We have heard about Chaoniu Haiji for a while now but just didn’t have time to check it out. Chaoniu Haiji is a type of hot pot that originated in Chaoshan, Guangzhou. The first one opened its doors in Hangzhou on Baifu road last June, and since then four new branches have popped up around town. Chaoniu hot pot is all the rage now with copycats all over the place. Finally, this month we made room in our lineup to check out what all the fuss is about with this very original Chaoniu Haiji.
We visited the branch on Wantang road and Huanggushan road. Eating in Chaoniu is all about the beef. We were recommended to try the Hind Shank (五花腱), Beef Honeycomb Tripe (牛百叶), Beef Neck (脖仁, close to the head), Beef Neck (匙仁, close to the rib), Chest Oil (胸口油), Handmade Beef Balls (手打牛肉丸) and the Chaoshan Fried Tofu Skin (潮汕炸豆腐皮), and we added our usual favorites like potato, noodles…
Unlike most other hot pots, the soup is beef stock. As our server helped us cook the meat, she told us the cows are transported from Yunnan and Guizhou directly to their slaughterhouse in Jiaxing and then arrive in their restaurants just three hours after slaughter. All the meat was cooked in the soup for only 8-10 seconds, then dip in their homemade satay sauce. It was so tender. If you are a lover of all things spicy, then you must try their homemade chili sauce – definitely a strong kick to the meal. We also loved the homemade beef meatballs, very tight; two or three of these will get you quite stuffed.
The meat runs from 40-70RMB, the soup base is from 32 to 168RMB. In the way of drinks, they’ve got wines like shiraz, merlot and chardonnay for around 200RMB and imported beer ranging from 32-42RMB. If you are driving, roadside parking will get you a ticket; we suggest that you park at Dragon Time Square on Tianmushan and Wantang roads.