Shuang Shuang

Restaurants, Chinese Chinatown
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(29user reviews)
107 Love It
Save it
Shuang Shuang

A Chinese hot pot specialist on Shaftesbury Avenue

Like puzzles? Try this. If a hotpot spot has five broths, eight things to dip and 46 things to cook, how many possible combinations are there?

I don’t actually know the answer (Facebook us with thoughts, please), but I do know this: it’s a lot. It’s as if the owners said ‘No-choice menus? Fuck that. Let’s give them so many options it’ll blow their tiny minds.’

But first things first. What exactly is ‘hotpot’? Well, it’s sort of an Asian version of a meat fondue, only using broth to do the ‘cooking’. But before you say ‘Oh yeah, hotpot, I’m all over that’, Shuang Shuang hasn’t gone for the standard set-up where you collect ingredients from a central ‘station’ (like a Pizza Hut salad bar); it uses a whizzy kaiten (revolving-sushi-bar conveyor-belt), in a gleaming white-and-steel space straight out of a dystopian sci-fi movie. This is DIY dining to the max. And because your first visit may slightly fry your brain, here’s a step-by-step guide to getting the best out of Shuang Shuang.

1. Ask to sit. We like the upstairs, where there are also tables for four. 2. Order snacks. You don’t need these, but the crisp chilli-and-cumin-spiced pigs’ ears and moreish scallop-and-prawn fritters are too good to miss. 3. Order your broth. Szechuanese mala (meaning ‘numbing and spicy’) is true to its name – delicious but dominant; we also liked ‘black bird’, a more subtle chicken stock. 4. Choose or make some dip. We recommend ‘DIY’ which allows you to mix grated ginger with sesame butter or the dried-shrimp hit of ‘sha cha’ paste. 5. Use the buttons on your panel to turn your hotpot to high then – once it’s bubbling – low again. 6. Pick your ingredients. If you’re going old-school, you’ll want fish balls, instant noodles, luncheon meat and tripe. For a more gweilo (‘foreigner’) friendly approach, try scallop chunks, mixed mushrooms (oyster, shiitake, needle), bamboo shoots, pak choi and firm ho fun. Also try sliding tiny morsels of the excellent ‘house prawn ball’ (a grey glistening tube of minced prawn) into your stock. 7. Set a stopwatch (use your phone). 8. Enjoy.

Shuang Shuang is a place for people who don’t take themselves too seriously (did we mention there are plastic bibs?) and do like fast food that can be mega-healthy. Plus, it’s a great spot to sit on your own and, you know, do a few puzzles.

By: Tania Ballantine

Posted:

Venue name: Shuang Shuang
Address: 64 Shaftesbury Avenue
London
W1D 6LU
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square
Do you own this business?
To improve this listing email: feedback@timeout.com

You may be interested in:

Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:12
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|29
2 people listening
Cheng G
1 of 1 found helpful

So glad finally I've found a hot pot place I really like in London.  Been to many places but been disappointed with the amount of MSG they used.  So tasty and so clean unlike other places in Chinatown which is a big plus for a girl like me!  What can beat tasty chicken broth and so many fresh ingredients coming non stop on the conveyor belt, and that peach beer just cured my homesick on a cold night like this.  

StephDye
tastemaker

I am in two minds about what to leave as a star rating for this place: on one hand, I love it. It's central, social, the food is great and there is so much variety that every visit is different. However the last time I visited, my broth was so overpowered with the flavour of wolfberry that I could barely eat it - it tasted like paintstripper! I am giving it the benefit of the doubt as every other visit has been great.


The concept is simple: you get a pot of broth (I always have the Mala, though this is super spicy and not for the faint hearted! For beginners, I would say choose the Tom Yum) then choose a dipping sauce, wait for the broth to start bubbling then add your ingredients! Three-four dishes plus noodles is generally enough for a filling, tasty meal - the cooking instructions come on the side of the plate (keep a timer handy, it's easy to get chatting an overcook your food!) The only thing I would say to avoid is the beef, it seemed stringy and didn't cook well, plus it works out more expensive than other ingredients.


It's a simple filling meal with a novel twist, perfect for dates or catch ups with friends.

Elena Ferrario
tastemaker

I like this place because it's fun! You get to cook you own food - don't worry it is not much work -  end the end result is truly enjoyable. A different experience at affordable prices, just next to Piccadilly Circus where it is usually difficult to find a good place to eat. 

Lekha N
tastemaker

After you get past the deep, overarching fact that you will be paying to cook your own food, Shuang Shuang is not only awesome, but worth it! 


Best enjoyed with a group of friends who love sharing and (playing with) their food, this little West End restaurant is all about the HotPot. Sharing tables upstairs have a pot in the middle, which can be split into sections for different soup bases. Downstairs they have individual tables for those who fancy enjoying one to themselves! The rest is then upto you – a massive variety of meats and vegetables slide around on a conveyor belt, ready for you to swiftly grab for cooking in your pot. The food is affordable even if you lose track of how much you've eaten (as we did!) I went with 5 friends and it worked out at around £15 a head, which was fantastic value.


A great fun experience, especially for those who enjoy personalising their food and want an alternative dining experience. 

elladacas
tastemaker

We wanted something a little different for lunch so we decided to come to shuang shuang.... Judge me not but we made this choice based on the look of the restaurant. It has a fresh vibe which isn't pretentious ..... So here's the deal... Its like a yo suhsi meets hot pot maker! You pick your ingredients which travel around on a conveyor belt and you make your dinner!!! Or lunch like we did......

A thoroughly enjoyable dining experience and its and in my opinion pretty affordable. If you enjoy the art of customisation then this is the place to go next! Best part is that you can't blame them for a tasteless meal as you season and cook it yourself haha

Anna E
Tastemakertastemaker

Chinese Hot Pot specialist Shuang Shuang really know how to make a girl feel hot and bothered...quite literally. 

I mean, maybe a humid, hot and rainy day, sitting and cooking over a steaming pot of soup may not be the best plan- but we embraced it. My hair may have left a lot larger than when I went in, but it was deffo worth it!

It's odd how cooking your own food in a restaurant seems like such fun - I just can't get enough! So excited at the prospect of rustling up my own hot pot and getting carried away with the occasion I even went crazy and ordered crispy pigs ears! I instantly regretted it and was so very scared about what would arrive but we were pleasantly surprised. Almost like a thinner (and hotter) version of pork scratchings. Much recommended, if you can put aside any reservations 😀


We had the Tom yum and chicken broth with steak, prawns and chicken as well as lots of veg. All together £45.

So delicious and fresh, plus really soothing and comforting on a rainy day. Great fun and prices aren't bad either!


Go hot or go home!

Mazzie Cee
tastemaker

Shuang Shuang is the winter warmer version of Yo Sushi, allowing you to build your hotpot, giving you a choice of tasty broths, dipping sauces and then a wide choice of meats, fish, carbs and vegetables from the conveyor belt.The latter is priced on the usual coloured plate system.

It is a great novelty and is fun. You may need to consider booking your seats. We went on a school night and only escaped a long wait because they had a no show booking.

I paid £20 for my dish. If you are comparing it with Pho style eateries this maybe a pricey option. However no doubt you are paying for the entertainment of making your own unique dish. 

Dimple M
tastemaker

This is food that's fun. How often to you go to a restaurant and get to make your own food. Sure - it's a like expensive, but you're not just paying for the food, you're paying for the experience.


You get to choose your own broth and all the other ingredients make their way around on a conveyor belt. Go nuts! Chicken, Lamb, Beef, Seafood, Tofu, Veggies and Noodles? What every you want to add - it's all there. Just be conscious that every ingredient you pick from the conveyor belt will set you back a few quid!


That said, I would definitely go back for some more!

Debbie H
tastemaker

I just love saying Shuang Shuang, but that’s not why its a good date venue. They specialise in Chinese Hot Pot and the idea is you pick a broth, pick a type of noodles and then select from all the yummy ingredients going round the conveyor belt in front of you and cook them in your broth.  It’s a little more interactive than the average dinner date and if conversation runs dry you can pass the time by guessing what some of the more unusual ingredients on the conveyor belt are. The only danger is if you are greedy like me you will end up filling your broth up with all sorts of expensive things, only to be shocked at the end that the bill is £75 for essentially 2 soups and some wine. That said I did really enjoy it and would go back, perhaps with some more restraint next time! The modern setting was by no means romantic but for something a little different on a dinner date it’s ideal. You can’t book but for two on a Saturday night the wait is minimal and you can have a drink while you wait. They also give you a plastic bib you can wear if you want to look extra hot. Luckily this is optional…

Stephanie C
tastemaker

Well done Shuang Shuang. Finally bringing proper hot pot to a town near you! I was looking for a hotpot serving restaurant in London and this one topped the Google Rankings and it definitely didnt disappoint! Its decor is rather slick (not the usual fare for London China Town) and the novelty of the conveyor belt certainly didnt wear off despite us being there a long time. Waiting staff were great, could speak English, courteous and topping up of broth was absolutely no problem. I loved the way all the foods were categorised and even better, they had suggested cooking times. I wish I had that in Thailand when I went and then I might not have been so ill...... Anyway well done Shuang Shuang. You deserve the queues out of the door. Amazingly excellent for China Town. 

Sheens86
Tastemaker

Best time I have had out at a restaurant in a long time! Fairly reasonably priced and centrally located in SoHo is one of the few Chinese hotpot restaurants. Not exactly like those in China, mainly because it isn't as hardcore but still delicious. The set up is akin to Yo Sushi, you can go for single person or group table hotpot, we went for the latter. Deal is, you cook your own food in the boiling hot broth at the centre of the table. You can choose two broths or have a huge bowl of one, we chose the Mala and Tom Yum and a couple of dipping sauces (which we didn't really have much use for).


Then you go nuts on the conveyor belt, which churns out all manner of ingredients; Chicken, Lamb, Beef, Seafood, Tofu, Veggies and Noodles! There are items that are made to order, I tried the Pork and Prawn wontons, which were not too my taste but that was the only thing I didn't like. There is a lot to take in when dining here, instructions on the heating appliance and which utensil to use for what but as long as you're not already drunk, it's a great experience and the food tastes all that much better because you cooked it!


One piece of advice would be, don't wear your nicest clothes and watch out for spatter!

If I had to gripe, it would be about the added service charge, not that there was anything at all wrong with the "service", just that there wasn't enough of it to warrant a 12.5% surcharge. It's practically a self service restaurant! Despite that, I would go back ... repeatedly, it's awesome.

Tegan C
tastemaker

A big sucker for all types of noodles or hotpots, I was excited when I was walking through Chinatown and came across Shuang Shuang, and I was most definitely not disappointed. Although it is a Chinese Hot Pot, I would describe the experience as kind of a mixture between a Korean Hot Pot with the novelty of a Japanese Sushi Train.My meal came to a total of £16.90 which for central London, I consider pretty reasonable. My cousin and I did the Market Deal whereby you can pick your broth, noodles, dipping sauce, garnishes and 3 green plates for £9.30. Although the plate servings aren't huge, we used our green plate allocation to pick different proteins and added really only a couple of £1.00 black plates of greens and squid, and were both completely full by the end of the meal. The only disappointment to me were that the drinks were on the expensive side for the size of your serving. Would definitely come back again!

Alex C

This place is incredible. I can't even count the number of times I've been here. It's very affordable and you will definitely leave full. the decor is modern and chic  with friendly and welcoming staff. The broths are delicious (definitely recommend the lamb tonic). You can get refills for your broth if you run out and you get to chose if you want to make your own sauce or have the house made sauce. There is a very wide selection of ingredients that constantly get replenished on the conveyor belt. The food is extremely tasty and very affordable. This restaurant has never been disappointing. I wouldn't go with a large group of people ass if you get seated at the conveyor belt it will be difficult to maintain a conversation.

TheMixedMedic
Tastemaker

Food cooked just the way you like it. Direction is lacking a little, however once you've figured out which price option you would like to go for (set deals include 10 pounds for a choice of soup base, dip, instant noodles and 3 blue plates) the rest is pretty straight forward. Like a yo-sushi where you pay to cook your own food - its all about the experience ;). In more traditional restaurants there is a shared pot, however at Shuang Shuang you each get your own with full control of on/off button and timer. 

Personally I would say there are some more authentic and generous options for Hot Pot in this area, seeing as it is located in China Town and there is an equally great selection in Shaftesbury avenue. However if you are looking for a quick, no-fuss in and out then this is a great option for you. 

A.Lara

We wanted to give a try to Chinese Hot Pot in London but….epic fail!

You have 2 options at Shaung Shuang, individual hot pots or group ones.It might seem fun to share with your friends but… word of advice? Don’t!You will get a bowl of broth split in 2 (you can have 2 different types of broth in one bowl) and this is by no means enough for 4-5 people. You will find yourself, as we did, running out of broth while your bowl is still full of ingredients you have been picking up from the conveyor belt. Everything will start to get stuck to the bottom so you will ask for more broth to refill the bowl. Our surprise was big when we did so and realised that they were pouring hot water onto our soup and overprice ingredients. Plain hot water!!!! This obviously made the rest of the meal just tasteless and ruined pretty much all of the ingredients that we still had in the bowl.

The concept of grabbing the ingredients that you want from a conveyor belt is fun but the portions are ridiculously expensive and very, very small! (ie. we paid 4GBP for 3 mini pieces of beef). So unless you are willing to spend a fortune you will be left hungry. 

The venue looks great with a clean and modern feel to it and staff and service was excellent (despite the broth vs water incident). They were helpful and  took our jacket and personal belongings upon arrival. 

Would make a great addition to London’s centre if the portions got bigger and they poured real broth onto your bowl instead of boiling water. 

Sarah (kukkiiandkoppee)
Tastemaker

Not only is this is hot pot made easy, you also get (almost) complete freedom to choose whatever you want to eat and how long to cook it for. Each individual has their own pot and there is a choice of four different broths (the black chicken is tasty but the fish is even better). You can choose to make your own dip. Round and around the conveyor belt go the fresh ingredients be it meat, seafood, a selection of noodles or vegetables and you simply pick what you want to eat and how much of it you want to cook. Service staff were helpful and really on the ball and go around topping up your broth and removing less than fresh ingredients from the conveyor belt.  The pricing is similar to the Yo-Sushi system - plates are coloured according to the price band. Eat as much as you want and stack up those plates.

Laura M
Tastemaker

A foodie friend suggested we try Shaung Shaung after hearing it was opening in central London. I wasn't thrilled at the concept...partly because I didn't see the point in going out to cook my own food, partly because I'm vegetarian (a proper one) and Chinese food is notoriously limited with choices for me. The concept is very new and there's not many other places who offer it in London. It's a mix between yo sushi and an upmarket Chinese restaurant. On your table is a deep set cooking pot in which you pour your chosen broth and use the temperature knobs at the side of your table to control its temperature. You then choose a variety of options from a conveyor belt of small dishes that go round the restaurant. There's a mix of things from raw fish, meat dishes, vegetables and student instant noodles! You put your chosen items in the pot, mix them around a bit and wait for them to boil and wallah! After a while everything just ends up tasting like the broth it's boiled in and I didn't understand why they charged for the broth when you had to purchase it to cook your food anyway! Total cost per person was about £40 including drinks. Not great value for money and not for veggies unless you like limited options by if you want to try something different then it's worth a try.

Jason James

Confusing but a lot of fun! My advice for here is to do a bit of research on hot pots before you go so you know what to expect. Once you get the hang of it it's so much fun, and the food is of exceptional quality. Lovely rich broths. 

Gregg M

Didn't expect much but turned out to be a really lovely place.  Was a bit overwhelmed at first but our super friendly staff was always helping us throughout the meal.  My mala was extremely flavourful.  I could feel my lips burning after the meal but totally worth it!  

William N

The portions were small and some of them were ridiculously expensive!! Our bill came to £15 each and we were only 1/2 full, if that. Quality of the meat was questionable.


Some ridiculous examples include:

- 3 prawns looking pretty dire - god knows how long they were going round for - £4.30(!!)

- small portions of corn for £1.60

- green veg ranged from £1 to £1.60 but there were only a few leaves

- 4 beef balls for £2.90 (the same price would get you a couple of packets from the supermarket)

The list goes on.


Compared to other hot pot places in China town, this was definitely a much bigger rip off. You pay a massive premium for the novelty value.


They also accepted reservation but insisted we'd lose the table if not everyone in the party was there within 10 minutes of our booking - quite arrogant in my opinion considering it's new in town, and it turned out there were PLENTY of seats available when we arrived.

Kritt N
Tastemaker

It’s about time London caught up with East Asia and got itself hot pot/suki style restaurant, and whilst it still has a lot to catch up on, it’s a good start.



Unlike conventional restaurants, you’re in complete control of your food. Fancy something aromatic/spicy/sweet? You can choose from a number of broths all offering different flavours. You can pick from the many dipping sauce suggestions on offer or even go DIY and create your own. Then you can pick whatever your growling stomach desires from the ever-revolving conveyor belt of food.  Think Yo! Sushi meet IKEA.



Only seconds walk away from Chinatown, the décor is modern, the atmosphere was busy without feeling hectic and if you’re in a big group, you can find tables on the first floor where big sharing hot pots awaits you. It’s a great place to catch up with friends. Wouldn’t take a date here though.



This was my first experience of hot pot in London and it’s ok. I just wish there were more options on the conveyor belt and it would have been good to have a sushi bar too. I also felt the broth was a little bland and I had to douse mine in soy sauce to add a bit more oomph.



A shining light here is the staff: staff were very welcoming, very helpful in explaining how the the whole concept worked and on hand to get you anything from the kitchen if you can’t find it on the conveyor belt.



Ultimately, a lovely restaurant, with great décor, atmosphere and super staff but plenty of room for improvements, particularly when it comes to food choices. 

Andrei N

Well I just loved the place, so now that is my third time coming here, I thought I should rite this. I like that our feedbacks weren't in vain cause from what I've seen, they made the portions bigger and also they added new things on the belt. This is a game changer and hopefully they will keep this going. Hopefully this will become a chain soon enough. Keep it like this shuang shuang. Good job

Naomi L

I visited Shuang Shuang when they offered a 30% discount for their soft launch opening. I enjoyed the food and atmosphere but works out quite expensive without the promotional offer. Great for couples / date night as the layout would make it hard to talk to each other in a large group. It's quite draughty inside so try and request to be seated in the middle if you get cold. Full review on: www.makebaketravel.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/shuang-shuang-hotpot

Dee
Tastemaker

This place is so much fun (if you love cooking your own food)! Service is uber friendly, they ask you every five minutes if you need help, especially if you're a first timer. The food comes with an instruction manual. I would recommend this if you have plenty of time for lunch or dinner, not for a quick lunch. This was my first hotpot experience and i enjoyed it a lot. You basically pick all the ingredients and cook it in the boiling broth in front of you. The conveyor belt offers different ingredients you can add to your broth and you are billed accordingly. I picked beef balls, they were quite dense for my taste but i liked the chicken breast pieces when cooked in the super spicy broth that i picked. You can even make your own dipping sauce from the ingredients they offer you. Unique experience in the heart of Soho/Piccadilly.

Gavin K

Chinese hot pot is criminally under represented in London to date, so I was pleased to see this new addition bringing a more modern take on the concept. Alongside traditional sharing pots in the middle of a large table, a conveyor belt format with individual pots means even the lonelier among us can join the fun. 


In terms of the food itself, individual plates are fairly pricey for what they contain, and the readily available conveyor parading potential delights in front of you adds an element of peril to the final bill calculation for those without the firmest self control. More adventurous eaters can cut the bill significantly by choosing less pricey items like offal and tofu over the likes of scallops and the top priced Japanese marbled beef, but this isn't for everyone.


As they are very newly opened I can forgive a little disorganisation among the staff, but we did find ourselves having to go to some lengths for attention occasionally.


Overall, this is a great new addition for those looking to try something new, but there is room for refinement and those on a budget will struggle to satisfy their hunger fully.

budgefrownie
moderatorStaff Writer

Nice presentation but way too many $$$ spent for the quantity of food - not bad though if you enjoy throwing food into a boiling pot of broth in front of you - even more fun if you throw in some origami boats for a chaotic pacific rim feel 

Jane H

Not great. Looks lovely. Staff delightful. But.... the broth's are too strong in flavour, the instructions confusing and the ingredients you can add are not appetising to look at. The scallop & prawn snack we ordered was delicious. But overall this is a concept that somehow doesn't work. Also quite expensive for what you get. Still water is free, sparkling ridiculously expensive. I wanted to like it, but it doesn't live up to expectations.