San Xi Lou, 7/F, 22/F, Coda Plaza, 51 Garden Rd., Mid-Levels, Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Opening Hours:daily 7:30pm-7am
Some might argue that there’s little point in reviewing a hotpot restaurant—you cook everything yourself after all, right? But a good hotpot (as any connoisseur knows) is all about a kick-ass broth, fresh ingredients and great sauces. And San Xi Lou has all of these in spades. After whetting our appetites with a bowl of fresh dan dan noodles and spicy chicken and peanuts from the a la carte menu, we crafted our own sauce from the condiment buffet and waited for our made-to-order broth. We went for a fiery Sichuan soup, which came filled with mouth-numbing peppercorns and fat, angry red chilies, tempered with a milder “miraculous chicken” broth on the other side of the yin-yang pot—don’t go for all-spice unless you’re an utter masochist. The pea shoot dumplings were magnificently fresh, and the lamb was roundly declared to be better than Little Sheep’s. The only disappointments were the assorted balls (fish, prawn, squid, beef), which were overly floury and kinda meh. But with their excellent English menu (good for tourists), $22 Tsingtaos and deliciously marbled, generously portioned beef platters, this is our new favorite Sichuan restaurant in Central.