Heng Da Shi Hot Pot Master (亨大师火锅达人), Beijing – nothing beats hot pot when it’s cold

I’m officially sick. The cold weather has finally gotten the better of me. Well, I think I probably caught it off Yuye’s mum who was sick first but it really could have been from anywhere, even the hospital I’ve been visiting so regularly. On a better note, Yuye’s grandpa’s doing a bit better which is comforting for everyone.

Being sick means not being able to taste or smell very much which is hugely inconvenient for a foodie. But I do crave for hot, watery food and the perfect solution is hot pot! I went to a great hot pot restaurant during one of the early days of being in Beijing. It’s called Heng Da Shi Hot Pot Master (亨大师火锅达人 Heng Da Shi Huo Guo Da Ren) at a famous complex called “The Place” or 世贸天阶 (Shi Mao Tian Jie) where a HUGE TV screen is situated.

HUGE overhead TV screen @ "The Place" or 世贸天阶 (Shi Mao Tian Jie)

Saying it’s huge is an understatement. It literally wouldn’t fit on one photo. They showed the coolest animations and people can even SMS a number where the message would show up on the screen. Although I didn’t make it there myself but this place would have been squashed with people on Valentine’s night. I would post up a video I took of the screen but I can’t access Youtube here. 🙁 When I went, there was still Chinese New Year decorations up.

As the hot pot restaurant was located in a high class hotel, it was reasonably expensive and had a classy feel to it. The decor and ambiance also reflected this as a result. Not that it wasn’t nice. It was very clean and shiny and the service was good.

The hot pot restaurant is near many foreign embassies such as New Zealand, England and Russia so there were many foreigners in the district and of course, in the restaurant. I almost felt like I was back in Melbourne!

The best thing about this place is the large quantities of sauces to choose from, and they’re unlimited! You can pick from the usual ingredients like coriander, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and peanut butter, but also cooler ones like beef stew sauce, this Hokkaido meat sauce and many more.

Sauce table with endless supply of dipping sauce ingredients

I mixed a few but I got carried away and have no idea at what each one had. They all tasted fantastic anyway. 😛

Mixed dipping sauces - we made so many 😛

Another selling point about this hot pot restaurant is the individual pots. So, each person gets to order a mini hot pot of their own with their own soup base. I ordered the pork ribs pot for 16RMB. It tasted meaty and delicious but I didn’t think it was the best value for money.

Pork bone pot (鲜骨汤锅 xian gu tang guo) - 16RMB

Yuye’s dad ordered the best value I thought – the healthy mushroom pot also for 16RMB but he had a lot of mushrooms that could be eaten.

Healthy mushroom pot (养生菌王锅 yang shen jun wang guo) - 16RMB

Yuye and his mum both ordered the black silkie chicken pot, a breed of chicken that has fluffy white feathers and dark skin and bones. It’s apparently very good for one’s wellbeing. This pot sounded good but it really didn’t have much in it.

Black silkie pot (香参乌鸡锅 xiang shen wu ji guo) - 16RMB

The dishes were presented beautifully on large white plates but were a bit expensive for what it was. We ordered fatty beef as per usual. It was very nice and tender but for 32RMB, it really didn’t come with very many pieces.

Heng Da Shi special fatty beef (亨大师精选肥牛) - 32RMB

We also ordered 1 plate of fatty lamb for 28RMB and just like the beef, it also didn’t come with many pieces. It was beautiful meat though so I wouldn’t complain.

Heng Da Shi special lamb (亨大师顶级羊上脑) - 28RMB

The mushroom plate cost 28RMB as well. I don’t really understand why mushrooms would cost the same as lamb but I guess mushrooms are expensive in China? We polished this plate off very quickly at no surprise as mushrooms shrink so much when they’re cooked.

Mushroom platter (菌菇拼盘 jun gu pin pan) - 28RMB

The prawn and cuttlefish balls were delicious and fresh though. I could clearly tell the difference between these and store bought balls, even the ones back in Australia. These were firm, full of chopped up chunky seafood pieces that were chewy and tasty. I especially liked the prawn ones.

Heng Da Shi fresh prawn balls (亨大师鲜虾丸 Heng Da Shi Xian Xia Wan) - 32RMB

They came at a hefty 32RMB each for a measly 8 balls but hey, I guess its not much when converted to AUD. At an equivalent of $5, you can’t buy much with it back home. In fact, with that in mind, the meal itself wasn’t so expensive after all. I just have to stop thinking in terms of Yuan…

Heng Da Shi Cuttlefish Balls (亨大师目鱼丸 Heng Da Shi Mu Yu Wan) - 32RMB

This dish is called oily fried gluten (油麵筋, you mian jin) which is a type of raw gluten that has been cup into small pieces and deep fried into round balls. They’re not my favourite as they’re a bit oily but they do soak up a lot of flavour when you leave them in the soup for a while.

Deep fried gluten (油面筋 you mian jin) - 12RMB

We also ordered a deep fried tofu skin which was quite nice but it wasn’t very big…I would have liked a bit more of it. Compared to the gluten, tofu skin isn’t as oily but it also soaks up plenty of flavour.

Deep fried tofu skin (油豆皮 you dou pi) - 12RMB

Hot pot is not hot pot if there’s no veggies of some sort. I didn’t think this veggie platter we ordered was value worthy as it was 28RMB, the same as the lamb and it was just veggies! But I guess it was a big platter of veggies….

Veggie platter (素菜拼盘 su cai pin pan) - 28RMB

I think maybe it’s a Northern China thing (I’m from the east) but Yuye’s family always orders Shao Bing (烧饼), which is this baked dough cake. It doesn’t have any filling and is quite dry so it’s not my all time favourite thing to eat (I’m not a huge fan of dry doughy food because it dries out my mouth) but it does surprising go well with the hotpot. We also have this in the mornings for breakfast along with some pickles and congee.

Handmade sesame dough cakes (手工香麻饼 shou gong xiang ma bing) - 3RMB each

Yuye’s dad ordered noodles to put in the hot pot in case we weren’t full by the end of the meal. We couldn’t eat any of it! We ended up taking it away which was quickly forgotten in Yuye’s mum’s bag. When we discovered it the next day, it was so dry we had to throw it out. Poor noodles…

Handmade noodles (手工面 shou gong mian) - 10RMB

All in all it was a great meal. How can hot pot not be great right? There are very good reasons for having your own pot. Besides being able to choose your own flavoured base, you also don’t have to worry about eating food that someone else has put in, or better, not having other people eat your precious food! 😀 And it’s great for people who don’t like to ‘share’ for various reasons (because you’re sick or just don’t like other people’s germs :P). It’s quite in fashion in China but there aren’t many (if any) such hot pot restaurants in Australia. If you know if any, do let me know. 🙂

If you find yourself in the district for some reason and feel like some hotpot, see if you can find this place.

Question time: Do you mind sharing food with others or are you one who likes to keep food to yourself?

Heng Da Shi Hot Pot Master (亨大师火锅达人 Heng Da Shi Huo Guo Da Ren)
Phone: 010-65871212 65871213
Location: Chao Yang Qu, Guang Hua Lu No.9, The Place (or Shi Mao Tian Jie) No.1 Building Shop L139 (朝阳区光华路9号世贸天阶1楼L139号)
http://www.dianping.com/shop/3650854

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30 comments… add one
  • Nami | Just One Cookbook February 17, 2012, 5:25 am

    Hmm I’ve decided to make (Taiwanese) hot pot tonight after looking at this post. Very fancy hot pot restaurant indeed. But it’s great, it helps foreigners give a chance to try hot pot. I would not know what to order if I go to local place…sort of. I love hot pot all year around. 🙂

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 18, 2012, 1:02 pm

      Is there a difference with Taiwanese hot pot compared to the mainland ones here? I would love to try a different style hot pot if there is. 😀 Actually a lot of restaurants nowadays in China have English menus which helps a lot, like this restaurant does because it’s close to to so many embassies so they get a lot of foreigners.

      Reply
  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 17, 2012, 7:06 am

    Ohh hope you’re feeling better now 🙂 I love hot pot and like Nami hehe I like hot pot all year round even when it’s really hot and humid in HK, we’ll put the air con on and have hot pot ~
    The food looks great and definitely much cheaper than it is back home!

    Reply
  • Deanna February 17, 2012, 9:47 am

    I tried shabu shabu a few times and I thought it was bland. The hot pots look way better.

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 18, 2012, 1:00 pm

      Shabu shabu is Japanese and I don’t think they use very many varieties of sauces like the Chinese one does…so maybe that’s why. If you don’t dip the ingredients in a sauce, naturally it’ll taste plain. You should try Chinese style hot pots more. 🙂

      Reply
  • Anna @ the shady pine February 17, 2012, 12:58 pm

    The hot pot looks great…sorry you’re feeling under the weather though!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 18, 2012, 12:58 pm

      I’m getting a lot better! Went to a fantastic spa/public bath place yesterday and had massages and all…think it cured most of my cold..:P

      Reply
  • Libby February 17, 2012, 8:49 pm

    I wish they had awesome hotpot places like this in Melbourne!

    Definitely sharing – you get to try more food that way 😀

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 18, 2012, 12:56 pm

      Haha maybe I should open one up…:P but dunno if there’d be business…
      I totally agree on the sharing factor! Even when it’s not a ‘sharing’ kind of meal, I still try to go away and steal a bit of everyone’s food…:P

      Reply
  • Maureen February 17, 2012, 9:12 pm

    I’m so sorry you’re not feeling well. Being away from home and feeling icky is no good.

    The food in these photos is magical and your photography gets better and better. I need to work harder!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 18, 2012, 12:55 pm

      I don’t think my photos are that great really, there are so many better photographers out there, I’m still learning myself! The lighting is so important I find, I only really like natural light or very bright white light…:(

      I’m feeling a LOT better today 🙂 Yayy…hopefully in a day or 2 I’ll be completely fine…you’re totally right, being sick and away from home is not happy..

      Reply
  • Yy February 17, 2012, 11:44 pm

    MMmmmm loving ur stories, missing you and also loving your site’s new look!!
    xoxoxo

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 18, 2012, 12:53 pm

      AWWW Y!!! Miss you lots too 🙁 How’s Melbourne? Did you just go to Tassie with your mum? I’m gonna be overseas for another 1.5 months or so…:(
      Oh, it would be good if you can still design me a logo and a banner 😛 I loveeee your drawings…compared to the crappy ones I put together…hehe when you have time 🙂

      Reply
  • Miss Kimbers @ Fruit Salad and Mixed Veg February 18, 2012, 6:01 am

    I want to go here! I have only had hot pot once for a Chinese student’s birthday party. They set it up at their house and it was a lot of fun:) I made them a pavlova to show them some Australian food:) Everything looks very pretty and I like it how you get your own pot here. The sauce collection is a great idea:)

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 18, 2012, 12:52 pm

      Aww you should have hot pot more! it’s a good way to socialise and it’s SO easy to prepare…that’s what mum makes whenever she can’t be bothered to make dinner since there’s no cooking involved..:P

      Reply
  • angela@spinachtiger February 18, 2012, 11:06 am

    So jealous. We just don’t have this kind of food here in Nashville. You’re so lucky.

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 18, 2012, 12:50 pm

      I’m not going to be lucky for long! I’m only in Beijing for another week or so…:( But then I’m off to Tokyo so there’d be heaps of great food there too. 🙂

      Reply
  • Hannah February 18, 2012, 3:58 pm

    I hope you’re feeling better! I adore, adore, adore hot pot dishes, but haven’t had one quite like this yet. Alas!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 20, 2012, 1:52 am

      Not sure if they’d have hot pot restaurants like this in Canberra though, probably doesn’t even exist in Melbourne. 🙁 The only thing would be to make it at home! Maybe I should buy a few personal hot pot bowls to take back and make my own. 🙂

      Reply
  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com February 18, 2012, 5:17 pm

    I hope you recover and have enough appetite to savor more in this trip 🙂

    I don’t mind sharing food! Not at all 😀

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 20, 2012, 1:51 am

      I’m almost all healed now! But we’ve been having a break from eating too much in the last few days. I don’t think I would have lived through 3 weeks of pure eating. (or my waistline wouldn’t have lived anyway..) 😛

      Reply
  • Hotly Spiced February 18, 2012, 6:14 pm

    Even with a cold, that looks like a very fun place to be. My sister lives in Beijing – I’ll have to ask her if she’s been there. The hot pot food looks delicious.

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 20, 2012, 1:50 am

      Hot pot’s great at all times…definitely when one’s sick too. 😛 Add a bit of chilli and mix a stronger sauce and you’re all good to go. 😛 Having a personal pot means you don’t have to worry about making anyone else sick or having to use shared cutlery. Hot pot restaurants are everywhere in Beijing though, I’m sure your sister has been to many. 🙂

      Reply
  • JasmyneTea February 18, 2012, 9:04 pm

    Imagine watching True Blood on that screen 😉 lol. The hot pot looks lovely and nourishing, only ever had it once but would definitely have it again!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 20, 2012, 1:47 am

      YES! 😀 Although because it’s overhead, watching a long film would be painful for the neck. 😛 It was so fascinating when they showed the short animations where cars and space ships zoom past your head. You should have more hot pot! It’s great. 🙂

      Reply
  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella February 18, 2012, 11:08 pm

    Gorgeous photos! The lamb with the contrasting red and the pork bone hot pot are amazingly clear! 😀

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 20, 2012, 1:46 am

      Thanks Lorraine! 😀 It was quite dark in the restaurant so it was hard to get things in focus but I tried. 😀

      Reply
  • choux choux February 20, 2012, 10:25 pm

    Oh this is awesome. I don’t mind sharing food when I have hot pot but since I don’t eat pork or like the smell of lamb, I do get weird food anxiety like I might eat it pork by mistake. I like the idea of the individual pots though! And all the broths look great! It’s good to hear Yuye’s grandfather is going well 🙂

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 21, 2012, 12:12 pm

      Yes that’s is so true. I’ve often had hotpot with relatives or family friends who didn’t eat lamb and well, lamb and beef look quite similar raw or cooked so we’ve had to be very careful when cooking out meats in the shared big pot. This would totally eliminate that problem. 🙂 You don’t eat lamb either? Or you just don’t like the smell? That’s such a shame…2 of my favourite meats. 😛
      Yes, Yuye’s grandpa’s been eating a lot better, he even got out of bed yesterday and sat on the couch to rest. 😀

      Reply

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