ON THE MENU: 4 things to know about Hot Pot restaurant in Wallingford

WALLINGFORD — Next door to Holiday Cinemas on North Colony Road, Hot Pot is now offering a Mongolian-hot pot eating experience and other Chinese food. 

The new business opened last week at 970 N. Colony Road., which was previously home to Fugget About it Pizza.  Here are four things to know before you visit.

1. What is hot pot?

Hot pot is a traditional Chinese way of cooking that uses a steaming-hot pot full of stock or soup, which guests can dip meats, seafood and more in to cook. 

“We always eat hot pot in China,” said Jian Li, who owns the restaurant with her husband. 

At Hot Pot in Wallingford, each diner gets their own personal hot pot, which sits on a heating pad at the table. Each person can choose which stock and sides they want. 

You dip the food into the seasoned broth until cooked to your liking and then can dip it in sauces. 

Hot pot is considered a healthy way of cooking because it does not use added fat, like frying. Boiling the meats and vegetables releases their nutrients back into the cooking broth. 

2. How to order

First you choose your stock. There are five varieties of spicy to non-spicy stocks, including cream stock, oxtail with wolfberry, and Korean kimchi. 

Some hot pot restaurants serve a large pot for a table to share, but Li said they deliberately wanted to offer customers individual pots for extra customization. 

Diners can choose among a variety of thinly sliced meat, from sliced beef to chicken breast, plus Spam-like meat, beef tripe, or leg of lamb. For seafood, the menu includes squid, shrimp, red clams and mussels.

You can also order add-ons like noodles, dumplings, rice, and a plethora of vegetables. 

3. The owners

This isn’t husband and wife Jian Li and Eric Haung’s first restaurant. The Watertown couple ran a Chinese takeout restaurant in Naugatuck, called Hunan Wok. When the restaurant space at 970 N. Colony Road came open, Li said the landlord contacted them and they went for it. 

This is the first time they’re offering the traditional hot pot experience in addition to Chinese cuisine made in the kitchen, like rice, vegetables and noodles. 

The couple has three school-age children.

4. The rest of the menu 

The menu includes egg and spring rolls, dumplings, seaweed salad and more. There are teriyaki dishes served with rice and vegetables, fried rice varieties and noodles in soup dishes as well. 

The restaurant also offers classic American-Chinese combos like beef with broccoli, General Tso’s chicken and sesame chicken.

For beverages, Hot Pot has about 10 flavors of bubble tea, including original, Thai and fruity flavors like coconut and strawberry. They also offer slush smoothies, fruit-flavored tea and white pop boba or fruit jelly. 

Twitter: @baileyfaywright


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