When we heard that Angel Liu, owner of Lucky Dumpling and Lucky Noodle, merged those two restaurants into one and opened a new hotpot restaurant, we were super excited. After all, a restaurant dedicated to the most social of all Chinese dishes had been missing in Zurich. This week, we went to try it out – is the hotpot here different from the many other Chinese restaurants that also offer hotpot on their menu? Let’s find out.
We went to Red & Hot on a Sunday for a leisurely lunch. The interior is rather simple but still cosy. On every table, there is a hot plate waiting to accommodate a pot full of delicious broth. The menu offers a variety of broths, so there is an option for everyone. The person serving us explained that all of the broths are homemade. We went for the classic “Yuanyang Huoguo”, which is a clear bone-and-veggies broth on one side and the spicy Chongqing Mala broth on the other side.
Then add whatever you want to cook in the broth. You can either pick a preset “mixed plate” with different ingredients or order individually. There’s a variety of meat, meat & seafood balls, mushrooms, veggies, noodles, and tofu. If you want fish and seafood, they also provide it, though you have to order it in advance.
While waiting for your order you can go ahead and mix you own “dip”. What this sauce is for? After whatever ingredient you want to eat is done cooking, you can dip it into your own sauce to add an extra layer of spice and flavor.
Once the broth and all the dishes were ready on our table, we dropped a good amount of ingredients into the broth and waited eagerly for the first ones to get ready to eat. Then followed about an hour of eating frenzy until all the plates were empty and our stomachs very full.
Red & Hot: Our Conclusion
Can we recommend Red & Hot? Definitely! Whether you’re a hotpot addict or a beginner to “Fondue Chinoise”, you will not be disappointed. The homemade broths really make a difference to the usual broth made from premixed stock you’re served at your average Chinese restaurant here. As for the ingredients, the variety is about the same as in most restaurants as it’s hard to re-invent the wheel. However, the variety could be wider and some of the ingredients that are standard for hotpot in China such as tripe, intestines or pig blood cubes are missing (though you can probably order it in advance).
Also, a big plus which sets Red & Hot apart from other hotpot places is that you can mix your own sauce. With a whole table full of different sauces, pickles and herbs to choose from, this “dip” really adds to the hotpot experience. Finally, service is very friendly and if it’s your first time to try hotpot they will help you to figure everything out.
Prices are on a mid- to higher range but you really get a good quality broth, great flavour and fresh ingredients. We recommend to go in a group of several people as hotpot usually is more fun the more people join. However, you can also order your “personal” hotpot (or maocai 冒菜, to be exact) if you’re going on your own.