Hot Pot… On a Stick

There are quite a few hot pot restaurants here in Guilin. In case you aren’t familiar with it, hot pot is a style of cooking where you are given a pot of broth, usually placed on a burner set in the middle of the table, and then you order ingredients to add to it and cook at the table. I really enjoy hot pot, but it can be a bit overwhelming when you can’t read the menu. More than once have we ordered what we thought was “beef”, only to get certain cow parts that we didn’t really want to eat. Thankfully, we found a place that had the perfect solution yesterday: hot pot conveyor belts!

Yes, those are chicken feet up front.

This place was tucked away in the “old town” region of Guilin, an area very popular with tourists, and it showed. Our server was very polite and patient with us. He kept his sentences short and demonstrated anything we didn’t seem to understand. We were informed that we would be charged by the stick. Most were ¥2, but there were one or two at ¥3.We started with a pot of “bu la” (not spicy) broth for ¥5, chose from a selection of herbs, spices, and oils (I selected a hefty helping of garlic), then waited for the pot to boil. We grabbed spinach, mushrooms, pork, and noodles. As you can see from the picture, there were a lot of choices, including some for the more adventurous eaters out there. The waiter was a little baffled by the fact that we just threw everything in at once, but shrugged it off and let us make our own mistakes.

Josh adding the mushrooms.

I can’t see that we did anything wrong, because it was delicious! Everything was cooked through, and evenly so. The broth in particular was amazing. We even fought for who would get the last few drops.


Overall, it was an amazing and cheap lunch. Not only was it fun to pick items off the conveyor belt, but it took a lot of the guesswork out of trying to order, and help ensure that we got exactly what we wanted out of our meal. Look out, America! We might just be bringing hot pot on a stick to your shores!

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