It’s the restaurant name really. In English and what I take to be Korean Hanja and it prompts a rapid deceleration, the tucking of the car into a space beside road works, some craning of necks and then this – ah, come on we’ll give it a go. Tonight’s planned restaurant having just turned out to be not-actually-opened-yet, what is there to lose? 

And anyway I’m seeing bright yellows, posters in – is it possibly, actually, Chinese? – nick-nacks, gee-jaws, weird pipes descending from the ceiling to above each table, those tables having pot-shaped slots in them too, large rectangles also. 

Interesting. And all of this taken in as we stand inside a door bathed in blue neon while the waiter, I’ll tell you right now a fantastically helpful and cheery guy, is asking if we want traditional Chinese or hot pot and barbecue. Uh? Hot pot and barbecue? As in both? Yes. Yes? We’ll have that then. 

There will now follow some considerable faffing til we get seated. Frankly, our guy is just following orders from behind a counter. But three whole tables are negotiated over before we get the one I want – with a ceiling down-pipe ( turns out to be a powered ventilator), four deep-dish pot slots, and a big fat barbecue plate, which has just had a sheet of fresh greaseproof paper laid upon it. Did I say interesting? 

Fast-forward 10 minutes, say, and Joe is stretching slivers of raw Korean beef, lamb and pork onto that barbecue plate. They will sizzle and caramelise in an astonishingly short time while huge pots of soup base, satay broth as recommended by our waiter guy and tom yum broth, heat. Those broths then are rapidly bubbling, powered by a deep roar of something, turbo-gas maybe, full-fat leccy probably,  coming from under the table near my left knee. 

Meanwhile I’m plopping enoki mushrooms, flat mushrooms, spinach, radish, lotus root and bok choy into the broth pot sunk into the table, slices of white fish and crab sliding in momentarily too. On the side we have bowls filled with prepared salads, delicious sesame seaweed in mine, chillies, fresh and dried, crumbled peanuts, soy, unidentified gloopy tangy stuff too, all for dressing the rest in. 

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What follows then is a masterclass in slippery, slidey, chopsticky, unreservedly-slurpy and completely undisciplined eating, punctuated by occasional oohs and ahs when something surprisingly nice goes down. 

So engaging and entertaining is this self-cooked food theatre, so deeply flavoured are those broths – the tom yum is masterfully sour – that I abandon any concern for the fresh whiteness of my unboxed-only-this-morning M&S regular fit polyester cotton dress shirt (size 16.5 since you ask) and it quickly falls victim to a rat-a-tat spray of oyster sauce and chilli. 

More prawns are ordered up to replace the first four that were grilled to blistering sweetness, more noodle disks please, meats and then the waiter guy is pouring stock from a stainless coffee pot into our broth pots as, wow, we’ve already emptied them. It’s an all-you-can-eat after all. 
There’s fried rice sitting somewhere over there, desserts, even more Korean side dishes to add but why would you? 

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We’re fully engaged here. Along the way we’ve had interesting chat from the waiter, advice on what goes best with what and how to eat all of this. Answer: whatever way you want. 

Full disclosure? I chicken out from some ingredients – the cow throat, blood tofu, beef and pork tripe and, ahem, spam, but only because this is all going very well without engaging in any culinary bungee-jumping. Now.  Quite what was supposed to happen with the Korean Sweet corn noodles – give them a good five minutes they say – I will never find out as they retain their styrofoam packing peanuts shape and when I taste one it bursts into a decidedly un-noodley sweet, chewy, hot water sensation. Um. 

There’s so much going on elsewhere on the table that I forget to ask what was supposed to happen. Does it matter? Not at all. This has been a great fun meal.  

Menu: They give you a marker pen and a laminate menu and you tick off the ingredients - from a vast list - you want brought to your table to be cooked in broth or barbecued on a hot plate. 4/5

Service: Our night was undoubtedly made enjoyable by our genuinely cheery, helpful and welcoming waiter. Five marks isn’t really enough.  5/5

Price: with one can of Coke it was £58.98 for two all-the-ingredients-you-can-cook-and-eat hot pots and barbecues. Reasonable. 4/5

Atmosphere: The lighting is on the brash side, the decor more eclectic, but the theatre is all at the tables and the first I have been to where burners are fast and grills searing. 4/5

Food: It’s what you make of it really, but the Tom Yum Broth was excellent, the ingredients including seafood fresh if no detail on sourcing and the flavours big. 7/10

Total: 24/30

C’mon Inn Hot Pot & Korean BBQ
67 Cambridge Street
Hours: seven days 11am-10pm
Tel 0141-332-0300