Lo­cal Eats

Old school Bei­jing hot pot

City Weekend - - What's In It -

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.

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