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Best hot pot for newbies?

kdgchow Feb 8, 2013 06:24 AM

A group of 4-6 of us are thinking about having hot pot some time next week. We're pretty adventurous eaters and Sichuan-savvy, but are hot pot novices. What's the best place for us to get an introduction and a little guidance? I've read good things on the board about Legend and Szechuan Gourmet's hot pot, which one might be a little more accommodating to novices? Any other suggestions in Midtown and below?

Also, I'm assuming given the size of our group, we'd need to make a reservation. Do any of these places allow you to reserve hot pot on the later side, say, 8:30 or 9 p.m.?


  1. l
    Lau Feb 9, 2013 12:20 PM

    if you dont mind going to flushing, i still like baidu the best (get the duck broth its def the best one)

    1. k
      kathryn Feb 8, 2013 06:42 AM

      Szechuan Gourmet closes around 9pm so I don't think they would work for you. Also they don't have a menu in English. You need to converse with the server and tell them what you want and don't want. Service can be brusque.

      I would choose Legend instead. Especially because the staff is very friendly, and you have a bigger group. And they take reservations.

      Hou Yi is very newbie friendly (printed menu with translations) but doesn't take reservations.

      3 Replies
      1. re: kathryn
        Pan Feb 9, 2013 04:01 AM

        At least the 56th St. branch of Szechuan Gourmet closes at 9:30, so it could be possible. It wouldn't hurt to call and ask. That said, I recently went back to Legend and had a very good meal there.

        1. re: Pan
          kathryn Feb 9, 2013 06:44 AM

          The SG hot pot is AYCE with a two hour time limit, it doesn't make sense if the kitchen closes soon after you get there.

          1. re: kathryn
            Pan Feb 10, 2013 12:39 AM

            You're right. I've never had hot pot at Szechuan Gourmet and was unaware of their policy.

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