Hotpot, where a range of meat, fish, vegetables and noodles are cooked in a shared pot of broth for diners to pick from and dip into sauces before eating, is a traditional Chinese way of eating that has been going for centuries and still remains very popular today, particularly because of the communal aspect of the meal. Naturally London’s Chinatown boasts the strongest concentration of hotpot restaurants in the city but there are some scattered elsewhere. These are our favourites.
There can be absolutely no confusion as to what they serve here at Hot Pot, the first London outpost of a restaurant that has expanded into a popular chain across Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Chinese mala, drunken chicken, tom yum and Thai coconut green curry are amongst Hot Pot’s broths and they also serve over 60 ingredients, including quails eggs, shrimp wontons, kelp and lobster, as well as unlimited dipping sauce options so there’s plenty of room for experimentation.
West London might not seem like the place for excellent Chinese food but Tian Fu boasts some very strong credentials. After working in established restaurants in Chengdu, Beijing and Shanghai, chef Zhang Xiozhong graced the kitchens of Barshu and The Shard’s Hutong before bringing his knowledge of Sichaun food to Shepherd’s Bush. Tian Fu is not a dedicated hotpot restaurant but they do serve up a great version with a buffet of ingredients to accompany the numbing and spicy broth.