I’ll bet you ¥5 that you’ve never eaten a from a pot like that before.

We were surprised by its appearance too. I mean, we did have the idea that Donglaishun was a traditional hotpot restaurant. But this far exceeded our definition of traditional.

Being one of the leading hotpot chains in Beijing, it is no surprise that there are multiple outlets branched across the city. Out of convenience for our itinerary, we selected the one at APM Mall found along Wangfujing Shopping Street. It was spacious and had good ventilation (which is one of my indicators for a good hotpot restaurant), albeit the temperature being slightly too warm.

Now, onto the traditional aspect of the food. We’re probably used to choosing chicken broth, tomato soup or mala as our hotpot broth. But take a guess at what their signature is?

Drumroll please… water!

We’re not kidding! Donglaishun uses laoshan mineral water for their 风味锅 fengwei pot (¥48, S$9). Those who prefer more robust flavors can upgrade to the 麻辣锅 mala pot (¥68, S$13) and 菌汤锅 mushroom pot (¥78, S$15). The above prices are for the large pot.

The prices for smaller parts are ¥28 (S$5) for fengwei, ¥38 (S$7)for mala and ¥38 for mushroom.

Donglaishun’s lambs’ diets consist of only mineral water and a wild onion native to Mongolia (Allium mongolicum Regel). Moreover, only the best parts of the cattle are optimized. We ordered several lamb dishes with that in mind.

For starters, we had a plate of Principal Filter Grill (炙子烤肉) (¥68; $13). The meat by itself had a pungent ‘goaty’ flavor. But the assortment of scallions and onions serrates the pungence with a sweet and spicy note.

For the hotpot ingredients, we ordered the Traditional Hand-cut Lamb Neck Meat. It was more tender than expected, with a milder ‘goaty’ taste.

Hotpot with water may sound a little unappetizing, but it allowed the ingredients’ natural flavors to be in the limelight. Especially in the case of Donglaishun, which uses high quality ingredients.

In my opinion, the anchor of the restaurant was mainly the traditional aspects of the cloisonne pot. The food was rather decent, but the only thing that exceeded my expectations was the Principal Filter Grill, which isn’t a hotpot dish.

Location: China, Beijing, Dongcheng, Jinbao St, 88号金宝汇购物中心5层
Tel: +86 10 8522 1234

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