For many Hong Kongers, cold and breezy weather means one thing – hot pot time. What better way to warm our bodies, stuff our bellies, and catch up with friends than by gathering round a culinary cauldron and dunking to our hearts’ content?
Lucky for us, The Drunken Pot has opened just in time for these blustery nights, but don’t expect your average broths because this funky new venue is giving traditional hot pot one sexy little makeover.
Bursting with fierce flavours and exploding with colour, every bite will leave your taste buds begging for more and your Instagram feed overflowing with #nofilter. After all, where else can you find luminous cuttlefish balls, drink sake cocktails from a test tube, or drop a spicy bomb in your dinner?
Located on Observatory Road in TST, The Drunken Pot is the epitome of cool and contemporary, with 6,200 square foot of dining space that blends features of an old fish market (think carved wooden door, dangling glass lamps, rustic walls, and giant fish tanks showcasing live seafood) with gigantic graffiti telling old fish tales.
With urban tunes blaring out in the background, and flames erupting from pots left, right, and centre, the buzzing atmosphere of this hot spot provides the perfect setting for a fun-filled night with friends. And if you want to take your party to the next level, there are six playful private rooms available for hire which seat from 8 to 12 people.
They say variety is the spice of life and if that’s the case, this place is on fire – quite literally! The star of the meal, The Drunken Pot ($328), sits flaming at the table with a Whole Papaya in Sake Seafood Broth in the middle, surrounded by four delicious broths – Shrimps, Crab and Clams Soup, Squid Ink Seafood Soup, Sichuan Numbing Spicy Soup, and Chiu Chow Satay Soup. Ranging from slightly fishy to blow-your-head-off-spicy, the broths offer a depth and range of flavour you will unlikely find elsewhere in Hong Kong.
For me, the papaya sake broth and satay soup were the best, as they were both light and sweet, so perfectly enhanced the flavour of the meat while ensuring my taste buds were still intact. True to its name, The Drunken Pot also comes with a boozy element – if you want to raise the heat, you have the option of dropping a Sake Bomb ($25) or a Spicy Bomb ($18) into the mix. We ended up dropping the sake one into the papaya broth which complemented it beautifully.
And now for the colour! The Six-Colour Soup Dumplings ($78), Seven-Colour Cuttlefish Balls ($88), and multicoloured Assorted Fortune Bag Dumplings ($160) are just a few examples of the vibrant delights available on the menu. I’m not used to dipping dumplings, so that was a unique experience, and each bite was bursting with flavour and different to the last.
My favorite part of the meal, however, had to be the Premium Sliced Angus Beef Chuck (S: $188 /L: $238) which arrived hanging above a box of ice (you can’t get more fresh than that). A quick dip in the hot pot was enough to bring out the delicious and succulent flavours of this incredibly presented dish. And there were enough chunky vegetables and leafy greens to balance it out – and lessen the guilt!
By the time we had polished off the beef racks, leafy greens, and colourful dumplings, we were pretty full. But everyone knows you have to leave room for dessert. Green tea is all the rage on the foodie scene right now, and the Green Tea Lava Cake ($98) definitely lived up to the hype. This bite-size gooey goodness offered a cool, creamy, and refreshing finish to an epic feast, and for those who were brave enough to try the Sichuan Numbing Spicy Soup, some soothing therapy.
If your dining diary is getting a little stale and you’re on the lookout for a new place to feast with friends, The Drunken Pot is the perfect spot. With a food and drink menu as feisty and vibrant as the decor, this venue somehow makes hot pot sexy … until you make a total mess on the table like I did!
The Drunken Pot, 2/F, 8 Observatory Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, (+852) 2321 9038
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