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Solo Hot Pot

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Edmonton, Canada
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24 posts
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Solo Hot Pot

Hi, I'll be travelling to Sichuan in November by myself. I'm looking forward to the Hot Pot but everytime I see these restaurants on TV it seems to be serving large groups family style. Can you just show up by yourself and grab a seat at a table, or what should I be looking for in order to enjoy this experience?

Shanghai, China
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1. Re: Solo Hot Pot

Sure you can but it's not fun at all to have hot pot by yourself. It's like playing table tennis against a wall. Can do, but no fun. I really suggest you to find some people joining you.

Edmonton, Canada
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2. Re: Solo Hot Pot

ideally yes, but when travelling alone this is the reality some times! Also, since I don't speak any Chinese languages and will only be in Sichuan and Hunan for a total of two weeks (not much time in any one place) it may prove difficult to meet people to go with.

Shanghai, China
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2,237 posts
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3. Re: Solo Hot Pot

Well, then go for it and already get used to dozens of locals looking at you in the restaurant thinking "look at this poor foreigner - no one joined him" ;-) And choose one with an English menu, otherwise you might get unpleasant surprises. Local friends of mine just love to order pig brain to put in the hot pot.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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4. Re: Solo Hot Pot

Yes, hot pot is a group activity. The point is to order a large variety of meats, vegetables, mushrooms, etc. You cannot really do this on your own.

THe only alternative that I have seen where singles can order hot pot is a place in Beijing where you pay a fixed rate. Every person has his own pot (like Beijing style hot pot) and there is a conveyor belt with various food items (like in a sushi bar). However, the Sichuan type hot pot is not conducive to this.

Edmonton, Canada
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5. Re: Solo Hot Pot

Is it possible to get good hot pot food on the street? As in, can I sample a wide variety of food in this way, without having to do a table and pot all by myself?

Sherbrooke, Canada
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38,791 posts
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6. Re: Solo Hot Pot

For hot pot you are served raw food. You need the pot to cook it.

Edmonton, Canada
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7. Re: Solo Hot Pot

right, I was just hoping that there'd be someone on the street with a big pot that would do skewars of raw stuff for people as they passed by. Looks like I'll have to try and make friends in my short Sichuan stay!

Chengdu, China
6 posts
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8. Re: Solo Hot Pot

B4 you go to or in Sichuan, you can send me email, i'd like to give you some advice on living travelling&eating etc. in Chengdu. Cuz i am a local who is live in CD.

Kunming, China
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9. Re: Solo Hot Pot

#7 -- <<"right, I was just hoping that there'd be someone on the street with a big pot that would do skewars of raw stuff for people as they passed by.">>

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Actually, there are plenty of places exactly like this where you pick skewers of meat and vegetables and then the proprietor cooks them for you in a "common" pot. These are usually low cost and you eat on tables set up in the evening on the sidewalk.

Chengdu has many such small eateries and they are ideal for trying hotpot when you are alone. I've had them in other Sichuan cities as well. Your only problem may be finding one when you want it. These are the kind of places you just "stumble upon" while walking in a snack and "small food" area.

Edmonton, Canada
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10. Re: Solo Hot Pot

any areas in the city that are particularly good for these street food type of places?