As a kid, my favourite place was Yo-Sushi.
I loved the freedom of being able to choose my food.
I loved the feeling of eating more than my siblings.
Most of all, I loved the fact that it was fun!
So, when I heard that a hot pot restaurant was combining the “Yo-Sushi” conveyor belt with hot pot, I immediately went to try it out.
Shuang Shuang (爽爽, also one of my favourite Chinese words) is an up-market hot pot restaurant located at the Shaftesbury Avenue/Wardour Street intersection just outside of China town.
The first thing I noticed walking inside was that I felt like I was in a zoo – the huge windows mean that people walking by are constantly staring inside!
However, not to be deterred, I sat down and immediately order the blackbird broth and an aloe juice.
(You can tell it’s an upmarket restaurant – they have hipster lights!)
(Before I made a massive mess……They give you a bib for a reason!)
Whilst I waited for the broth to arrive I started stockpiling the best plates (spam, mixed mushrooms, watercress, spam, mixed corn, spam, gailan, fried tofu, spam, spam and more spam). I wouldn’t normally eat spam, but there is something about hotpot that makes spam so delicious!
Luckily for me, the broth arrived before I could embarrass myself further. Before digging in though, I spent a few minutes creating my dipping sauce. This is, probably, the most important step in hotpot and everyone claims their’s is the best (the one I make at home involves a lot of sesame, sesame paste and peanut butter!).
Once ready, I tipped the dishes into the hot pot and watched the pot carefully so as to not overcook the food. You can generally tell when things are done – as a rule, they start to float!
After about 30 minutes, I was done (but only after demolishing these plates!):
The verdict? The food at Shuang Shuang is decent (the ingredients are of a higher quality than most hot pot restaurants; the stock is clean tasting and, as far as I know, not a single person from our group got “hot pot belly” afterwards) and at a similar price to other hot pot restaurants in the local vicinity. The use of a conveyor belt adds a sense of fun and definitely brought back childhood memories.
Would I go back? Yes, it is probably the best hot pot restaurant in London at this price point. Although next time I might just order spam.