Located on Jinhua Rd., next to Me Too Café and the 166 Loft Park, with lots of roadside parking, King Pot boasts a nice open layout with wood fixtures and not a lot of ornamentation to distract you from the gleaming copper hot pots or the food you throw in.
A small note about service: we went twice for this review—the opening night was a mess, with less said about it the better, but the second time was great, with fast and efficient service. However, you may want to take that into consideration before making the trip there on a Saturday night.
A few words about Beijing hotpot versus the more widely known Sichuan style hot pot. While Sichuan style relies on oils and loads of numbing chili peppers in the broth to give flavor to the meats and veggies you put in, Beijing hotpot presents you with a broth far clearer than any air you’ll find in Beijing. Because the broth is nearly flavorless, this kind of hot pot relies on great sauces; also, you can’t hide crappy ingredients behind mouth-numbing hot chilies. Also, because it isn’t insanely spicy, it’s a nice fit for summer weather, and won’t leave you bloated and sweating red oil out your pores.
King Pot makes a real effort to give you great ingredients for your personal hotpot. The beef is all really fresh, and cut into big sheets served on ice or in delicious rolls. The lamb was thick cut, so it took a little longer to cook, but that also allowed you to better appreciate the texture of the meat. Also recommended is the shrimp paste; it looks kind of icky, but once it’s cooked, it’s like having big nuggets of delicious shrimp. You can also get your regular vegetables too, and once everything is cooked, you can dip it into their special sesame sauce, or more traditional Beijing hotpot sauce. Also don’t forget the deep fried mantou, and the Beijing-style fried noodles. Prices for meat range from 38RMB to 168RMB (for Angus steak), and vegetables and side dishes are between 10 and 20RMB each. Wash it all down with their own dark beer (26RMB) and you’ve got a great meal for the summer.
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