In a country where half the year is rainy, it’s no surprise we’d have soups and stews among our favorite comfort foods. There’s nothing more soothing than a steaming hot bowl of hearty soup on a cold day—and it’s not just because of the temperature.
An article in Delish posits that one of the reasons soup is so good for us is also because of its ingredients. “Not only can the hot base be soothing to the throat and sinuses when sick, but a lot of the ingredients typically used in soup have immune-boosting effects, according to Tobi Amidor, a registered dietician and author of The Family Immunity Cookbook,” they write.
Another argument pro-soup is that it’s easy to prep and cook, and the ingredients you’d use for it are typically nutritious. You can whip up soup in five minutes in a microwave, or go with an all-out production number in the kitchen.
In the case of the popular hotpot, you can choose a broth, let it bubble and boil, then dump everything you want to eat—from veggies to noodles to meat. It’s an easy, filling, and satisfying meal.
TikTok, this era’s major trendsetter, has pushed the easy, humble hotpot into virality, and now we have a variety of hacks for sauce, DIY hacks, and various recommendations.
In this list, we choose three different types of hotpot that can satisfy those hotpot cravings for whatever occasion—whether it’s a casual lunch or a celebratory dinner.
Nabe Japanese Izakaya and Hotpot
780 Banawe St., Quezon City
Open Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Hotpot is a great communal dining experience because the typical setup has a large pot of broth (or in this case, two) that can be shared by members of the table. At Nabe, it’s even more fun because they offer unlimited hotpot, where you can order as many servings of the various meats as you can eat.
At Nabe, you can choose two from around 16 soup bases, which range from classics like shoyu, tonkotsu, and sukiyaki, to more unique ones like basic cream, curry, or spicy miso kimchi. They also have several meat options, like US beef short plate, pork shoulder Boston butt, chicken and pork dumplings, and even Angus beef. Other ingredients like vegetables, egg, and assorted balls are also available for the sides. Aside from the hotpot, you can also get rice and other Japanese dishes like karaage, maki, and even gyudon.
Suffice it to say, this hefty menu provides a pretty affordable offer that’s great for a casual lunch out with friends or family. And if you’re bringing a big party, Nabe has long table options, too.
Moon Hey Hotpot and Grill
848A Banawe St., Quezon City
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
You can find a more novel take on the hotpot experience at Moon Hey. Here, pots are individual, so you don’t have to worry about being a solo diner craving for hotpot. Another highlight here is that you don’t have to order your ingredients all at once—you can just pick and choose as they glide along a conveyor belt, passing in front of each diner.
Moon Hey offers four types of broth: mala soup, plain (tonkotsu) soup, suan la (hot and sour) soup, and tomato soup. Ingredients are also a mix of staples like beef belly, marinated pork belly, fish cakes, pechay, enoki mushrooms, and spinach cheese balls; fresh seafood such as crab, shrimp, clams, and salmon belly; and more unique ones like duck blood, pig liver, and tofu skin. You can also add on noodles and egg, for a heftier meal.
At Moon Hey, you can also just opt for the grill, if you’d prefer not having soup. A hotpot and grill combo is also available if you want to try both.
With such a cute, bright space and unique conveyor belt concept, this hotpot experience would be a good value-for-money option whether you’re going solo or with small groups.
Chairman FU Hotpot Bar
2nd floor, Garden Wing, Newport Mall, Pasay City
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Chairman FU makes for a perfect celebratory hotpot, ideal for special occasions, or on those days when you just really want to treat yourself to something good (because you deserve it!).
While the charm of the humble hotpot is ultimately in its customizability, ease, and variety of flavors, it can become even more impressive when packed with lush ingredients. At Chairman FU, they have flavorful broths like laksa curry and the piping hot mala beef cube broth, and gentler but delectable (and skin-soothing) ones like wild mushroom collagen and sweet corn and chicken collagen broths.
Toss into that a rich selection of meat like the Australian wagyu brisket, US prime chuck roll, or even some exquisite Japanese A5 wagyu ribeye, and you’re definitely in for a hotpot treat.
Another standout about Chairman FU is their selection of appetizers, which may well be as filling as the actual hotpot itself. The fried lamb barbecue skewers and crispy tripe salt and pepper for example are flavorful numbers you can just keep munching on throughout the night. As well as the delectable baked slipper lobster and the cumin steak smashed cucumber.
The restaurant also boasts stunning interiors: They have a tree in the middle of the restaurant, the view of which you can enjoy from their plush red booths as you sip your hotpot broth… or cocktail, because they have a bar, too.