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Hotpot Potpourri — Hong Kong Style

While Hong Kong’s winters do not bring to mind frigid temperatures, thermal underwear and snow-clad landscapes, the occasional cold front from the North gives residents just the excuse to act “cold”. Any time the temperature dips toward the mid-teens Celsius you’ll see the locals dressed up in winter gear and heading out for warm food, with few more popular options than a hotpot dinner shared with friends or family at a favourite restaurant. 
 
Paradoxically, while hotpot clearly isn’t a native Hong Kong dish, the city is nonetheless home to a wide variety of hotpot cuisines from around the region, and could reasonably claim the title of hotpot capital of Asia, at least in terms of its diversity. Whether it’s seafood or meat, homely simple or spicy chili, the city has it all. So why not choose hotpot for at least one of your meals during your visit, and take away the inviting aroma of a hotpot as a lingering memory of Hong Kong?
 
The Basics:
Going to a hotpot restaurant is simple enough, the city has hundreds of them from all regions of China and Asia. It’s best to go with a group: three and above allows you to try out different ingredients. Choose your base stock – typically a clear soup or a spicy soup or better yet, both – and pick a few condiment flavourings from among the soy sauces, minced ginger or garlic and chili sauce, then dip what you want to eat in a hotpot scooper and you are all set. Note that for most ingredients, especially beef and seafood, it’s best not to overcook. 

 

Cantonese Hotpot:

Probably the most common hotpot restaurant type in the city, it serves a healthy mix of seafood, meats and vegetables. There is a wide price range among restaurants, dictated by mostly the quality of the beef and the type of seafood chosen.
 
For your delectation, CityLife has chosen ten hotpot restaurants, each of a different style. Try one or more and enjoy a hearty meal!
 
1. Chuan Po PoSichuan Hotpot
 
Nothing is better than dipping tender chunks of meat into a boiling, spicy hot soup on a cold winter day and eating to your heart’s content from a wide selection. The key is the spicy soup base. Chuan Po Po serves no-nonsense “Ma La style – spicy and numb” Chongqing style hotpot with the usual cadre of beef, meat balls, vegetables, etc. You may wish to order the chicken stock soup base to balance the spiciness.
 
2369 8616
26-36, Prat Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui
 
2. Andy’s Hot PotChongqing Hotpot
 
This trendy hotpot place attracts a mostly young crowd from Hong Kong University nearby, where many Mainland students are based. Andy’s Hot Pot touts a “12-flavour” Ma La soup base with a generous portion of spicy butter thrown in. A strong waft of the soup aroma greets you on entering the place. The food is generally fresh and well prepared. Be sure to wear an apron and choose one that makes you king for a meal.
 
5498 4845
UG/G, G/F Rex Bldg, 399-401 Queen's Road West, Sai Wan
 
3. Tai Fung Lau Peking RestaurantBeijing Style Hotpot
 
If super spicy is not your thing, then you may want to try out the northern style hotpot cooking in which lamb or mutton is prominently featured. This well-known hotpot restaurant features a funnel shaped copper pot stoked by charcoal. The restaurant also serves regular dishes including Peking duck – a chance to kill two birds with one stone!
 
2366 2494
29-31 Chatham Road, Windsor Mansion, Tsim Sha Tsui
 
4. Little SheepMongolian Style Hotpot
 
For a slightly different northern style hotpot experience, Little Sheep is another popular option. You can still choose spicy soup base but there are alternatives. The lamb slices are a must. An excellent value-for-money choice.
 
2940 7678
20/F, Tai Hung Fai (Tsuen Wan) Center, 55 Chung On Street, Tsuen Wan
 
5. Supreme RestaurantChicken Hotpot
 
Chicken hotpot has been gaining in popularity. Supreme Restaurant located in the heart of Mong Kok offers its signature chicken hotpot with special chili and peppercorn ingredients for the soup base plus slow-cooked free-range chicken. The leftover soup base is ideal to dip other meat and vegetable ingredients into.
 
2148 2628
16/F, Chong Hing Square, 593-601 Nathan Road, Mong Kok
 
6. The JoomakKorean Style Hotpot
 
The Jookmak is a trendy, upscale Korean hotpot restaurant. Its signature hotpot is, of course, Ginseng Chicken, so popular in Korea. Besides chicken you can order Korean favourites including Korean dumplings or Korean fish cakes to put into the hotpot, or if you want to splurge, lobster and other fresh seafood.
 
2111 0851 
Shop 34, LCX, Level 3, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
 
7. Nabe UrawaJapanese Style Hotpot
 
Our list would not be complete without a Japanese hotpot selection, and Nabe Urawa fits the bill perfectly. The restaurant offers plenty of soup base stocks to choose from, along with a wide selection of quality beef slices and, of course, fresh seafood items. The desserts are good too as a way to “cool” down the meal. A smart choice for a quality hotpot experience.
 
2866 8876
Shop 118, 1/F, Grand Tower, 639 Nathan Road, Mong Kok
 
8. The Drunken PotCantonese Style Hotpot
 
No, the soup base is not filled with alcohol! But your choice of any alcohol to go with your hotpot meal is sure to be available at this high-end Cantonese hotpot place in Tsim Sha Tsui. The restaurant promotes a number of innovative cocktail drinks as part of the Hennessey V.S.O.P Privilege Rediscover the Taste of Hong Kong Taste campaign. Five different soup bases are on offer – including the Malaysian Tek Ku Teh soup for anyone who thinks they’ve tried it all.
 
2323 7098
Shop 1, 2/F, 8 Observatory Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
 
9. The Swiss ChaletSwiss Hotpot
 
Asia doesn’t have a monopoly on hotpot. For authentic Swiss cuisine and good old-fashioned fondue, the venerable Swiss Chalet is top of the list. Nothing warms the cockles of your heart better than a piping hot cheese fondue with quality cheese, fresh bread, and warm apple cider on a cold winter evening. Other authentic Swiss dishes and accompaniments are available.
 
2191 9197
12-14 Hart Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui
 
10. Market HotpotCantonese Style Hotpot
 
Among the many Cantonese hotpot restaurants, this one stands out for its acclaimed Chicken with Fish Maw soup base. It has a market Dai Pai Dong feel and all the seafood items are in seafood tanks available for you to choose from – literally live seafood into the hotpot and into your mouth!
 
2782 2003
2/F, Dundas Square, 43H Dundas Street, Mong Kok

 

 

(Edited on 2 Feb 2017)

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