Hot Point Reviews
Jan 25, 2008
I was in Hong Kong for only 2 days, and one of those days I spent at a wedding. That gave me exactly one dinner of my choosing, and it was a no-brainer. It was cold by HK standards, and most places don't have heat. So I opted for one of the great cold weather foods on planet earth: hot pot.
I was doing a little shopping in Causeway Bay and saw a line out the door of one place, so I knew it was probably a good call. Now, I have no idea if this restaurant is actually called Hot Point or not (seems plausible). The name was in Chinese and I'm going by the English name on the receipt they gave me. However, I can describe the location. It's on the corner of Lockhart Rd. and Canon Rd. in Causeway Bay. Walk out the back of the Sogo department store, turn left, and it's at the end of the block on the opposite side of the street. If you're there on a Friday or Saturday night, look for the line wrapped around the corner. We got there about 10:30pm so there wasn't much of a wait.
Hot Pot if you don't know, is the Chinese take on fondue or shabu-shabu. It's a boiling cauldron of broth that you cook all sorts of food in. It's really as much an activity as it is a food, perfect for a group of people looking to warm up on a cold day. You can specify the type of broth you want, everything from chicken, fish, veggie, to spicy satay. We chose lobster, which I hadn't seen before, and we weren't disappointed. They brought two spiny lobsters to our table, still alive and kicking. That's the great thing about HK food, everything is fresh. Fresh seafood means swimming. Fresh veggies mean straight from the ground, no packaging or labeling, sent straight to the kitchen. So they chopped up the lobster at our table and stir fried it in butter. The butter partially cooks it, then they pour lobster broth over the top. The whole pot begins to boil, and there you have hot pot.
In addition to the lobster we ordered marbled beef, squid balls, baby mushrooms, lettuce, and watercress. You dunk a few things in and let them cook at their own pace, retrieving them with either a chop stick or spoon. The main event of course was the lobster itself. It still retained its buttery flavor from the stir-frying despite being submerged in the broth for a few minutes. That answered the question "why did they stir fry it before boiling it". On the side they bring you a variety of sauces from which you can mix your own personal dipping sauce. They had at least 16 items, so I mixed a concoction of satay, chili, ginger, garlic, spring onion, and soy.
The lobster really melted in your mouth, didn't need any sauce. The rest of the food you dip into the sauce and tweak the spiciness to your liking. Marbled beef and baby mushrooms are always my favorite. You have to let the squid balls cool or you will burn yourself. The service was good, particularly considering the hundreds of people that were still in there at 11pm. Hot pot goes great with almost any drink. I chose beer (naturally). The heat of the broth forces you to eat more slowly so you really get to enjoy the flavors.
Hot Pot is a great communal meal. The more people the better. Almost every place in Asia has their own version of Hot Pot so make sure you try it if you're in that part of the world. You can also find it in most Chinatowns in the US or Europe if you look hard enough.
Part of the Hong Kong 2008 travel blog
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