Since Aadam has been born, I’ve found it progressively more difficult to take him out to restaurants as he has gotten older. We still do manage to go out but dinner time has become much, much earlier – I’m talking 5/5:30 early – and the type of restaurants have shifted from swanky places to restaurants that are much more casual and semi child-friendly. So when I received an invitation from Hot May Pot Pot, I was in two minds.
Hot May Pot Pot is based in Belgravia amongst a lovely parade of shops. Thankfully, this is a short ten minute (if traffic) drive from home and I managed to snag an early booking at 6pm – looks like this evening was going to work out for us after all!
THE FOOD AT HOT MAY POT POT
Wanting to keep it light before the star of the show, we opted for a selection of four salads. The Hot May soya soyabean, the Hot May cabbage, sesame cucumber, and the lotus root. All were extremely light and refreshing, exactly what you want before a heavy meal, but the soya soybean stood out to me in particular. The cabbage did start to become dry after a while, but aside from that, the four were sufficient enough for starters.
Once the starters are done, the waiter will arrive with a large heavy kettle filled with a stock of your choice.
We were recommended to order the chicken stock for the hot pot base but they also serve a halal oxtail stock and vegetable one too. The chicken bones are simmered for six hours to give a luxuriously creamy stock packed with all sorts of goodness and nutritional benefits. However whilst the stock is flavoured from the bones and a few other herbs, don’t expect an extremely seasoned soup as that is what the dipping ingredients are for.
The waiter will place a few items like goji berries, mushrooms, coriander, and chillies into your own individual pot – because who wants to share, right? – and then proceed to pour the broth on top. The burner is turned on and you wait for the soup to start boiling before you get started.
All I can tell you is the wait for the hot pot to be ready is agonising as you constantly get a whiff of the aromatic soup.
Finally, the stock is ready and bubbling away. Now it’s time for this halal party to get started! Just a side note, they provide additional coriander leaves and chopped chillies that you can throw into the stock at any point if you want to add more flavour.
Starting from the top of the tier, we added in the fatty wagyu slice by slice. We had ordered the two halal options available on the menu which were the Scottish and Australian wagyu – both of high grade quality.
You are advised to cook the wagyu beef slices until it just turns brown which is enough so that the fat melts into the stock and the meat doesn’t become overcooked either. This lets the meat maintain a lovely mouth melting texture and absorb the flavour from the bubbling soup.
They provide a beef sauce with a heavy soy sauce base – perfect for dunking the poached beef into.
Sadly, the part I was most excited about was over and it was time to move down to the fish tier. The assortment of raw fish included crab, scallop, a kingfish slice, a seabass slice, and prawn balls.
Just like the meat, it was a short cook for the fish before they were ready to be eaten and at this point they had soaked up a good amount of fat from the wagyu slices. However the cooking for the seafood turned out to be tedious and needed to be meticulous as just a few seconds longer in the pan made some of the fish quite tough.
The dipping sauce for the fish was exceptionally good and was made using soy sauce, chopped garlic, and chilli paste. It was so good that I ended up mixing the remaining scraps into my pan.
The bottom tier consisted of a mix of tofu and mushrooms (enoki, oyster, and shiitake). As both the fish and the meat had been cooked in the broth beforehand, the tofu and vegetables had the upper hand in taking in the most flavours.
Next up were the rainbow noodles made using vegetables. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a big fan of the noodles; they become stodgy and hadn’t picked up on much of the essence from the stock.
Once you’ve wrapped up with the dunking, the stock has transformed from a simple and creamy base to an incredibly velvety, meaty soup packed with goodness from the proteins and vegetables. And it is all yours to drink!
At this point, we were satisfyingly full and I didn’t even have the urge to see the dessert menu. The soup had completely warmed us up inside and it was delectably light too so we didn’t feel like we had killed our cholesterols.
As I was invited to dine here, I am not sure of the total bill for two people but I figured it to be very expensive as just one portion of the beef slices come to £128. Phew.
I have only had a handful of experiences with halal hot pot in London but so far, Hot May has been the best. I absolutely loved my experience at Hot May hot pot. Yes, it’s expensive but it is ideal for a special date with that special someone.
The whole interactive dining made the evening so much fun and definitely memorable for the both of us as we haven’t had a night like that since HBAT has joined the family. The staff were extremely accommodating and provided us with a high chair and some fruit to keep little dude happy.
Disclaimer: I was invited to dine here
Hot May Pot Pot website, click here.
For other Hot Pot restaurants, see below:
- Food - 7/107/10
Halal status on select wagyu beef, oxtail broth, and chicken broth verified by the restaurant. No pork but alcohol present. This is not a child friendly restaurant but they are accommodating.