Asians have been developing, reinventing and localising hotpot for centuries. In Japan, there is shabu-shabu , in Korea, hotpot is known as jjigae and in Thailand, jim jum , which usually has a sweet and savoury pork broth with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves as its base. In China alone, there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of different versions ranging from the famous chilli-laden mala hotpot from Chongqing, to the heavy seafood style in Guangzhou. What we do know is that the ingredients used in the hotpot usually reflect the culture and class of the diners. Historically, everyone – from the most impoverished villager to the emperor of China – would use hotpot as a medium of feasting, the former for sustenance, the latter for savouring delicacies. This is perhaps another reason hotpot is so popular: it crosses class boundaries and is accessible to all in one form or another. But given a choice, we would all be gorging ourselves on Kobe beef slices, lumps of fresh lobster meat and tender pieces of geoduck. 7 top restaurants to try in and around Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun Macau In Macau, where fancy food is at its finest, there is no shortage of hotpot restaurants. Here are the latest ones we have tried. Lotus Palace Lotus Palace at The Parisian Macao is a seafood lover’s dream. Try one of its premium sets and savour succulent Canadian lobster, fresh abalone and prized baby fish maw. Choose from the cornucopia of delights to dip in the supreme soup stock of your choice. Usually for higher-quality ingredients and seafood, a gentler, more subtle stock is ideal such as fish maw with chicken soup or white and bone with sweetcorn. Also, make sure you don’t overcook your seafood or it’ll turn quite rubbery. Razor clams, for example, only need about five seconds in a boiling pot for its desired texture. Shop 3316, Level 3, The Parisian Macao, Estrada do Istmo, Lote 3, Cotai Strip, Macau Ping If you want to kick it up a notch and try something more spicy, head over to Ping and try its signature Sichuan spicy broth. Order the finely sliced Iberico pork and Wagyu beef and dip them into the red-hot brew for five to 10 seconds for an optimised texture. No hotpot is complete without some bouncy balls so order handmade cuttlefish balls with pâté or briny shrimp balls mixed with dried scallop. Also, don’t forget to ask for the fried bean curd to mop up the soup for a truly explosive spice experience. The Plaza, Macau 5 hotpot food swaps for a healthier meal Golden Court For a steal of a deal, go to Golden Court in Sands Macao. It has a Boston lobster hotpot set for just 398 patacas (US$50), and an Angus Beef set for 298 patacas. The sets include prawns, grouper fillets, wontons, shrimp paste with crab roe, scallops, whelks and an assortment of fresh vegetables and mushrooms. Feast in the comfort of its large dining room which has been decorated with earthy wood furnishings and auspicious red accents. Level 3, Sands Macao, Largo de Monte Carlo, No. 203, Macau 5 weird and wonderful Hong Kong hotpots to sate your craving Hong Kong Hong Kong has no shortage of fantastic places for hotpot, but for something new or a bit out of the ordinary, here are the most recent additions to the hotpot scene within the last year. J Pot J Pot in Causeway Bay is an ingredients-focused hotpot spot and is the only place in Hong Kong to serve Hiyama Wagyu beef. Hiyama is the name of the meat supplier; it has more than 100 years of history and works with the a tight network of local farmers to source the best meats. The eatery offers unique soup bases such as fish maw soup, Wagyu consommé, Sichuan Thai-style boat noodles soup and many more. Central Mansion, 1F, Tower 535, 535 Jaffe Rd, Causeway Bay Quan Alley Quan Alley gained popularity with its impeccable presentation and top-notch ingredients. Riding the food wave on Instagram over the past several years, the refined hotpot restaurant soon became one of the most popular spots in town. It’s easy to confuse table decorations from plates of food here, but when you do sink your teeth into its speciality dishes – such as almond “daisies”, “lollipop” and “nougat” – the result is mouth-watering. Soup bases are top-notch and the view of Victoria Harbour is one of the best in town. Shop OT G57, Ground Floor Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui What is your choice of hotpot soup base? Cloud Nine This new addition in Happy Valley combines hotpot and Southeast Asian food – two beloved cuisines of Hong Kong – to start a new trend in the city. Sink your teeth into rendang or laab dumplings as well as laksa or tom yum soup bases. Shop G/F, King Inn Mansion, 13-15 Yik Yam St, Happy Valley Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .