The One With Roast Pot – Must-Visit Hotpot / Steamboat Spot in Wan Chai

Since moving to Hong Kong, I have grown to love hotpot aka steamboat aka the best invention of Hong Kong food, ever. It is not like there wasn’t any steamboat (or hotpot) in Singapore, but they are really far, far inferior when compared to their Hong Kong counterpart.

Hotpot Dinner at Roast Pot

I have a few favorites. One of them is New Star Seafood Steamboat, which was my first hotpot discovery and I loved it to death because of its endless all-you-can-eat buffet, which include beer! And then I went a little high end and tried the Golden Valley Restaurant, which earned thumbs-up from round the table but at close to $400 per pax for ten shared dishes, it is not something you can indulge in often.

Which was why, when Roast Pot (南燒北鍋) came along, I sighed with relief.

Hotpot Dinner at Roast Pot

For Roast Pot fall squarely in between New Star and Golden Valley. The food variety and quality are much better than New Star, and price was it was way below of what you would pay at Golden Valley. Now come to think of it, I think I have been to Roast Pot for at least five times in the past half a year.

Yes, five times! Is it a wonder why my waistline never fall below 30″?

Hotpot Dinner at Roast Pot

I particularly loved their fried items. The deep fried fish skin is always a hit with everyone at the table; it’s crispy and fragrant (they fry them to order) and served piping hot. Be careful; having too much of it is not only fattening, but a sore throat is almost a guarantee. Oh but what is sinful always taste so good!

Hotpot Dinner at Roast Pot

Another fried item which I like is this…. dish, which I can never remember the name off. Let’s call it fried bean curd skin roll. Also served piping hot, the trick is to dip this into the steamboat broth for three seconds, and only three seconds. Nothing more. The balance between what is soft and what is crispy amongst its many layers of skin can only be described as mystical.

Hotpot Dinner at Roast Pot

But of course, no hotpot session at Roast Pot is ever complete without the beef cubes. Always fresh, always taste great. Ask the waiter for the optimal time to cook it. I can’t remember now, maybe it was three minutes, maybe less. In fact, some of their meat items were listed on the menu along with recommended cooking time. But if you forgot, just ask.

Hotpot Dinner at Roast Pot

And yup, of course you have the have the meat paste. There are quite a few variety but I would recommend to squid paste. To scoop it up into chunks of the right size and then flip it into the boiling soup without scalding people around you is an acquired skills. Trust me, I have been there, done that. Or more accurately, I have tried to do it. Oh yes, and you must have the emperor vegetables. It’s a kind of leaves that looked like ferns, which go down a treat when you are hotpot-ing.

Hotpot Dinner at Roast Pot

The only “downside” I could think of to have hotpot at Roast Pot is how there is no free-flow drink option on the menu, so for a long session you might be in for quite a hefty bill just for the drink alone. That said, to counter the heatiness of hotpot, there are a few “cooling” drinks available. My favourite is the sour plum juice.

Hotpot Dinner at Roast Pot

Verdict? Roast Pot has made it to my list of must-visits for friends visiting Hong Kong. Perhaps the best is yet to be, but for now, this gem of a place satisfies the hotpot lover in me.

Roast Pot
G-1/F, Greatmany Centre
109-111 Queen’s Road East , Wan Chai
2529 8383/2529 0881


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