The Ultimate Guide to Hong Kong Hotpot

As soon as the hot, humid summer weather eases, Hong-Kongers immediately crave hotpot. This cold weather dish is enjoyed by a table of friends who dip prepared ingredients in a bubbling pot of broth.

The Cantonese slang for hotpot literally translates to “sitting next to the pot” and it can also be used to describe a group of people smoking around a bin, the ashtray at the top resembling a steaming pot of broth.

All sorts of vegetables, mushrooms and meats are served sliced or chopped into even pieces, ready for the pot, and are flavoured by the soup as they cook, and then dipped in a mix of sauces and condiments for a varied and warming meal.

In the past, most hotpot restaurants in the city served traditional Cantonese-style hotpot, but more recently, a number of new hotpot joints have popped up, to cater for the increased demand. Below, we outline some of the main styles of hotpot that you can enjoy, and where to find them.

Cantonese Classics

Original Canto-style hotpot boasts flavourful broths such as chicken and herb, thousand-year-old egg and coriander, fish and tomato, seafood, shacha sauce and a plethora of others. Staple ingredients include marbled beef, sliced thinly for quick cooking, green vegetables like lettuce, watercress and tong ho, and a selection of meatballs both fresh and precooked. Because the soup is milder, Cantonese hotpot also works beautifully with fresh seafood. Raw fish slices, geoduck, oysters, prawns and crab are all delicious additions.

Where to get it:

Tao Heung various locations around Hong Kong

This chain offers all the basics at a great price. Beverages and desserts are served buffet-style, while everything else is ordered a la carte.

Photo by SmileK on Openrice

Paradise of King Asia Seafood Hot Pot RestaurantG/F, 31-35 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay

Open late in Causeway Bay, this spot is known for its superior geoduck, which is fresh enough to enjoy as sashimi or can be lightly cooked in the broth.

Photo by 豬皮魚蛋 on Openrice

Market Hotpot2/F, Dundas Square, 43H Dundas Street, Mong Kok

This is a wet market-themed hot pot restaurant well known for its whole-chicken fish maw soup pot.

Photo by fumihiko on Openrice

The Drunken Pot8 Observatory Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

The premium hot pot ingredients at The Drunken Pot are all served a la carte. Signature items include hand-cut Angus beef and rainbow fish balls, and you can choose up to four types of soup bases at once to enjoy.

Photo by eatscraving on Openrice

Sichuan Mala Hot Pot

Hotpot is not only popular in Hong Kong but all over China, and Sichuan and Chongqing-style hotpot are the most prevalent on the mainland but more and more restaurants serving these flavourful pots prepared with chilli, spices and sometimes even Chinese medicine have crossed the border and started to set up shop in Hong Kong, offering even more broth-dipping options.

Where to get it:

二家姐火鍋 (Second Sister Hot Pot)G/F, 16 Man Ying Street, Jordan

This award-winning Sichuan hot pot prides itself on its soup recipe made with traditional spices and fresh ingredients. Unique items like pork artery, crunchy fish stomach and goose intestine are also recommended for diners to try.

Photo by supersuperjengs on Openrice

Haidilao2/F & 3/F, Kowloon Building, 555 Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei

Haidilao, with its hundreds of restaurants across the Mainland, caused a major buzz when it opened in Hong Kong. This legendary hotpot chain is lauded for the extreme lengths it goes to in the name of customer service. The wait for a table can be as long as two hours, but the team make up for it by offering complimentary massages and manicures while you wait in line. Gimmicks aside, Haidilao rates well in terms of food quality which is what keeps the guests coming back.

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San Xi Lou7/F, Coda Plaza, 51 Garden Road, Mid-Levels

One of the more premium Sichuan restaurants in Hong Kong, San Xi Lou does a great hotpot spread with an authentic and fragrant spicy soup base.

Photo by choyibebe on Openrice

Chongqing Chicken Pot

Hong Kongers love a good spicy hotpot, and this hearty version is another favourite. The chongqing-style chicken pot starts with a heavily seasoned chicken stew, made with red onion, chilli, herbs and spices. Once the table has had their fill of the chicken, the remaining pieces and the flavoursome sauce gets turned into a broth for the subsequent hot pot. Steaming broth, vegetables and other hot pot ingredients are added and brought to the boil for a rich soup base, giving diners two hot pots in one.

Where to get it:

一品雞煲火鍋 (The Great Restaurant) – 1/F, City Mansion, 483-499 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay

This was the first chicken pot chain to bring this style to Hong Kong. Aptly named The Great Restaurant, this franchise offers different flavours of chicken stew as the base of the soup.

Photo by 我是小可疼 on Openrice

雞煲Cooked Food Centre, 2/F, Smithfield Municipal Service Building, 12K Smithfield, Kennedy Town, Western District
The simply named, Chicken Pot, is a reasonably priced hotpot joint located in the Kennedy Town Cooked Food Centre and is best known for its flaming chicken pot.

Photo by 有身孕的不良牛 on Openrice

 

If you enjoyed reading about Hong Kong hotpot and the variety of styles available, have a read of our guides to Hong Kong snake soup and Hong Kong-style barbecue.

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