V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (2024)

Published November 25, 2022

On our Monday evening of Thanksgiving break, my boyfriend and I ventured to Route 46 in Parsippany to try our nearest hot pot and BBQ restaurant.

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ sat back behind an I-Hop on Route 46 and diagonal the ShopRite. Without the GPS, it was easy to miss.

All of the businesses in the shopping center shared mall-style parking, so we had ample spaces to choose from. The parking near the restaurant was filled, but not overpacked.

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (1)

Interior Design

We entered the foyer through two sets of glass doors. I was immediately impressed by the style of the space. A long bright yellow table served as the hostess stand. Cushioned chairs lined the two walls before it opened up into the dining space.

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (2)

A man in a beanie and hoodie took two menus and walked us past the decorative wall to a two-top table in the middle of the room. Seating for parties of six sat empty across from us. Past that, I could see the profiles of customers at two and four-top tables. On the farthest back wall I saw signs that I thought read “VIP” seating.

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (3)

A couple sat to the left of me on the other side of the decorative wall. Two and four person tables lined the length of the room behind them, while in-laid seating for four sat on the left-hand wall. So far, the room was filled except for our middle section.

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ Menu

We opened our thick, multi-page menu. We knew we wanted to do both hot pot and BBQ, which offered all you can eat for both options.

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (4)

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (5)

As I experienced with K-Pot in East Brunswick, we started first by selecting our hot pot broth. V-Yan offered a traditional broth, miso, mushroom, seafood, and spicy. I debated ordering the miso, but then wondered if the flavor would impact the items I would cook in it. We both settled on the traditional.

Before we flipped into the many pages of meats, vegetables, and noodles, our waitress arrived. She asked for our drink order and we gave it, expecting her to leave and return, but she ended up taking our whole order.

We should’ve asked for more time to browse the menu, but we divided and conquered and picked a variety of ingredients across the menu for both hot pot and BBQ. Our burners were kicked on and our grills heated up as we waited for our order.

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (6)

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ | $34.99 per person

Our hot pot arrived first — it was a light broth with a disk of ginger, a chunk of tomato, a knob of corn, and a few scallions.

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (7)

Unlike the last time I tried hot pot, the spoon in this bowl was slotted! Which was great to scoop out the ingredients I was cooking, but it never gave me the chance to try the broth directly. I would’ve liked to have eaten my noodles and broth together like soup.

A new waitress wheeled out a large silver cart of ingredients, stopping at each of the tables and dropping off orders. We received most of our plates within minutes of placing our order.

Hot Pot Vegetables

Bless my boyfriend for ordering the vegetables, as I was entirely focused on the protein. This plate had rice noodles, tofu, seaweed, and enoki mushrooms. Not pictured is a bowl of fresh spinach leaves.

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (8)

The rice noodles were perfect for me — though the menu also offered udon, ramen, and two other noodles I didn’t get a chance to read.

The tofu, which I usually pass on, was outstanding — luscious and jiggly, we could barely lift it from the plate and into our hot pot bowls without it breaking.

I enjoyed the texture of the enoki mushrooms and the spinach was so fresh — I wilted it in my soup broth and ate most of the bowl myself.

I don’t recommend the seaweed. I left it in my soup for a while and I found it too tough to chew through. Our table setting only offered chopsticks, so I couldn’t try to cut the seaweed into smaller pieces to see if it would improve its texture.

Hot Pot Protein

We couldn’t pass up the dumplings, so we ordered shumai, fish roe, and shrimp. We received 3 of each type.

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (9)

While ordering the rest of our hot pot protein, I also asked for the imitation crab (not the whole crab they have available on the menu) and, for some reason in the moment, I thought salmon would be a good idea.

The pile of salmon we received was beautiful, but cooking it in the hot pot didn’t provide much flavor (I’ll share more about this later). I would skip ordering the salmon again.

I liked the shrimp dumplings and the shumai the best. I wouldn’t order the fish roe dumpling, as it didn’t have flavor.

We also ordered the sliced beef and sliced chicken for our hot pot.

BBQ Protein

The protein for the BBQ arrived with our hot pot protein. We were given several tongs and shears for grilling.

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (10)

Closest to the front was the sliced pork, then seasoned pork belly, steak (with butter), and bulgogi chicken. All of the proteins we picked were great quality and delicious. My favorite was the seasoned garlic pork belly, which looked like bacon and had a delicious layer of fat on it. The steak was beautiful and cooked well too. The bulgogi chicken was tender and sliced into small pieces, which made it easy to cook.

By this point of our meal, we were successfully grilling our protein and our hot pots boiled away to create a cloud of steam. Two families of three took the large tables across the aisle from us. A father and son took the table behind us and another couple sat behind them. The left-hand side of the room was full of customers in various states of ordering and eating.

As we ate our first few bites from the grill, I looked around the room in search of a sauce bar. I’ve seen many Instagram videos of sauce bar recipes, and from my dining experience at K-Pot East Brunswick, I knew there should be a make-your-own sauce bar to add more flavor to the dishes.

My boyfriend volunteered to walk to the back of the room and around the corner, which was the only area blocked from view. Lo and behold, there was the sauce bar! He selected a peanut sauce and a chili garlic sauce for us to try. I stuck with the garlic sauce the whole evening as it was sweet and savory!

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (11)

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (12)

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (13)

A quiet server came by while we were eating and filled up our hot pots with fresh broth from a large tea kettle. He then stopped by twice to ask if we wanted more food.

I assumed we now had a new waiter, so upon his second visit, we ordered more of the garlic pork belly for the BBQ and an order of curry chicken. I also ordered more shumai and lobster dumplings.

I forgot to take pictures of the second round of food, but this was some of my cooked chicken and pork belly, as well as the wilted spinach and dumplings.

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (14)

A sign on the wall said there was a two-hour limit for the table and that you would be charged for any excess food. Our original waitress stopped by and asked us if we wanted anything else, but I told her that someone had already taken our order for more food.

The second round of food arrived, and now I was starting to get full. Cooking your own food means eating as you go, which made me eat faster than normal, so I was fuller faster.

Luckily, my boyfriend added the leftover noodles and vegetables to his hot pot and he finished our remaining ingredients, so we only left a few bites of protein on our plates.

The quiet waiter returned and cleared our empty bowls and plates. He asked us if we wanted anything else and we said no. Our waitress came back and asked us again if we wanted anything else before bringing us our check.

We sat for a little while after we paid in an attempt to finish the last of our food. We didn’t see dessert at V-Yan, nor could we have considered eating another bite after all of the protein we ate during this meal.

My Recommendation

I would give our visit to V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ a 7/10 for the following:

  • Decor and Design

    • V-Yan has a distinctive color palette of yellow and black with a spacious and thoughtful design. The bright yellow wall designs add a pop of brightness to the space and make for an impactful entryway. The tables are orderly and spaced out well so the restaurant was not noisy despite the number of people. The menu is heavy and organized nicely with pictures of each item, which makes ordering easier. I felt the space was clean, casual, and welcoming.

  • Service

    • We read a variety of reviews about the service before arriving. I think we experienced both ends of the spectrum with our service. The first, with our original waitress, was that she moved too fast and did not explain anything to us. If we were first time hot pot / BBQ diners, I think we would’ve been disappointed. I would’ve preferred to have time to review the menu and it would’ve been good for the waitstaff to point out that the sauce station was hidden behind the wall that looked like it went to the kitchen.

      The quiet young man who became our second waiter was thoughtful and attentive. He checked in many times, cleared our table without asking, and ensured we had what we needed. If it wasn’t for this second waiter I would’ve lowered my rating for V-Yan.

  • Food

    • Everything we ordered was high quality, fair portions, and delivered to our table quickly. The special sauces from the sauce bar elevated the proteins and make the experience more enjoyable. Overall, it was a tasty meal and a fun dining experience. I would return to V-Yan in the future to experience hot pot and BBQ again.

Have you been to V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ?

Leave a comment below with your favorite hot pot or BBQ ingredients.

Are you looking for more New Jersey restaurants to visit? Click here to read more of my restaurant reviews.

V-Yan Hot Pot and BBQ — Kristen Martinelli (2024)


What is the difference between Korean BBQ and Hotpot? ›

Korean hot pot is a broth of vegetables, seafood, and meats, while the Korean BBQ in Bradenton refers to meats and vegetables that are grilled on a stovetop. These are extremely popular dishes in most all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ restaurants. Hot Pot is a wet dish, while BBQ is a dry one.

How does the KPot work? ›

The concept is simple. You get two hours (you have a running clock on the tablet you order on) to cook as much meat as you can eat. Each table at KPot is equipped with a table grill and personal burners for hot pot.

Why is Korean BBQ so good? ›

The marinades and dipping sauces are rich and filled with umami. It's the perfect marriage of meat, marinate, and fat. A Korean barbecue feast includes all kinds of textures — chewy and crunchy — and tastes: sweet, savory, spicy, sour, and bitter. Korean barbecue is a feast for the senses.

Is Korean BBQ better than Japanese BBQ? ›

Korean BBQ is great for those with adventurous palates who enjoy a wide variety of vegetables and side dishes served alongside well-seasoned meat. Japanese BBQ is ideal for those who enjoy a more straightforward serving style that focuses on quality cuts of beef and relies on sauce for flavor.

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