One of London’s favourite hotpot joints, Shu Xiangge, has opened its doors in Chinatown London, bringing authentic Sichuan Hot Pot from southwestern China to the heart of Gerrard Street.
Pioneers of authentically mouth-numbing Sichuan hot pot, Shu Xiangge’s new Chinatown outpost features their signature fragrant and spicy beef fat oil broth, made with 12 different spices. Customers can then choose from a selection of 80 different ingredients, from unusual cuts such as ox tongue, beef tendon, tripe and aorta, to premium Wagyu beef, Rib Eye, and a varied selection of fresh seafood and vegetable options.
Hot Pot at Shu Xiangge Chinatown will be cooked at the table in classic Sichuan style 9-grid pots; a tradition that stretches back over 200 years to the Yangtze River in Chongqing, Sichuan province. It is here that hot pot started as a communal dinning choice for the boatmen on the riverbank. Villagers would sit around the grid and toss ingredients into the broth to cook; the more sections there were, the more people could join for dinner.
Shu Xiangge Chinatown will champion this ancient social tradition, as groups of diners are invited to cook, sample and share soups between them at a communal 9-grid hotpot.
For a truly flavoursome and authentic Chinese culinary experience, cooking materials, broth flavourings and seasonings at Shu Xiangge Chinatown come directly from the Sichuan province, while fresh ingredients will be sourced on a daily basis from local London markets.
Set across two floors, the restaurant has a capacity of 110 covers and the design will highlight the cultural and historical aestheticism of ancient China, featuring replicas of Chinese ceramics, wooden vases and traditional paintings and crafts. Enveloping the dining room is a wall-to-ceiling mural featuring a section of the masterpiece “Along the River During the Qingming Festival,” by the Song dynasty artist Zhang Zeduan. Solid, dark wooden tables, chairs and cream and wood ceiling lamps come directly from Sichuan.
Founder Terry Zhao, hailing from northeastern China, founded Shu Xiangge after a year of intensive market research and multiple trips to Sichuan province – first to sample different styles and flavours, and then to source the best broth suppliers to bring authentic flavours to London. Shu Xiangge Chinatown will be the sister branch to Holborn’s site, which opened its doors in 2016.