Hotpot Instinct

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 February, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 February, 2010, 12:00am

Hotpot Instinct
G/F, 52 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2573 2844

Grub: Chinese hotpot and seafood.

Vibe: Both the ground floor and upstairs level have a casual and lively atmosphere. Space is tight and tables are closely packed, which means things can get noisy, and very steamy, at busy times. Large groups can reserve the VIP room.

Who to bring: A group of friends who aren't too worried about coming home with their hair and clothes smelling strongly of cooking.

What's hot: The restaurant has a wide range of soup bases, including a tasty pork bone and tomato broth and some unusual options such as chicken and fish maw, and the expected range of fish balls, dumplings, meat, seafood and vegetables. The beef balls were particularly tasty.

What's not: The Sichuan pepper soup base was deliciously fiery, with the bright red chillies forming a rich foam, but it was too heavy on the peppercorns, overwhelming the taste of items we cooked in it.

The udon noodles arrived still in the shape of the vacuum packaging and were hard to separate - they broke into bits before we could get them in the soup.

Cost: The joy of hotpot dining is you have close control over what you spend: choosing plenty of small, reasonably priced dishes means you can spend as much or as little as you like. We paid HK$250 each but we over-ordered and didn't skimp. Expect to pay anything from HK$100 to HK$400.