Old school Beijing hot pot
While contemporary hot pots with their noodle dancing, different choices of broths, and extensive wine and cocktail options are delicious, ask any Beijing local and they’ll tell you that they prefer the old school Beijing style copper pots.
Not only is the hot pot completely different, with its signature top hat shaped copper pot and hot sizzling coals inside, locals swear that it’s tastier than all the new fusion stuff around town. A classic Beijing hot pot’s broth is light, not spice filled. It’s just water, scallions, ginger, and a few mushrooms. The clear broth is a tasty alternative to those tomato, fish, and spicy Sichuan ones that we also love.
One of our favorite places in the city that’s popular amongst locals is Chinese Top Pot. This chain of halal hot pot restaurants still serves up the same menu year after year. An authentic Beijing broth filled with a small (ish) menu of meats, veggies, tofus, and some signature dishes to choose from.
Their menu is all in Chinese, but take a glance around the restaurant at what others around you are eating and it comes out to a pretty standard set of favorites: Lamb, sesame pancakes, veggies, and tofu.
The staff is friendly. While they can’t speak enough English to chat with you about your meal, they’re ever so eager to help take orders and offer more drinks. Order up some Arctic Ocean, try some unique (not Tsingtao) local beers, or BYOB. There’s no corkage fee. We love this place for hot pot dinner parties.
Sounds tasty but an all-Chinese menu might be a bit of a challenge to those of us who are still on our HSK level 1. No worries, here’s our list of favorites from Chinese Top Pot.