Whenever the temperature drops and the weather gets chilly in our city, a good hotpot is the go-to-method to warm up. But unlike claypot rice and snake soup, which tend to be seasonal delights, Hongkongers crave hotpot all year round. From Taiwanese stinky tofu to painfully delicious spicy soup broths, follow our guide to the best and most unique hotpot spots in town.
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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 four 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.
Spanning a whopping 9,000 sqft across two floors in the heart of Causeway Bay, Lau Haa (which literally translates to downstairs) Hotpot Restaurant is a retro-themed restaurant that will take you back to the old Hong Kong. Having over 20 types of soup bases to choose from, the menu at Lau Haa keeps to its authenticity with a range of local, Hong Kong-style food offerings such as handmade plum and pork meatballs, fresh shrimp paste, Huadiao braised chicken and much, much more. Apart from the food, what makes this hotpot restaurant the most unique is its interior. Completely decked out in full vintage gear such as neon lights, old tuck shop-style furnishings, retro floor and tiling, dai pai dong tables and chairs, as well as classic tableware, you'll feel like you've stepped into a time machine back to the 70s!
Hailing all the way from Singapore, the beloved hotpot chain Beauty in the Pot has finally opened its doors in Hong Kong, becoming a smashing success overnight. The restaurant, delightfully decked out in shades of pastel pink, elegantly combines flavours and ingredients from various parts of East Asia, creating a harmonious and ingenious blend of cultures that captures the essence of communal dining manifested through the hotpot experience. So, if you’re ever torn between satiating your craving for hotpot and fulfilling your inner princess’ pretty pink fantasies, now you have just the place to run to for both a delicious meal and snapping that Insta-worthy money shot.
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 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.
You can’t get any more authentic than Hot Pot Hero, in which the owner and head chef are both Sichuanese. The latter was formerly the executive chef at The Emperor Hotel’s The Golden Valley and picked up a Michelin-star during his tenure there. This hot pot restaurant boasts up to 17 speciality soup bases including some delightfully spicy options infused with chili peppers from Yunnan and Sichuan. Hot Pot Hero also offers broths that are rare in Hong Kong like chili frog, peppered fish head and Chongqing-style spicy chicken.
In the mood for hotpot but don't have enough people to go with? Then you're in luck as Soup and Rice is made for exactly that. Featuring a mouthwatering range of hotpot sets, perfectly sized for one person, diners can choose from a creamy curry broth to an all-veggie soup base. Each soup base will come with a different set of ingredients, and if your stomach is grumbling hard, feel free to load on more toppings and ingredients – although we strongly recommend finishing what's on the table first as you'll be surprised at how fast you'll fill up. Last but certainly not lease, don't forget to give their selection of fruit teas, cheese-capped teas and cold-brew teas a try!
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.
Amongst all the hot pot options in Hong Kong, Liu Yi Shou has stood the test of time. A famous chain from Chongqing with over 500 locations worldwide, it brings the classic taste of the beloved Sichuan-style hotpot and red soup base (boiled with beef tallow and a lot of chili) to Hong Kong in an approachable environment. The concentrated soup base requires ingredients that can handle its boisterousness. Here, adventurous eaters can enjoy delicacies like tripe, pig hearts, pig blood and intestines.
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.
The original Toyko meat specialist boasts 30 years of history, and delivers the highest quality wagyu beef to its Hong Kong outpost every day. So you can trust the beef here is never frozen. At Yakiniku Jumbo, you can savour a decadent wagyu hotpot that comes with a beefy broth, a wagyu beef patter and a bowl of udon or rice. There are three equally good soup bases: the light, clear beef broth, the rich oxtail chicken soup and the spicy beef and vegetable. The wagyu beef platter consists of four cuts including the juicy sirloin and Australian ox tongue. So if you’re a proud carnivore, you know where to go.