The cold might be soon gone, but our passion for hot pot will remain unyielding. True Hong Kongers are die-hard devotees of hot pot even in the summer, when the city continues its winter communal-dining ritual by blasting the air conditioning. Do as the locals and visit a couple of the city’s (and our) favourite spots no matter the weather.
Imagine teetering piles of empty Heineken cans, chicken bones sucked clean and strewn across tables, chairs sticky with soy sauce and melted chocolate ice cream– those are the signs of a good night for your typical crowd of university students… and for you too. If cracking open a cold one with the boys isn’t exactly your kind of thing, rest assured that Supreme serves some mighty tasty chicken and hot pot as well.
Claiming to be Hong Kong’s first all-you-can-eat Chongqing chicken hot pot restaurant, Supreme does not disappoint with its generous chunks of succulent chicken served in a pot over a gas stove right at the table, their edges caramelized and golden. The chunks themselves are coated in a spicy, savoury sauce of more than ten different spices, many of which come straight from Chongqing. When you’ve finished the chicken (or if you simply can’t wait), ask the waitstaff to pour stock into your pot to turn all the sticky, yummy goodness into the backbone of your hot pot broth, in which you must then simmer springy Korean instant ramyeon to soak up all the good stuff– it’s a sin not to do so.
$158 for adults, $88 for children (under 130cm) for 2 hours of all-you-can-eat hot pot ingredients and unlimited beer and soda. An $10 extra per head is charged on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays, and the day before public holidays.
Shroffed tip: Menus are generally in Chinese, so take someone who can read Chinese with you, or start chumming up with the local students at the opposite table. Also note that you can opt for a non-spicy pot of chicken if you’re not feeling so brave.
Supreme Restaurant, Shop B, 2/F., Top View Mansion, 10 Canal Road West, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, facebook.com/chickenpot
Haidilao Hot Pot
Open 24 hours a day, Haidilao is a hot pot restaurant originating in Sichuan that doubles as a spa, a theatre, and a playground. Not literally, to be fair, but they’re getting there. Staff are trained to give massages and manicures, perform traditional face-changing dances, and cater to your every unspoken need. Also included in their repertoire is shrimp-peeling– perfect for all the lazier (tired! We’re just tired!) beings out there. A playroom keeps your children entertained while you wait in line.
Haidilao also boasts the most impressive array of soy sauce condiments you’d ever come across for you to perfect your magical dipping concoction. Can’t decide which broth to order? Get four of them, and they’ll all be tucked neatly in a square of four compartments. Prices are slightly steeper than its mainland counterparts, but the experience is definitely worth the price.
Around $300 per head.
Shroffed tip: Haidilao technically doesn’t take reservations, but give them a call and they might just be able to fix you up with something. (It’s been tried and tested!)
Haidilao Hot Pot, 2/F & 3/F, Kowloon Building, 555 Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong, facebook.com/HaidilaoHK
Another venture of ATUM’s founders, Suppa is complete with turquoise ceilings, 60s knick-knacks, tacky chandeliers, and partially-tiled walls, evoking mid-century nostalgia while serving up some of the city’s quirkiest hot pot ingredients.
We definitely suggest trying the chen pi marinated fish balls. Springy with a refreshing, citrusy fragrance, they cut through the unavoidable clagging greasiness from hot pots. Equally amazing, if not more so, is the seafood broth, which comes with an entire lobster, adorable mini abalone, clams, squid, geoduck, and a very generous helping of tomatoes for extra flavour.
Suppa is surprisingly roomy for a hot pot restaurant. With its tables spaced pretty far apart (by Hong Kong standards), you can be sure that none of your 23 dinner guests will be fainting due to a lack of oxygen.
Around $400 per head.
Shroffed tip: Be sure to take overhead shots for your next Instagram post before your meal– their dishes are too pretty to eat (before taking photos).
Suppa, 2/F, Circle Tower, 28 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, facebook.com/SUPPAHK
Grandpa’s Porridge Shabu Shabu
Congee is sick food. It is bland and boring, but not when it replaces the broth of your hot pot! As you cook your meats and vegetables in the congee, all the yumminess goes straight in there, and you end up with an umami-packed, intensely flavourful, silky smooth porridge that’s so good you’ll berate yourself for not trying it earlier.
Locals love ordering crab at Grandpa’s and cooking it in their congee for a deliciously briny porridge. Another must-have is the fried milk, which sounds pretty strange (and seemingly impossible), but is absolutely divine. Think minimal crispy breading and ooey-gooey, velvety custard. Order it, and you will be very, very happy.
All-you-can-eat dinner sets range from $218 – $328, all-you-can-eat lunch is significantly cheaper at $98.
Shroffed tip: Just as at Supreme, definitely take someone who reads Chinese with you. There won’t be so many university students around this time.
Grandpa’s Porridge Shabu Shabu, Shop 5, G/F, Plaza 328, 328 Sha Tsui Road, Tsuen Wan, 25278998
Featured image by Suppa, sourced via Facebook.
Following 3 images sourced via respective company Facebook pages.
Last image by KLABB, sourced via OpenRice.