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Where to Find the Best Hot Pot in Melbourne

Counter the city's chill with these piping hot hot pot spots in Melbourne.
By Ailene Wu
September 21, 2023
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By Ailene Wu
September 21, 2023
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WHERE TO FIND THE BEST HOT POT IN MELBOURNE

Counter the city's chill with these piping hot hot pot spots in Melbourne.

We are absolutely spoiled for choice with dozens of Melbourne hot pot, or huǒ guō (), spots around every corner in the food capital of Australia.

Hot pot is less of a dish and more of an experience. Think of it as the Asian version of fondue – a bubbling pot of broth sits in the middle of the table surrounded by platters of meat, seafood and vegetables, all ready to be cooked in a cauldron of soup. The only rule of hot pot is that there are no rules.  

We've done the hard work for you and hunted down the best places for hot pot in Melbourne that are heating up the scene. All that's left is to decide which one you'll dive into first.

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    The Dragon Hot Pot Restaurant in Melbourne - best hot pot in Melbourne

    Dragon Hot Pot has saved many a Melburnian’s life after a long night out. Open 24/7 with over 100 ingredients to choose from, this DIY malatang chain allows customers to create endless combinations of personalised hot pot. Unlike some of the other hot pot places on this list – it involves getting a bowl, picking your own ingredients from the glorious open fridge, and weighing your choices before choosing a broth and spice level. These legends have even created a vegan version of their original malatang soup base so nobody has to miss out – just don’t go in with an empty stomach or you might end up with a bowl made for two. No list of the best hot pots in Melbourne can exclude this haunt.

    Image: Griffin Simm

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  • 6
    a group of people eating at Panda Hot Pot - one of the best hot pot spots in Melbourne

    You’ve probably walked past Panda Hot Pot’s huge wooden doors and couldn’t resist snapping a pic or two. After taking over the old Dracula’s site in 2019, Panda has made its mark on Melbourne with its authentic Sichuan menu and free nightly entertainment. First, choose from their selection of seven soup bases — for those who are less spice inclined, don’t worry, there are heaps of chilli-free options at this Melbourne hot pot spot. Then you can start filling your table with platters of fresh seafood, roses made out of ox tongue, or a smokey box of dry ice layered with their signature cuts of meat. We recommend a jug of fresh watermelon juice to wash it all down, as well as a plate of their fried sticky rice cake for dessert – it comes out drenched in brown sugar and is chewy, moreish and the perfect way to end an unforgettable experience.

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  • 5
    A table full of raw food and soup at Da Long - best hot pot in Melbourne

    Da Long Yi has amassed a cult following around the world with Asian megastars like G-Dragon and Fan Bingbing endorsing their Chengdu style hot pot. The team pride themselves on their high-quality soup bases, with options including oxtail tomato, mushroom or chestnut chicken soup. Unlike other hot pot broths, the soup here is light enough to be slurped on its own or enjoyed in a bowl with some of their thick wide noodles. Other stand-out additions include their thinly sliced M6+ wagyu beef slices, fresh tofu, pieces of purple corn and cucumber filled with prawn meat. Even dessert is soup-ified, with a sweet Chinese-style soup made of brown sugar jelly, red bean, sultanas and goji berries. Da Long Yi is clearly home to one of the best hot pots in Melbourne.

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  • 4
    The dining room at Ji Yu - best hot pot in Melbourne

    If you feel like a break from Melbourne’s huge choice of Sichuan-style restaurants, this is the place for you. Choose between Jiyu’s signature sweet and sour tom yum soup or creamy Thai coconut broth – if you’re feeling indecisive, you can also opt for the two-in-one split pot which offers a taste of each. Seafood reigns supreme at this Melbourne hot pot joint, with street food-style menu options like spicy stir-fried pips, oysters or Thai seafood fried rice on the menu. For dessert, munch on the cutest rabbit-shaped pannacotta or try one of Thailand’s most beloved dishes  – mango sticky rice.

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  • 3
    The dining room at David's Master Hot Pot - best hot pot in Melbourne

    Have you ever wished you could wash down all that spicy hot pot with an ice-cold beer? David’s Master Pot branch in Glen Waverley recently renovated their beer garden located at the rear of the restaurant. After choosing your favourite ingredients from the open fridge, follow the neon signs to the cosiest outdoor area, full of gas heaters and artificial grass. Our tip is to try its signature stir-fry spicy pot – it’s a dry version of their famous soup base that uses over 20 kinds of Chinese herbs and spices for a fiery kick. Remember to ask for a complimentary bowl of steamed white rice for a match made in malatang heaven.

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  • 2
    Barbie doll with meat all over her at Spice World - best hot pot in Melbourne

    Best known for their viral Barbie dolls draped in slices of wagyu beef, this Melbourne hot pot venue is one of more than 500 stores internationally. As an added bonus, the menu allows guests to choose their own mini, individual pots instead of the usual shared soup in the centre of the table.

    Personalised service is at the forefront of their business model – you can expect Spice World bibs and complimentary hair ties to be offered, as well as the perfect dipping sauce concoction made from their homemade soy sauce. Dip pieces of Kagoshima A5 wagyu striploin or gold-dusted M9 short rib into your soup, sit back and let it melt in your mouth. Finish off the meal with the most intricately made purple sweet potato puffs shaped into black swans –  even the ‘neck’ and ‘beak’ of the potato-crafted swan are entirely edible.

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  • 1
    Raw wagyu meat at Da Miao - best hot pot in Melbourne

    If you’re feeling a bit strapped for cash, Damiao Panda Fan has your back. They pride themselves on delivering high-quality ingredients for a fraction of the price – their lunch buffet will only set you back $39.90 per person. Fill up your table with stuffed fish balls, beancurd, lotus root, beef slices, mussels, sweet potato noodles and eat to your heart’s content. Lunch hours are from 11.30am–3pm for $39.90 per person and dinner 5.30–10pm for $49.90 per person.

     

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Top images: Panda Hot Pot.

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