, I tasted my final creation, which shocked my taste buds and tingled my senses. This dish had a perfect combination of crunchy, because of the corn and onion, and chewy, because of the rice and egg. In addition, the thinly sliced meat was soft and easy to chomp, and its juices oozed Uniboil’s authentic Chinese flavors.

The average price for a meal at this restaurant ranges from $9 to $16. My plate cost $13.99 and, since it’s a sit-down restaurant, I spent a total of $16 (including tip).

If you’re looking to treat yourself or someone special to some quality and authentic-tasting Chinese cuisine, I definitely recommend Uniboil. I look forward to returning there to try more of its dishes, interact with its friendly staff and enjoy its novel ambiance.