Of all the styles of traditional Chinese cuisine, hot pot must be the hardest to excel at. You take a broth and add some raw foods, and BAM! you’re done. A hot pot restaurant really impresses in any of three categories: the broth, the food, or the sauce bar. Happy House, on the northwest corner of Tianmushan and Baochu Roads, really nails two out of three.
There are pictures on the menu, but no English, so we’ll help you out a bit. Since they come in individual portions, we started out by ordering four different broths: Sichuan Spicy/捞坊绿色锅 (15RMB), Traditional Spicy/捞坊香辣锅 (12RMB), Tomato/西式番茄锅 (15RMB), and Plain/顶级清汤 (10RMB). If we could only choose one, we’d probably get the Traditional Spicy again. It had great flavor and wasn’t intensely spicy. All the rest were good, but not great. The sauce bar was brimming with different options for the potential of a lot of combinations.
Happy House really shines in the presentation and quality of their food. Everything we ordered looked like a work of art. Thin Sliced Mandarin Fish/鲑鱼姿造 (88/149RMB) was beautifully presented on a bed of shaved ice with liquid nitrogen steam pouring out of fresh bamboo trees (seeing is believing). The Four Color Dumplings/四色水饺 (28RMB) were as delicious as they were colorful, which was very. The South American Shrimp Paste/南美鲜虾滑 (42RMB) has always been a favorite. The Tofu Combination/豆制品组合 (16RMB) was delightful. Even the bean sprouts/豆芽 (6RMB) were arranged like a flower coming out of a bowl.
To drink, they have large glasses of fresh juice for 20-26RMB, but they add a little too much water for our taste, although the plum juice/酸梅汁 was quite flavorful. Overall, we’d definitely go back. Parking available.