酒香不怕巷子深 – this is the best phrase to describe this excellent good eat found in deep in the alley of a residential estate.
Meals Stack HK Hotpot is found in a residential estate that was once a paddy field. Due to the economic miracle that happened in Shenzhen, these farmlands were redeveloped to house the expanding population in Shenzhen that came from all over China to work in the booming manufacturing plants. These days, the human migration continues with Shenzhen transforming to become the Silicon Valley of China.
The eatery is found in the back of an alley that is not accessible by car. You have to alight on the main road and walk through this dark alley that is not indicated in the GPS map. Hence many could not find the place, especially if they do not trust the position in the GPS.
The cuisine on offer is HK-style hotpot called 打边炉 or “hitting the side of the stove”. It refers to the action of taking raw ingredients and slapping them in the boiling pot of stock. The common hotpot features a metal pot on a stove. The traditional HK hotpot uses a earthen stove with burning charcoal with a claypot.
Unlike the normal hotpot, you start with a casserole. There are different casserole to choose from – sea cucumber and fish maw, chicken with sea whelk, etc. These are already a meal on its own.
We ordered the sea whelk, fish maw and chicken casserole as the base. It came with half a chicken cooked in a rich, creamy stock that included sea whelk and fish maw.
After we had enough of the casserole, we proceeded with the rest of the hotpot ingredients, like hand cut beef, pig’s blood pudding, beef balls, fried tofu skin, bamboo fungus, vegetables, etc.
Unlike the more traditional hotpot, you don’t drink the soup because it is overwhelmingly rich and heavy. The idea is to slowly swoosh the ingredients into the stock and let the flavours work their magic on the ingredients.
The eatery is run by a husband-wife team, with the husband running in the back in the small kitchen churning out all these goodies. The wife runs the front and with two helpers, straddling around 10 tables. The business was so good during the dinner time, you can expect up to an hour wait if you have not reserved a table beforehand. Good news, they are expanding to the second floor, taking over the apartment upstairs to cater to more tables. Recommended simple fare if you are in Shenzhen.
Meals Stack HK Hotpot 膳栈打边炉
Tel : (0755) 82553992
Date Visited : Nov 2020