Shanghai: Laowang Hotpot (捞王锅物料理)

This was the greatest discovery this trip – thanks a lot to CEW who introduced this magical place to me. No regrets skipping Haidilao to try a new hotpot spot, which we enjoyed so much that we returned on our last night.

Ordering

This is the important part. As ordering is by way of scanning the QR code on the table, DOWNLOAD ALIPAY. It’s really a lot more efficient if you order your own food using the app, and pay with cash after (as foreigners who don’t have Chinese bank accounts will not be able to pay using Alipay). Posted a screen grab from my Alipay below, for reference:

THE BEST PART: FOOD

Choice of soups: here’s the catch, there aren’t that many soup bases to choose from as compared to the myriad that Haidilao has. We opted for the twin mushroom and pig’s stomach soup (¥98) as it was our first time at Laowang. Most of the tables usually opt for one soup, the pig’s stomach soup. Personally, while the mushroom was great (very earthy!), the pig’s stomach soup is really the best soup base ever – very peppery and creamy (as far as Chinese soups go, not the cream of mushroom sort) and full of chewy slices of pig’s stomach. My absolute favourite.

The first time we went to Laowang, we ordered 7 dishes after being told to cut down our orders. Omg, totally overordered but so, so good. Beef slices (¥38) were such a steal and great with the Laowang soy sauce dip with garlic – I’m still thinking of the dip, man. How can soy sauce and garlic be so good?!? Unreal.

To be honest, this is why we returned on our last night. During the first trip to Laowang, almost every table ordered this claypot rice, but as I was too trigger happy with the ingredients for our hotpot, we couldn’t get this. Super pleased that we returned for this btw – this is amazing claypot rice with crispy rice at the bottom, no burnt rice AT ALL, drenched with sesame oil, full of lap cheong (dried Taiwanese sausage) and a sprinkle of leafy vegetables for colour and ensuring it is semi-healthy – my favourite dish at Laowang. And the best part? Only ¥38 for a small portion that yields 4 servings. I think I would like to return to Shanghai to have this; this time with a group of pals so we can happily overorder.

Laowang Hotpot: Various locations, however our favourite was the North Sichuan Road branch 上海市虹口区四川北路1318号3楼(武进路口 盛邦国际大厦), website here.

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