This review is the wrong way round. It was meant to be that I do a review and then Jen riffs off it with a recipe later that week. Unfortuantely she got a bit too excited and prematurely created a prawn and cheese raviolli before I actually reviewed the prawn and cheese meatballs from Hotpot Instinct which inspired it (her raviolli is here). However, here it is. The review.
Hotpot Instinct is just another high level hotpot place in Hong Kong. By reference to London it is far beyond anything you can get (for example here), but out here… I can’t vouch that it is consumately better than any other hotpot place in Hong Kong because, let’s be frank, there are a lot and they are all pretty good.
However, what is really remarkable for me is that after 9:30pm it is 40% off everything apart from seafood and alcohol. What this means is that you can go premium beef crazy.
The procedure and ritual is much as you observe at any hotpot place. One nice touch is that you get given a big array of ingredients and you build your own dipping sauce at the beginning. Also, there is quite a ridiculous array of hotpot broths to choose from. Now that we have been a couple of times, we go with the mascohistic Szechuan or Sichuan broth and one other. We have also tried at the pork and the watermelon gourd one to accompany and both are great.
Aside from that the other joy is that this place has a big menu. Normally I am suspicious of big menus but here it means you can just go crazy and indulge yourself. We had previously discovered the joys of prawn and cheese meatballs which are amazing and the picture above doesn’t quite capture their glory. The prawn lightly cooked in the death spice of the Sichuan side of the hotpot and the cheese dripping hot and hiding inside.
The premium premium beef is also always a guaranteed order. For 40% off you just have to. However, other highlights this time included radish, fish skin, fried tofu and the simple joy of Chinese vegetables in broth.
Our final interesting order were some poor drunken prawns who came out speared on a stick and still twitching as they drank away in a pint glass of Chinese wine. You feel a bit guilty the first time you drown them but thereafter you are a convert.
All in all I really like Hotpot Instinct and this is not just because you can go when it is 40% off. The atmosphere is slightly raucous, you can get Asahi in a 1,000ml cans which they put in wine buckets by the side of your table. There are only 8 tables and the service is snappy and polite. I now just have to motivate myself to risk going to other places.
- Price – somewhere between 150 to 350hkd a head depending on how crazy you go
- G/F, 52 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay