Hai Di Lao is a famous hot pot chain that originated in China and also has locations in Singapore, Japan, and Korea. Hot pot is basically the Chinese version of Shabu Shabu, being a bit more flavorful. I recently ate at one located in Myeongdong, Seoul’s primary shopping district. This location is known for being frequented by K-celebrities, most notably members of Super Junior.
Upon being seated in the restaurant, the waitstaff hands you an iPAD to order your food. You pick the broth(s) that you want along with the meats, veggies, and other side dishes. My friend and I were seated at a table with a split broth container the first time I went, and she got the spicy broth while I got a mushroom-based broth. They also offer a tomato-based broth and one infused with herbs. We also got beef, meatballs, sausages, spinach, sweet potato noodles, and more.
We also ordered access to the sauce bar. You can mix and match any of their flavors and add garnishes such as nuts and chives. I mixed sesame, soy sauce, and chives. The sauce was both flavorful and light, complimenting all of the dishes we ordered.
As service for buying so much, the waitstaff cut our sausages so the juices wouldn’t burn our mouths after cooking in the broth. They didn’t do this the second time I ate at the restaurant, but they did seat us at a different table with individual pots.
The divided pot is good if you want more than one broth to cook your food in, but I only like one of the broths so I preferred the individual pots more. The total was around $50-60 for two people both times I went there, which seems expensive but it’s definitely worth it. I recommend this restaurant if you want to hang out with a big group of friends or just treat yourself to some good hot pot.