Hong Kong’s best hotpot
This popular chain restaurant originally started out in New Taipei City in 2005, before making its way to Hong Kong in 2016, bringing with it its delightful and pungent stinky tofu aroma. Massively popular, the signature stinky tofu hotpot comes with 15 different ingredients including stinky tofu straight from Taiwan, pork slices, pig’s blood cake and fried bean curd. The star attraction doesn’t disappoint: the tofu is crispy on the outside and super soft within, though the smell can’t quite compete with local varieties. If you hate the stink – which we should warn you is fairly inescapable – there are other options you can select, such as garlic and beef, herbal lamb, milk and cheese, and tomato and pork. All sets come with a Taiwanese drink.
Chongqing hotpot has increasingly lit up the scene – and people’s tongues – over the past few years. Liuyishou just happens to be one of the top hotpot chains in Chongqing. Now boasting three branches in Hong Kong, the hotpot joint has been winning diners over with its traditional Chinese décor and signature Sichuan spicy broth, which guarantees an intense flavour and mouth-numbing sensation. Aside from the traditional spicy option, there’s a range of house specials – and less searing – options including Seafood Deluxe with Lobster, Thai Coconut Chicken, and Vegetarian Mushrooms. Offal, handmade dumplings and meatballs are also a must-try when you’re ordering ingredients.
Founded in Beijing in 1903, Dong Lai Shun is best known for using thinly sliced mutton (from $400) from Mongolia in its hotpots. Pro tip: to keep the meat juicy and tender, skim a thin slice across the top of the bubbling hot pot for a few seconds, then dip it in the toothsome secret sauce.
This 6,200sq ft restaurant in TST makes hotpot cool. The venue sports interiors that are reminiscent of a contemporary fish market and look, well, really hip. And the same goes for the pots, which include soup bases enriched with premium ingredients. One must-try is the signature The Drunken Pot. This features five different soup bases in one copper pot. It's perfect for dipping slices of marbled beef or the restaurant's delicious homemade dumplings and meatballs. If you don't want to head to Kowloon side, check out the Causeway Bay branch or order the hotpot delivery, the latter of which you can enjoy in the comforts of your own home.
Struggling to keep up with the latest K-pop trends? Then settle for K-pot instead. The Joomak is throwing its healthy, creative recipes into the battle for hotpot supremacy. Most notable is its ginseng chicken soup. Stuffed with sticky rice, the chicken is slow-cooked with ginseng, goji berries and yam for five hours until the broth is bursting with wonderful herbal flavours. So if you tend to have icy hands and feet during winters, definitely have a go. The Joomak offers 90-minute all-you-can-eat hotpot sessions ($248) featuring more than 30 ingredients to pick from. Cough up another $38 for some premium seafood.
This popular Taiwanese import has recently opened its third and largest branch in Hong Kong. Spanning 5,000 sq ft, this Causeway Bay flagship location serves bubbling broths made from high-quality ingredients, from the signature numb and spicy soup to the nourishing collagen chicken soup. The list of to-cook ingredients is extensive too and covers everything from hand-sliced beef and cuttlefish balls to dumplings and vegetable platters. Be sure to order a Taiwanese beer to go with your meal. Lao Guo serves specially imported Taiwanese craft beers with distinctive local flavours like oolong and winter melon tea injected in. They’re the perfect companion to any hotpot sesh.
This Mong Kok restaurant is a favourite among locals. The interior decoration is a mashup of wet market, seafood market and a meat stall. That reflects perfectly how fresh all the ingredients are as the chef personally handpicks all the seafood and meat daily. There are more than 10 soup bases to pick from but the chicken and fish maw soup, and peppered pig’s stomach and chicken soup are among the best. We suggest you start and savour a bowl of the heartwarming soup before chucking in all your ingredients.
Nabe Urawa is the go-to-place for insatiable Shabu Shabu fans. Aside from its Japanse-style hotpot, there’s a whole range of creative broth from cook your meat in. There’s the supposedly collagen-boosting Genki broth, sukiyaki topped with melted cotton candy, Boston lobster, and spicy seaweed. There’s also a wealth of other top-shelf ingredients to dunk in your pot including wagyu beef, oysters, squid and New Zealand mussels. Go nuts at the buffet spread which features over 50 ingredients. Plus you can order freshly-made sushi, drinks and desserts.
Don’t let Thai Bin Lo’s cheap and cheerful all-you-can-eat deals fool you. The ingredients are some quality stuff. Its authentic Thai-style soup base (from $178) comes in four flavours including the signature tom yum and coconut chicken. The standard selection is a bit limited, so we suggest spending a few more bucks for the hand-cut beef shoulder and the seafood boat, which comes with fresh oysters, abalone, clams, prawns and more. At the buffet, you can also find a dozen cooked dishes like pork neck and lamb curry. Best of all, Thai Bin Lo does ‘soup pairings’ with a range of mocktails. Who’d have thought?
This Taiwanese hotpot restaurant is probably best known for its numbing spicy soup broth that takes seven days to ferment. Plating is also a huge deal here at Quan Alley. Ingredients are intricately served on ice atop of beautiful porcelain crockery and antique-like bowls, with some plated to look akin to floral art. Try ordering the chicken cartilage, which is made to look like nougat or the Taiwanese-style fish paste served like a popsicle stick.