You may well have dipped your chopsticks into a hotpot elsewhere in London, but this is the first opening dedicated entirely to this way of dining. Shuang Shuang opened yesterday on Shaftesbury Avenue, and is set to be very popular if the buzz around it is anything to go by.
In case you're unfamiliar with the concept, diners choose from a range of broths, which bubble away in the centre of the table, ready for ingredients to be dipped into and cooked. There are five different flavours to choose from (two of which can be ordered at the same time), including Bird Berry (chicken and dried Chinese berries); Mala (Sichuan peppercorns and dried chilli); Herbal River (prawn heads and fresh lemongrass); Lamb Tonic (lamb bones and Chinese pickled cabbage); and Monk’s Broth (with soy milk, turnips and mushrooms). These broths are designed to be representative of China's different regions and diverse food cultures.
A selection of 50 different ingredients will be available for diners to pluck from a conveyor belt and plunge into their chosen pot, including thinly sliced free range meats, clams, wontons, Chinese pea shoots and mustard leaves, mushrooms, oysters (shucked to order — phew) and brown crab claws.
There will also be a range of snacks (think fish and seaweed floss and pomelo salad) and sweet items (e.g. deep fried dough sticks with condensed milk), plus a drinks menu including bubble tea and Chinese pineapple beer.
Teow-Thai restaurateur Fah Sundravorakul is behind the new restaurant, inspired by the comforting hotpots of his youth. Prior to opening Shuang Shuang he ran a number of restaurants in Thailand.
Shuang Shuang, 64 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 6LU