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Red bowl's chic hotpot

By Dong Fangyu ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-05-23 06:59:46

Red bowl's chic hotpot

Seafood dish.[Photo provided To China Daily]

"This is a nice place for foreigners who have never had hotpot in China," a diner from the US said. "They will be smitten."

Individual drop-ins can start with the ale, creative cocktails, sake or wine at the bar, before rubbing elbows with fellow hotpot aficionados at a hotpot counter with individual burners.

Four or more can dine at tables with a communal pot; larger groups can take over private rooms named ma (numbing) and re (hot) with multiple communal pots.

We opted for the traditional Chinese way of sharing, sitting around and using a communal pot so we had much more room to mix and talk.

But there was a much tougher decision to make - choosing a flavored broth out of yuanyang, spicy Sichuan, seafood congee, tomato and potato, Beijing traditional and wild mushroom. We plumped for yuanyang combo stock, half spicy and half wild mushroom stock.

I was greedy with the dipping sauces as well, choosing two: sesame paste and sesame oil with garlic. The two other options - dry chili sauce, and the seafood sauce both also sounded inviting, but really I was too busy to try the mall.

Now the real fun started, selecting from an extensive menu of ingredients to cook in our pots.

Meat lovers are spoilt for choice at Red Bowl, with a list including Japanese kobe beef sirloin, hand-cut beef shank and exotic meats such as Inner Mongolian sheep rib and hand-cut lamb leg.

Offal is a must have in any hotpot meal, and Red Bowl is no exception. The restaurant that belongs to the luxury hotel Rosewood Beijing, says it adheres to the program called "Partners in Provenance", which means selecting poultry and produce fresh from local and indigenous farms.

Duck kidney and blood jelly are absolutely fresh. After being scalded in the broth, the duck kidney takes on a unique crunchy texture; and the blood curd gives a waxy texture with a mellow aroma.

If you have never had beef bone marrow, an adventure awaits you. Red Bowl's beef bone marrow (48 yuan) may look unsightly raw, but pulled from the pot it is delicious, with a light aromatic and buttery taste.

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