Correction: Xiang Hot Pot is indeed coming to Chicago, but not to the South Loop. Another hot pot chain, Haidilao, is headed to that neighborhood. Update story follows.
Chinese hot pot chains are snapping up locations across the U.S. — and locally in Chicago — and now a New York-based company is leaping into the fray. Xiang Hot Pot, which operates locations in Brooklyn and Queens, is “coming soon” to an undisclosed location, according to its website.
Hot pot devotees should be able to try a selection of classic and non-traditional ingredients at the new Chicago location. And the company’s signature gimmick — edible teddy bears made with mala soup and butter that dissolves (slowly, it seems) into steaming broth — could be available too. Reps have not yet responded to a request for more information.
The best hot pot experiences require options, and Xiang Hot Pot’s menu has plenty to offer. Diners are instructed to choose from three soup bases — special spicy pot, house special spicy beef dripping pot, or a two-pot combo (Sanxian, tomato, mushroom, or butter). Classic ingredient options include meat (beef, pork, chicken), seafood (shrimp, squid, scallops), as well as tofu, mushrooms, and more. It also offers more unusual components such as fish heads, ox tripe and bone marrow, and wild bamboo fungus. The website also notes that the company only uses peppers that are hand picked in fields at an altitude above 3,000 meters (9842.52 feet).
Founded in 2003, the company seems to be picking up steam this year. Additional locations are also planned in Los Angeles, Houston, and Las Vegas.
This latest hot pot news comes on the heels of two other chains coming to Chicago. The unofficial “Mayor of Chinatown” Tony Hu plans to bring world-renowned Chinese chain Xiaolongkan Hot Pot to the former Won Kow space. And sushi and hot pot restaurant the X Pot, coming to the South Loop Roosevelt Collection with robot servers this spring or summer, is one of the most anticipated openings of the year.
Stay tuned for more news on Xiang Hot Pot’s Chicago debut.
Xiang Hot Pot, Opening timeframe and location not yet available.