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Hong Kong / Guangzhou: Hot Pot / Steamboat

Hi all,

Vancouver 'hound stopping by HK/Guangzhou. Someone in my group insists on having hot pot / steamboat for at least a meal.

Browsing through the board, I came across:

HK
1. Tung Lai Shun - Royal Garden Hotel in Tsim Sai Tsui
2. Firewell - Whitty Road, Sheung Wan

GuangZhou
Tao Heng in Landmark Hotel

Are the above real hotpot restaurants or do they just serve some hot pot dishes?

It will be great if there are something different from the usual hotpot (eg HKYK in Richmond, BC). I heard about some porridge-based ones. Any others?

We do not really care about price or ambiance, meaning it could be high-end or low-end. We are willing to travel as well. We should be staying near Jordan MTR. Still desperately looking for hotel in GuangZhou.

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  1. consider Tai Fung Lau, a really old Beijiness restaurant that uses charcoal as the heat source, the benefit is the water never boils which yield tender meats (since meat cooks at 60C) and lack of volatile bubbling prevents the shattering of the paper thin lamb slices. There's also a platter of 10 sauce-components that guests can create their own cocktail from, see pics here http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr...

    there's also a HK version, 鴻福海鮮四季火鍋, which is also charcoal heated, their special is live seafood (in their tank) like abalone, oysters, scallops @ minimal markup. http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr... it's also where one of the scenes in "infernal affairs" was shot

    no idea why people do hot pot on electric in a restaurant when one can do it at home....

    8 Replies
    1. re: Sher.eats

      Hi Sher.eats:

      Would you recommend any Cantonese style seafood hotpot restaurant in Hong Kong island? I traveled to Beijing twice per year so would rather have lamp hot pot there. 鴻福 seem too far away. Any other option?

      1. re: FourSeasons

        it's like sushi bars isn't it...90% of the enjoyment comes down to the ingredients with little to no preparation by the restaurant, so it's just knowing what you want and knowing the managers so they can get it for you e.g the exact muscle of beef you want (please don't ask for "fat beef" or "hand cut beef", that's just like ordering "steak") or the species of seafood (the types of shrimps etc)...

        from pure-food point of view cooking different animals in the same soup at boiling water is very silly...although I understand it's part of the experience...

        1. re: Sher.eats

          I think you misunderstood my question. I was just checking if you could recommend any hot pot restaurant in Hong Kong Island, not Kowloon or NT, and just focus on Cantonese style hot pot?

          I don't think hotpot is silly. It is not just boiling meats on boiling water. The ingredients are important, the sauce accompanied is important, the soup base is important. It is quite an enjoyable experience for me.

          I am not a chef or expert on sushi but I disagree 90% depends on ingredients. Chefs' cutting skill, the way the tuna is aged, or the way the ingredients are prepared and matured, the blend of rice varieties, the balance between vinegar and salt, the controlled temperature for the rice and the fish when they are served...there are lots of details in sushi.

          1. re: FourSeasons

            sushi requires much more skill than hot pot, no doubt about that, I use 90% ingredients because if we plot "yummyness" against skill vs ingredients, skill would have maxed out before ingredients, which means at max yummyness, marginal contribution from ingredient would be > marginal contribution from skill.....so i guess saying 90% without explanation is my fault =P

            well let's take beef, when you overcook it its juices (and huge chunk of its flavour) escapes, and it will overcook, made worse by it being sliced so thin. (unless you do it my way which is to pour some hot soup into a bowl, let it cool, then poach the slices in the bowl). secondly i find cooking delicate seafood in a heavy soup weird. But I do agree the social interaction and DIY factors are in there, but then why not do hot pot at home? (making a soup and the sauces are rather easy...)

            which is not to say if there's a hot pot chowdown I wouldn't come =P

      2. re: Sher.eats

        Thanks. It's kind of hard to do it at home when home is a 10+ hour flight away ;)

        I still can't quite figure out why the guy insists on hot pot though ...

        1. re: kwailan4

          well...if there's fresh seafood where you live, you can fully reproduce a hot pot experience at home (the dipping sauce components can be bought from china town)...

          what do you think about the 2 charcoal powered ones i suggested?

        2. re: Sher.eats

          "Homes" in HK are 500 sq foot apts, not conducive to having 10 friends over for hot pot.

          1. re: PeterL

            it's more room than in a restaurant....

            home comfy + better choice of ingredients + "privacy" + economy vs service + no preparation + no washing up

            i choose former =P

        3. "GuangZhou: Tao Heng in Landmark Hotel"

          That would not be my recommendation for GZ hotpot. There are so many places that would offer a better selection and more reasonable prices. Out of curiosity, how did you come to pick that place? Is it because some (or all) of your party can't speak Chinese? I don't want to recommend anything in GZ until I know how comfortable your party is with reading Chinese-only menus.....Some restaurants will have a separate English language menu, but these places are few and far between. Please respond so I can recommend accordingly! :)

          Porridge hotpot (粥底火锅)hotpot is still quite popular in GZ. There's also soy-milk based hotpot, and the latest I just read was for a "dry" hotpot (there's little to no broth). I should add that having hotpot in GZ is often cheaper than having it in HK....

          2 Replies
          1. re: teaforme

            I gather Tao Heng from searching old threads.

            I can speak mandarin and cantonese, read a little of simplfied chinese and even less traditional chinese. But the others in my group read and speak mandarin fluently.

            Our dining plans are not fixed yet, but someone in our group insists on at least one hot pot meal. HK or GZ is fine. We have friends of friends living in both cities, so some meals are pre-planned for us. I am still not sure if we will have time to explore on our own.

            1. re: teaforme

              Do you by any chance know the name of a soy milk based hot pot place?
              That just sounds too interesting to pass up.

            2. Guangzhou Hot Pot Recommendations

              母米粥 (Mu Mi Zhou). This place does porridge base hotpot. Porridge hotpot is a concept that originated out of Shunde 顺德 in Guangdong Province. It's like regular hotpot, except you have an amazingly delicious congee at the end, too. The food stays extra tender in the congee, and I personally like this better than regular hotpot. In addition to hotpot, they also have regular stir-fried dishes. Among their many selections, their pan fried fish jowls 煎鱼唇 are excellent. Prices are slightly higher than other hotpot places, expect about 90 RMB per head.

              小肥羊 (Xiao Fei Yang/Little Fat Sheep) & 蒙小肥羊 (Meng Xiao Fei Yang/Meng Little Sheep) are interchangeable in my mind. They're both very popular chains; Xiao Fei Yang also has branches in the US. Most of their soup bases are spicy, citing a Northern/Mongolian influence, but they also have some herbal soup bases on their menu. They have a little of everything on the menu, though their best hotpot ingredients are lamb and beef. Selection of side dishes are pretty limited; the focus here really is hot pot. Prices are reasonable, about 50 to 60 RMB per head.

              Those three are the most popular places, though if you search www.dianping.com you will find hundreds and hundreds more. All three have multiple branches -- it's a common occurrence in GZ for a popular restaurant to have one branch (or more) in each district. Have you found a hotel yet? That way I can point you to the branches closest to you....

              1 Reply
              1. re: teaforme

                I just remember I had a Si chuan style hot pot at Guangzhou 4-5 years ago. The place is called 川国演义 (sorry, I don't have the official English name but since you read simplified Chinese, it should not be a problem) at Tiahe district (天河区体育东路140-148号南方证券大厦4楼, tel:020-38879878 38879879), it was very popular and crowded, so be there early or make a reservation. The soup base is also very spicy and numb (Si chuan ma la style), though I think it is milder than what I had in Beijing or Shanghai, so beware of that.