[Hong Kong] The Drunken Pot 酒鍋 - Get Drunk on Hot Pot
Hot pot is about to get a makeover at The Drunken Pot - a modern and contemporary restaurant aiming to reintroduce the hot pot experience with 18 creative broth choices including signature sake broths which features exclusive sake from Japan! To match its concept, the venue is designed as a fishing market with wooden carvings, dangling glass lamps and an edgy mural on the wall depicting elements of the ocean and a fierce-looking Goddess of Sea. Located in the new highrise on 8 Observatory Road in TST, this is definitely not your typical hot pot restaurant and for the first 2 weeks of its soft opening period from January 1-14, diners can enjoy 20% off!
Aside from it main dining area, the expansive restaurant also has 6 private rooms available which can each seat 8-12 people.
First things first, some drinks before the hot pot! You can choose sake, beers or cocktails but my choice of weapon was this highly popular herbal drink from Tai O (紫背天葵) which tasted a bit sweet and sour, and was highly appetizing to drink - plus it is said to be able to alleviate the "hot air" from the hot pot.
While we were waiting for our hot pot to come, we snacked on some appetizers first such as this interesting Chinese Crispy Sticks Stuffed with Dace Fish Paste / 鬼五馬綠 ($58). Topped with truffle, the combination was certainly intriguing but I'm not sure that it really worked for me. More successful were the Beef Cubes with Mustard Sauce ($58) and the Char-grilled Pork Neck ($58).
The star of our meal The Drunken Pot / 酒火入鍋 ($328) arrived flaming with the Whole Papaya in Sake Seafood Broth in the middle surrounded by 4 other different types of broth - Shrimps, Crab and Clams Soup, Squid Ink Seafood Soup, Sichuan Numbing Spicy Soup and Chiu Chow Satay Soup. Each broth has its own distinct flavor and you can choose any combination you want, but for me, I personally really liked the papaya sake broth as it was light and amazingly sweet which is perfect for cooking seafood while the Sichuan Spicy Soup was perfect for me as I love spicy hot pot!
If you want to spice up your hot pot even more, then consider dropping the Sake Bomb ($25) or the Spicy Bomb ($18) to introduce even more flavors to the broth. We ended up dropping the spicy one into the Sichuan spicy broth which made it even spicier and the sake bomb in the papaya broth which complimented it very well.
We also tried other signature broths including the Drunken Chicken in Hua Diao Chinese Wine and the Fresh Cream Venus Clam and Crab / 花雕醉鷄鍋 & 鮮奶油花甲蟹鍋 ($328). The drunken chicken also came with raw marinated chicken pieces to cook in the broth and I really liked the sweet aroma wafting out from the Hua Diao Chinese Wine. The flavors were rather light and delicate in both of these broths and we even drank the broth straight up because they were really warm and soothing to drink!
My favorite part of hot pot is the meat and I was awestruck at the presentation of the Premium Sliced Angus Beef Chuck / 頂級安格斯牛頸脊 (S-$188 / M-$238) which arrived hanging above a box of ice (which I assumes keeps it cool and fresh)! Check out that even marbling and a quick dip in the hot pot was more than enough to bring out its delicious flavors.
Hot pot in action! We were all very eager to take our beef for a swim in our broth of choice.
We tried other cuts of meat as well including the Local Hand-Cut Beef / 本地手切肥牛 (S-$238 / M-$298) and the Japanese Iberico Pork Belly / 日本頂級黑毛豬腩肉 ($158). The pork belly was pretty good too but I thought that the local beef was a bit tough compared to the Angus beef.
Besides meat, there were many hot pot ingredients to choose from like this colorful Seven-Color Cuttlefish Balls / 七星報喜 ($88) which were handmade with a variety of flavors like shrimp, squid ink, dried scallops and more to choose from.
The Assorted Fortune Bag Dumplings / 三併福袋 ($160) seemed like a good symbolic choice to eat during Chinese New Year which represented 3 flavors - teriyaki beef, quail egg, and crabmeat and squid ink. I'd also recommend trying the homemade Deep-fried Homemade Bean Curd Rolls ($48) and the unique Gelato Tofu ($58) available in 2 flavors - taro and spicy!
If for some reason, you don't want to eat hot pot, you can always try Steam Pot / 蒸鍋 which is increasing in popularity lately in HK with a slew of restaurants dedicated to steaming seafood under a bamboo cover. You have a wide choice of fish, meat, prawns, crabs and shellfish to choose from and there's an automatic timer on the table that tells you when your food is done to avoid overcooking!
The Drunken Pot 酒鍋
2/F, 8 Observatory Road, Tsim Sha TsuiTel: 2321 9038
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