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Authentic Sichuan Hot Pot Comes to Chinatown

Now here’s something SEEN would like to try, particularly as this week is set to be freezing: authentic Sichuan Hot Pot from Shu Xiangge Chinatown. The cuisine of southwestern China has arrived in Gerrard Street. Mouth-numbing, fragrant and spicy beef fat oil broth made with 12 different spices and a selection from 80 different ingredients: ox tongue, beef tendon, tripe and aorta, premium Wagyu beef, and Rib Eye, as well as fresh seafood and vegetable options. Whilst hardly for vegetarians and vegans, there’s no denying the heartiness of the dishes on offer.

It will be cooked at the table in classic Sichuan style in 9-grid pots, a tradition that goes back 200 years to the Yangtze River in Chongquing, Sichuan province, where hot pot dining was the habit of boatmen on the riverbank. Villagers sat around the pot and tossed ingredients into the broth to cook: the more sections there were, the more people could join for dinner.

So it will be at Shu Xiannge Chinatown as diners gather around a 9-grid Hot Pot and share different soups and broths, favouring ingredients from Sichuan province and local London markets.

The restaurant is set across two floors with 110 covers. The décor will epitomise the cultural and historical aestheticism of ancient China with replicas of Chinese ceramics, wooden vases, traditional paintings and crafts. A mural will dominate the dining room from floor to ceiling featuring a section of the masterpiece ‘Along the River During the Qingming Festival’ by the Song dynasty artist Zhang Zeduan. Solid dark wooden tables, chairs and cream and wood ceiling lamps come directly from Sichuan.

The founder of Shu Xiannge Chinatown, Terry Zhao, spent a year researching the styles and flavours of the Sichuan region. The new restaurant in Chinatown is the sister of the Holborn branch, which opened in 2016.

Shu Xiangge Chinatown
10 Gerrard Street