The mouthwatering sight of finely-sliced meat, or a portion of fresh vegetables, simmering in a pot filled with broth at the centre of the table. The solids in the soup ready to be dipped in the sauces of your choice. The mouth-watering aroma pushing other thoughts away from your mind. A table decorated with small plates and bowls and a selection of dips to really complete the experience. Having a hot pot is not just about eating a meal, the journey from the pot to your plate is also about having a unique experience. Here are seven of the best places to find hot pot in London:
1. Sichuan Folk
The creator of a herbal hot pot with an endless list of options to choose from, the chefs at Sichuan Folk can mesmerise with their unique cooking style of broth.
The highlight here is their all-you-can-eat pot, which comes with a base of fresh vegetables, and a selection of finely sliced beef, fish, mussels or prawns – topped off with herbs like ginseng, jujube, ginkgo nuts and lotus roots. While the broth is brewing, you can go for the signature dumplings to really get your appetite going. We’d also add in the fish-fragranced aubergines, the boiled and tender beef with a spicy-as-heck sauce, and grandma’s fried chicken on the bone – all are way too good to miss.
You’ll find Sichuan Folk at 32 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR. Nearest station is Liverpool Street.
2. Happy Lamb Hot Pot
A cauldron of richly broth, made from carefully-selected chicken, lamb or beef on the bone and simmered for over six hours – this hot pot has already started with a bang right? At Happy Lamb Hot Pot, it’s all about the legacy of the original hot pots hailing from the Baotou region of Mongolia.
The secret behind the aroma is also the eclectic mix of 36 of the freshest elements, including goji berries, ginseng, jujubes and a hell of a lot more herbs! The selection of meat provided here is all sourced from all over the country and sliced in-house to make sure it’s the freshest it can be. But it’s not only a place for carnivores – their tomato broth will satisfy all the veggies too.
You’ll find both locations of Happy Lamb Hot Pot via their website.
3. Haidilao Hot Pot
Choose the ingredients that entice you and make your own hot pot at Haidilao Hot Pot. The menu here includes ranges from homemade potato and taro vermicelli noodles, fine slices of pork, beef, or tripe to a creative a variety of different and delicious hot pots.
They serve four different types of broth here, including milky and spicy bone marrow and tomato and pickled cabbage. What’s more, you can opt for half-n-half or split the soup three ways if you’d like! But the highlight we’d argue is the fresh lamb hot plate which is cooked at an angle, so all the hot and flavoursome juices flow directly into the hot pot.
They’ve also got a whole host of other options here, including noodles and tasty fruit platters. Another nice touch is in the bathrooms, stocked with mouthwash, toothpicks and toothbrushes to freshen up after the meal.
You’ll find Haidilao Hot Pot at 13 Coventry Street, W1D 7DH. Nearest station is Piccadilly Circus.
4. Muyang Ren Hot Pot
A restaurant that is named after the English word for ‘Shepherd’ – Mu Yang Ren is a much-loved establishment that is renowned for serving some of the best hot pot in London. They were among the first Chinese spots in town to introduce the mini hot pot to the city. You can rely on them for some delicious treats coupled with karaoke – what more could you ask for?!
You can select from a spread of Mandarin duck, seafood, British beef or mutton, and they’ll make it as spicy as you like. Order any chef’s recommendations from the dry spicy hot pot menu, or head straight for the hot pot buffet – none of them will disappoint trust us!
A perfect spot to hang out with friends or family, other things on the menu here include the chef’s special lobster, cumin king prawn with lotus root and potato and succulent BBQ skewers made the North-eastern Chinese way. Plus, let’s not forget the melt-in-your-mouth dim sums and sizzling aubergines too.
You’ll find Mu Yang Ren at 33 Goldhawk Road, W12 8QQ. Nearest station is Goldhawk Road.
5. Tian Fu
Hailing from Chengdu, the award-winning chef Zhang Xiao Zhong specialises in Sichuan cuisine, and he’s been pulling in the crowds at Tian Fu for many years now.
Known for some of the most delectable hot pot in London, this humble spot offers an incredible list of choices. Choose from the buffet dish set, or build your own pot with a whole range of tasty and juicy ingredients. The star of the show might just be their array of beef dishes – if you’re a meat eater, you won’t regret ordering one of these.
You’ll find Tian Fu at 39 Bulwer Street, W12 8AR. Nearest station is Shepherd’s Bush.
6. Shu Xiangge Chinese Hot Pot
They bring the hot into the pot! Shu Xiangge Chinese Hot Pot is famous for serving in-house specials like their nine trellis hot pot and an enticing menu of unique ingredients like the beef aorta, pork kidney or fresh beef stomach. But, you can also get creative with their incredible variety of soups and bases which they provide for the table. These include an unmatched combination of oils like a beef fat and red oil mixed hot pot, or the simple broth hot pot, which you can then add a whole host of different flavours and spices – sounds pretty damn good to us!
Though they only accept cash, they also serve a whole host of different beers and wine, which you might need if it gets too hot and spicy to handle!
You’ll find the three outlets of Shu Ziangge via their website.
7. Crystal China
Rounding off this list of the best hot pot in London is a great little spot that really goes against the grain. If you think think hot pot is about broth, then Crystal China will really change your mind – their award-worthy selection of dry and spicy hot pots are all cooked in ma la, with all the ingredients ordered by weight.
You can go the traditional way here and order directly from the menu. Or, to make things more interesting, you can also order blindly from the chef’s recommendations and tuck into things like chicken gizzard, beef balls, or Thai sausage and be assured to get one of the most lip-smackingly good meals in town.
The vegetarians, too, can have a ball at Crystal China! There are also ample options in the non-meat section, which include black fungus, bamboo shoots, mooli, taro cake, and aubergine.
You’ll find Crystal China at 78-80 Tower Bridge Road, SE1 4TP. Nearest station is Borough.
As you can see, the journey from the hot pot to the plate is one that needs to be made with the right chefs. So, make sure you visit these outstanding seven spots to experience the best hot pot in London.