Last post before the Philippines: Hotpot Restaurant and preparations

Before we go to the Philippines and the South of China, we have a post for you including our most recent experiences in Chinese Restaurants and our plans for the coming month.


Hot Pot Restaurant

Before we set off for our trip to the Philippines we would like to tell you about one of our most recent experiences concerning food here in China. Hotpot is one of the most popular cuisines in China and is therefore a must for everybody who comes to China.

As a matter of fact you can also get hotpot in Europe where it is called Fondue Chinoise or Beef Fondue but there’s nothing like trying the real thing is there?

But be careful when looking for authentic experiences

First of all, we didn’t actually solely go to down town to eat hotpot – Yong is working as a model agent and had a show there, Ellis and I joined her to help her out but also to meet one of Yong’s friends who was there as well.

The show went pretty well for Yong and afterwards our new friend wanted to get dinner with us. Therefore we called an Uber taxi and went to the nearest mall. Upon leaving the Taxi the mall already seemed familiar to me, I knew that I had visited this place before. It was not really surprising to me that on the second floor, I recognised a Japanese Restaurant – the one that scammed Yong and I on Christmas.

With that uncomfortable memory the four of us went on and sat down in a hotpot restaurant which was just a few metres further away.

The furniture here was rather unusual, there were only benches for the guests – not a problem for us but maybe for older guests!

Another thing was the unusual view out of the window:

This panorama is just breathtaking!
This panorama is just breathtaking!

Behind that wall was the mall, so who knows why they bricked up the window? Or why they put a window there if they wanted to keep the wall? We will probably never find out.

As you can see in the picture above, there is a table with a hole in the middle where you can find a little stove. This is where a big pot goes which is usually divided into two compartments. One is usually filled with a white, mild soup while the other one is filled with a red, very spicy soup.

What happens next is just a big version of a fondue. You will have the option to order many different ingredients like vegetables, meat, fish, shrimps and all kinds of other things.
We usually stick to gem lettuce, mushrooms, some meat, fish and some other “normal” ingredients but we were really shocked when we saw what the table next to us had.

This might be one of the most shaky videos you have seen in a long time but yes, these are prawns… and yes, they are still alive!!! I personally didn’t know how to react to this and even now I am still speechless. In our stereotypes text we mentioned that the Chinese do eat some things that are considered to be weird to westerners – in fact it is nothing new to me that lobsters are often thrown into boiling water while they are still alive. I already knew that the Chinese consider something to be especially fresh if it is alive but that this attitude goes this far shocked me. In the end this shows once more that the Chinese can always surprise you.

All the ingredients that we chose were brought to the table and then you just have to put them into the pot and wait for them to be cooked! You pick these out with your chopsticks or a spoon and eat them when they are finished. Essentially you are paying to cook your own dinner!

The last surprise however was the price, turns out this mall likes to charge a lot! In total we paid 325 RMB for the 4 of us. For a European restaurant this doesn’t seem like a lot of money but as a matter of fact we were a little shocked. We know other places around Hangzhou, where you can get a hotpot, barbecue or even buffets for a cheaper price!

We hope that we could give you a good impression of what hotpot is exactly. This trip might have been a roller coaster of surprises but for these reasons it also gives a quite accurate summary of the Chinese cuisine and their culture.

Fondue is nothing new to the West but the Chinese version is definitely worth a try, we can recommend everybody to try it out! Try to find somewhere that charges a reasonable price though!

And don’t worry about the weird food – we always encourage you to try out new things but you can see that we have our own limits as well. Just because somebody else is eating something, it doesn’t mean that you have to eat it as well. Even if you find it on your plate.

Have you tried out hotpot as well? How did you like it? Did you eat anything weird?
We are happy to hear any comments and suggestions you might have!


Right now, we are busy with the last preparations for our trip. This trip will not only take us to the Philippines but to some other Chinese cities as well!

First of all, on Monday morning, we will have to get up quite early to take our flight to go to Shenzhen. Yong’s family lives in Dongguan, which is quite close to Shenzhen. We will stay with her family until the 21st, then we will go to Macau, where we will basically just head through to the airport to finally get our flight to Manila!

Our stay in Manila will be rather short, we will just stay there overnight and get another flight to go to Puerto Princessa on Palawan the next day. We will probably stay here two or three days, depending on how much time we need to take a look at everything.

From then on, we will stick to the recommendations of most other travel blogs: don’t stick to a plan.

We want to go to El Nido next, where we want to spend the majority of our time on Palawan. From there so far, there are only the plans to go to the Rice Terraces of Banaue, Boracay, Donsol and others. Which ones will be realised still depends on other factors though.

After roughly 2 weeks in the Philippines we will eventually head back to China. We will arrive in Macau again, where we will finally have the time to look at the city and other sights.
Before the Chinese new year, we will probably then go to Hong Kong, followed by a visit to Yong’s family before we come back to Hangzhou on the 18th of February.

During this time we will not be able to update the blog with our recent adventures, but will still post pictures on Instagram or Twitter! Make sure to follow us there to stay up to date!

What do you think about out plans? Have you been to the Philippines before? Do you know Hong Kong, Macau or Shenzhen?
We are happy to hear from your experiences!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *