It’s cold in Hong Kong so you know what that means: it’s time to hot pot. You can either hot pot the old-school way or do it with a fun, modern twist. Here are our picks of the best traditional hot pot places and a few trendy newcomers for good measure.
Ying Kee is one of the few first-generation hot pot restaurants with more than 50 years of history. Unlike most hot pot places, which highlight beef and seafood options, Ying Kee is all about the hot pots of old, meaning lots and lots of offal. You’ve got pork intestines, goose intestines, pig hearts, fish heart, fish liver and fish intestines – said to be very smooth and tender. Also fun hot pot fact: boss Ying Jie said in the old days, people sought after lean beef cuts, not fatty beef slices. Ying Kee’s special smooth lean beef (事頭婆滑牛) is marinated by the boss’s mother and tastes fantastic.
19 Wilmer Street, Sheung Wan, 2548-8897.
Another first-generation hot pot, the first Fong Wing Kee was located right outside the Kowloon Walled City – a respected restaurant in the area. After the walled city was demolished, Fong Wing Kee set up shop in its current location. The veteran hot pot place is well-known for inventing the satay soup base, which is made by first stir-frying 50 ingredients and then boiling them in a stew, resulting in a rich and creamy satay broth. You can’t go wrong with its butterfly beef cut (蝴蝶雙飛手切牛肉) and offal like pig kidneys.
85–87 Hau Wong Road, Kowloon City, 2382-1788.
Originally a dai pai dong-style restaurant in Macau, Soi Lou Weng is a beloved by hot pot fanatics for its delicious premium broths, from the most popular spicy crab, clam and mushroom broth to its traditional medicinal fritillaria, sea coconut and partridge broth. The restaurant offers more premium ingredients such as the three-layered beef dish with sliced beef, beef tongue and beef cubes, duck liver and chicken meatballs, sliced fish wrapped in cuttlefish paste and shrimp balls.
3–4/F, 37C–37D Jordon Road, Jordan, 2327-8282.
Top Grade Hot Pot is one of the best among the new hot pot/seafood restaurant hybrids, which means you get the best of both worlds: warm, cozy hot pot and cold, refreshing sashimi in one meal! Choose a broth from their many options – we like the rich and fresh signature tomato broth or the drunken chicken broth. While you’re there, feast on beef and geoduck sashimi and don’t forget to dunk more of the delicious ingredients – like drunken shrimp skewers and egg yolk cuttlefish balls – into the boiling soup and enjoy.
5–11 Tsing Fung Street, Tin Hau, 2323-1008.
Part-owned by Hong Kong veteran actor Eric Tsang, Super Tai Chung Wah is a popular choice for its great value for money. With seven broth options, you’ll find classic broths alongside relatively uncommon ones like bak kut teh broth and pepper broth with crab. You can also try out the latest hot pot trend there: the steam pot, said to better retain juice of meat and seafood. There’s white rice in the bottom of the steam pot, which will absorb the taste of all the ingredients throughout your meal, resulting in a delicious congee to end on. Pay before 8:15pm and you get a 20 percent discount!
1/F, Tone King Building, 413 Castle Peak Road, Cheung Sha Wan, 2742-4855.
Newly opened contemporary hot pot spot The Drunken Pot puts a modern spin on traditional hot pot. Do you associate hot pot with crowded seating, loud noises, wet floors and a strong smell that sticks on you for days? The Drunken Pot turns the stereotypes on their heads, providing a huge upscale dining area, whisky, cocktails and a boozy hot pot ingredients, like sake bombs, which you can drop into your broth. Order the four-in-one option and you can sample four of the broths – including clams and chicken in sake and coconut, Sichuan spicy, squid ink seafood soup, and Chiu Chow satay soup – all packed with premium ingredients like fatty beef cuts and seven-color cuttlefish balls.
2/F, 8 Observatory Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2321-9038.