When many visitors head to Taipei for its street food and night markets, I think it is a must for foodies to have an hotpot experience in the city as well.
Hotpot, sometimes known as steamboat, is great for families and groups to gather around a table to cook a variety of favourite ingredients in a simmering pot of broth.
Due to cultural influences, you get a bit of Chinese mala, Japanese shabu-shabu and special Taiwanese ingredients and presentation styles in these popular hotpot restaurants.
Here are some of the well-known hotpot restaurants in Taipei, not to be missed:
Elixir Health Pot (Wu Lao Guo) 無老鍋
Shiming Store No. 143, Section 3, Civic Blvd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104
Tel: +886 2 2731 7928
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 2:00am Daily
Google Maps – Elixir Health Pot (Wu Lao Guo Zhongshan)
Elixir Health Pot With Creamy Tofu Hotpot
Elixir Health Pot, better known as “Wu Lao Guo” 無老鍋 is considered one of the best and the most popular steamboat restaurants in Taipei.
The name “Wu Lao Guo” literally translates to “never old pot”, and is built on the philosophy of providing diners with hotpots brimming with health and beauty properties.
Although there are 5 branches of this popular restaurant scattered all over the country, early reservations are highly recommended. (The 5 outlets are Taipei Shiming, Taipei Zhongshan, Taipei Xinsheng, Taichung Gongyi and Kaohsiung Lingya.)
Keep in mind that the prices are a bit on the expensive side, but their naturally seasoned and tasty soups with signature pork and beef slices are worth the price tag.
The good news is that Wu Lao Guo offers a twin “ying-yang” hot pot which means that you can try two of their most popular broths.
The two signature broths are the Layered Tofu (NT$129 per person, SGD5.90) cooked with chicken bone and large pork bone, simmered with more than a dozen Chinese spices and herbs; the other is the Spicy Wulao (NT139 per person, SGD6.30) with Chinese spices cooked for eight hours then added with fresh chicken broth.
Go for the Creamy Tofu Hotpot, in which the Chinese name goes by “Ice Cream Tofu Hotpot”. It was a memorable hotpot meal, and would recommend this hotpot restaurant to first-time Taipei travellers. Wu Lao Guo 無老鍋 (Zhongshan District, Taipei)
Mala Top Double Soup Hot Pot 马辣顶级鸳鸯火锅
Ximending Branch: 2F, No. 30, Xining South Rd., Wanhua District, Taipei City 108, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Tel: +886 2 2311 9881
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am – 4:00pm; Dinner 4:00pm – 2:00am (Mon – Sun)
Google Maps – Mala Top Double Soup Hot Pot (Ximending)
Affordable Hotpot Buffet From SGD24 With FREE-FLOW Häagen-Dazs & Movenpick Ice Cream
A search for “Best Hot Pot Restaurants in Taipei” brought me to Mala Top Double Soup Hot Pot Restaurant 马辣顶级鸳鸯火锅 in Ximending.
This hotpot chain is extremely popular among the locals and tourists, and it is not difficult to understand why.
You get to enjoy value-for-money buffet-style hot pot, in which you can sit and eat-all-you-want for 2 hours. Plus, unlimited Häagen-Dazs and Movenpick ice cream.
Lunch buffet (11:30am – 4pm) is priced at NT$545 (SGD23.90, USD17.70), while dinner buffet (4pm – 4am) is at NT$635 (SGD27.90, USD20.60).
During weekends and public holidays, NT$635 applies to both lunch and dinner. Children are charged half-price.
Its signature base soup is the Mala Soup, made from a supposedly-numbingly spicy sauce.
However, hard core spice lovers may find it not spicy enough as it is tailored for local Taiwanese taste buds. It is actually possible to drink up the soup on its own.
Indulge in a wide selection of thinly cut premium meats including USDA Prime and Choice cuts like flank beef, chuck eye roll, pork belly with skin, Australian lamb, New Zealand sirloin beef, New Zealand lamb shoulder, and chicken; along with Handmade Shrimp Rolls and Squid Paste. Mala Hot Pot 马辣顶级鸳鸯火锅 (Ximending, Taipei)
Orange Shabu Shabu 橘色刷刷锅
No. 29-2, Section 4, Ren’ai Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Tel: +886 2 2771 0181
Opening Hours: 5:30pm – 2:30am (Mon – Sun); Opened for Lunch 12:00pm – 3:00pm (Sat – Sun)
Google Maps – Orange Shabu Shabu (Da’an District)
Japanese Hotpot Restaurant With Large Wagyu Beef Slices And Comforting Congee
Popular among foodie circles as the Japanese hot pot restaurant that is a cut above the average Taipei hot pot experience, Orange Shabu Shabu 橘色刷刷锅 is the first to elevate the hot pot genre into a more “finer dining” experience in Taiwan.
It operates two branches in the Da’an District of Taipei.
Orange Shabu Shabu is especially known for its fresh seafood that guests will experience “sea-to-table” dining.
The Hokkaido crab, Japanese abalone, Hokkaido scallops, and Jumbo Shrimps are showstoppers that will surely delight any seafood lover. Its black Taiwanese chicken is also getting a lot of attention.
For beef lovers, you can go for the more ‘budget’ USDA Prime Sirloin (NT$1180), USDA Prime Short Ribs (NT$1250), to Australian Wagyu Beef (NT$1320), to more premium Kuroge Wagyu Ribeye Beef (NT$4200).
I went for the “in-between” pricing of Australian Wagyu, and the whole table went a collective ”Wow” when the slices of meat arrived.
It could be that gorgeous marbling, or just that sight of the huge slices, but I think it was more to both. Cooked simply for seconds shabu-shabu style, the beef was deliciously melt-in-your-mouth tender with no additional seasoning needed. Orange Shabu Shabu 橘色刷刷锅 (Da’an District, Taipei)
Quan Alley 寬巷子鍋品美食
126 6 Xinsheng South Road, Section 1, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City
Phone: +886 2 2393 5252
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am – 3pm, Dinner 5pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Google Maps – Quan Alley (Xinsheng South)
Taiwanese Hotpot Restaurant With Creative Items
Quan Alley 寬巷子 is known to present its ingredients in creative and beautiful forms, pleasing to the eyes and photos.
Expect pork neck slices arranged to look like roses, seafood sticks in shape of popsicles, and many other items prettily plated like works of art.
The hotpot restaurant which continues to enjoy popularity since its opening in 2012, has 3 branches in Taipei – Xinsheng South Road, Shilin, Zhongxiao East Road; and an overseas outlet at Hong Kong’s Harbour City.
There are 4 type of soup bases to choose from – Sichuan-style Spicy Soup, Light Spicy Soup, Pork Bone Soup, and Bonito Kombu Soup. Priced at TWD250 (SGD11.16, USD8.10) per person.
The numbing spicy soup broth is said to feature 15 Sichuanese herbs and would take seven days to ferment, with mala soup that could set tongues tickling. Quan Alley 寬巷子 (Zhongzheng District, Taipei)
Top One Pot這一鍋 皇室秘藏鍋物
No. 88, Xinyi Road, Section 4, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm, 5pm – 1am (Mon to Fri), 11.30 am to 1am (Sat & Sun)
Google Maps – Top One Pot (Zhe Yi Guo Xinyi
Top Mala Steamboat In Taiwan In Terms Of Web Popularity
In an online research conducted by a Taiwan big data analysis website, Top One Pot 這一鍋 皇室秘藏鍋物 has clinched the Number 1 spot for top mala steamboat based on web popularity.
Over at Top One Pot 這一鍋, the concept and dining ambience are geared towards the Chinese dynasties.
With recipes handed down from the past and usage of quality ingredients, Top One Pot has then recreated their rendition of nourishing soup broths base such as the premium Phoenix Reunion Pot (NT$680, SGD30.55 per pot), Royal Spicy Hot Pot, Luxurious Pickled Cabbage Pot and Chicken Pot (NT$110, SGD5.10 per pax).
Contrary to usual Chinese mala pot, their Royal Spicy Hot Pot was not THAT spicy and oily.
The broth was in fact drinkable on its own, and the friendly wait staff would also ask about your spice acceptance level and adjust the spiciness accordingly.
The Royal Spicy Hot Pot also came with free-flow coagulated duck’s blood and tofu, quite value for its money.
I have never eaten coagulated duck’s blood in my life but found the pieces quite tasty, especially after absorbing the soup flavour and essence. Top One Pot 這一鍋 (Xinyi Road, Taipei)
Ding Wang Hotpot鼎王麻辣鍋
No. 89, Guangfu North Road, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105
Tel: +886 2 2742 1199
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 4am (Mon – Sun)
Google Maps – Ding Wang Hotpot
Famous for Mala and Sour Vegetables Soups
Ding Wang Hotpot originated in Taichung and it didn’t take much time for this hot pot joint to become popular.
Soon they opened up a place in Taipei and became one of the most visited hot pot destinations in Taiwan. They have two locations in Taipei, one on Chang’an East Road and the other on Guangfu North Road.
What makes Ding Wang Hotpot so special is the fact that they make both of their soup bases from fresh ingredients. There is also the secret recipe which was used from day one and they still make all of their dishes from this recipe.
On the menu, you will find two basic soup bases and each of them occupies one-half of the hot pot. There is the mala soup that comes with coagulated duck blood and tofu and you also have the sour napa soup with slices of pork.
Both of these soups are delicious and have perfectly paired flavours. From the non-hotpot dishes, make sure to try braised chicken legs with soy sauce. The skin is completely dark and the meat is soft and tender.
Other Related Entries
Mala Hot Pot 马辣顶级鸳鸯火锅 (Ximending, Taipei)
Quan Alley 寬巷子 (Zhongzheng District, Taipei)
Top One Pot 這一鍋 (Xinyi Road, Taipei)
Wu Lao Guo 無老鍋 (Zhongshan District, Taipei)
Orange Shabu Shabu 橘色刷刷锅 (Da’an District, Taipei)