The story appears on

Page C4 - C5

December 8, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature » iDEAL

Shanghai boils over with hotpot spots

IT'S almost impossible not to like a good hotpot meal when the weather gets cold. Typical hotpot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, egg dumplings and seafood. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce, of which there are many varieties.

Hotpot can be traced back to the early Three Kingdoms (AD 220-280) period and is a great creation by Chinese that has spread to other countries.

Here are some fine hotpot restaurants in Shanghai. They cover Sichuan, Cantonese, Macanese, Taiwanese and northern Chinese styles.

Ding La (鼎辣)


Ding La is the newest popular hotpot venue, opening only last month in downtown. It's the second restaurant of its young owner Max Shi, who has a Sichuan restaurant on Yandang Road.

Ding La means "Top Spicy" in Chinese. With a typical spicy hotpot soup, the dish features Hong Kong-style seafood, fresh fish, fine beef, meat balls and vegetables. This mix and match style attracts many dinners.

The pot is divided into nine sections, which is great for big groups when not everyone agrees on the soup base and ingredients. Diners can also make their own dipping sauce at the DIY sauce table.

Ding La has all the standard drinks, but also may surprise some with its Champagne menu. There is also a series of discounts available.

Combining tasty food, good environment and service, Ding La is set to be a favorite hotpot venue for years to come.

Address: 460 Jinling Rd E. Tel: 3366-4214

Faigo Seafood Hotpot (辉哥)

(Hong Kong/Chaozhou-style)

Faigo Hotpot features elegant decor that blends traditional Chinese elements with Western-style chic. With good food, service and environment, Faigo is a little pricy, 400 yuan (US$62.80) to 500 yuan per person. The restaurant offers a premium selection of ingredients and about 10 different soup bases.

You can choose two different flavors of soup from the hotpot menu. Chaozhou-style soup, one of the cheapest, is moderately tantalizing and light. The soup stewed with fungi and shark's bone is thicker and heavier.

The main dishes are fresh seafood airlifted from Hong Kong. Boiled beef, abalone, meat balls and fish are tasty when dipped into the special seafood sauce.

Faigo also has a signature beef dish featuring lean beef imported from Japan.

The restaurant's home-made sour plum drink, when iced, is very refreshing.

Address: 795 Julu Rd

Tel: 5403-8811

Hong Chang Xing (洪长兴)

(Muslim mutton)

At more than 100 years old, Hong Chang Xing Muslim Hotpot is one of the oldest halal restaurants in town.

The fresh mutton and other ingredients are boiled in water and then dipped into a sauce before being eaten. This water-based Muslim hotpot is healthier since no oils are used.

It's fun to taste how the soup stock flavor changes as you add various vegetables and meat. The menu includes various cuts of lamb, kebabs and mutton dumplings. The dumplings have a delicious thick skin.

Address: 1 Yunnan Rd S. (near Yan'an Rd E.)

Tel: 6328-1551

Dolar Shop (豆捞坊)


Dolar Shop is an authentic Macau hotpot chain restaurant. Unlike other noisy hotpot restaurants, the environment here is quiet and comfortable.

Every diner gets their own small pot and sauce, plus a choice of soup base and the opportunity to concoct their own dip or create their own fish or chicken balls.

Vegetables, meat, shrimp, fish balls, scallops and other ingredients are available.

Address: 299 Nanjing Rd E.

Tel: 6351-6877

Check for more outlets.

La Fu (辣府)


La Fu (Spicy Mansion) is another legend among hotpot restaurants in town and is down a small lane on Jiashan Road.

With the slogan "the most Chengdu," La Fu features authentic Sichuan hotpot with a nutritious soup base, well-prepared ingredients and good dipping sauces.

La Fu is often considered one of the spiciest hotpot restaurants in Shanghai and is famous for its volcano-like beef balls.

One of the restaurant's founders, Tao Tao, says they use a secret recipe from Chengdu to make the beef balls.

"We can make it super spicy if customers require, and it may be a challenge to some local customers," says Tao Tao.

One of La Fu's founders is a local TV show host and another is a producer.

Their friends in the entertainment circle are regular customers at the restaurant, which means you may bump into some celebrities when dining here.

Address: 512 Jiashan Rd Tel: 6433-7217

Hai Di Lao (海底捞)


Hai Di Lao hotpot chain is one of the most popular in town famous for its service. The food is standard Sichuanese hotpot, but it's a great experience nonetheless.

There are long lines, but staff members will offer manicures, shoe shines or maybe even play with you while you wait. Free soybean milk, fruit and snacks are available while you wait to be seated.

The food is as good as anywhere. The dishes can be served by half portion if you want to try more things.

Don't forget to ask for the kung fu noodle show. An energetic waiter will pull noodles right at your table, twirling them like streamers and dropping them in your pot. It's also the first hotpot restaurant to provide delivery service.

Address: 1 Dapu Rd

Tel: 5396-0357

Check for more outlets.

Xiao Xuan Feng (小旋风)


Many locals may still remember when Xiao Xuan Feng Hotpot Restaurant opened in town in 1994. It was one of the first Sichuan-style hotpot restaurants and it is known for its tasty soup and special dipping sauces.

The soup base takes over 10 hours to cook and the recipe remains a secret. When meats, seafood, vegetables and tofu are cooked, they absorb the nutrition from the soup.

They offer classic hotpot soup bases in white (normal) and red (spicy), but diners can also order the yuanyang pot. This pot is separated in two sections so diners can have both the normal soup and the spicy soup.

Xiao Xuan Feng has duck, mushrooms, fish head and chicken. Fresh mutton is available only in the winter and it includes a special dipping sauce.

Address: 758 Meizhou Rd

Tel: 6519-4439

Gokohai (御香海)


Gokohai (Chinese name Yu Xiang Hai) is one of the most successful Japanese hotpot restaurants in town.

The decor is typical Japanese - paper lanterns, tatami mats, wooden tables and floor, geisha dolls and Japanese folk-style paintings on the wall. Japanese folk music is played in the background.

Served in small individual pots, Gokohai uses thinly sliced meat and vegetables. Soup options are regular, spicy and kelp.

The dipping sauce is a kind of Japanese soy that tastes similar to vinegar. Green onion, garlic and radish mash are provided to add more flavor to the sauce.

Gokohai is well-known for its beef - fresh and big portions. They recommend beef belly with beer and sliced raw beef. The vegetables and seafood are served fresh and delicious in small portions, like squid and shrimp. Dumplings and Japanese Udon noodles are also available.

Address: 1720 Huaihai Rd M.

Tel: 6471-7657

Wu-Ji Spicy Hotpot (吴记)


Wu-Ji Spicy Hotpot has always been one of the go-to places if you like spicy hotpots. The chain is from Taiwan and now they have several noisy branches in town.

For those who don't like too much spice, there is a less spicy option on the menu.

Diners can choose solid pig blood to add to the soup base.

The food includes normal hotpot fare that is good and fresh. They have some Taiwanese fruit juices like guava that go well with spicy food.

Address: 212 Tianyaoqiao Rd

Tel: 6427-1232


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend