I’ll be honest, I am not a big fan of hotpot. My husband and I are chefs by trade, and going out to cook your own food is just not appealing to us. Also sharing a boiling bowl of broth with other people is not something I like to do, unless I need a proper “cleansing” the next day.
But then I was invited to a hotpot dinner for a friends’ farewell party. I was not very happy, not only because my friends were leaving, but also because my hotpot experiences in Beijing have been, how can I say this? Horrible. My husband got out of the dinner on the basis that he had to stay home with our toddler. Well done!
I was promised a fancy hotpot, and my leaving friends assured me that it would be great. The hostess would even cook all the food for me. So they whisked me off to a hotpot restaurant called Red Bowl. It’s located in the Rosewood Hotel, and I must say I was impressed. The interior is very modern and the music was hip. We had a private room and our host ordered for all the food for us. Her selection was great, and included meats, noodles, dumplings, potatoes and vegetables. I was actually loving the smells of the spices, and was delighted with a great cocktail called the Dark and Stormy which featured a mini roasted marshmallow.
My opinion of hotpot has changed, as it was so flavorful and fragrant. Even now, I am craving the distinct flavor of that spicy broth. I even spotted one-person hot pots, so I might go back when I need some “mommy me time.” Red Bowl would make for a fantastic date night. For more information on Red Bowl look here.
Photos: Pauline van Hasselt, Rosewood