UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 9, 2020 — It may be spring, but it's definitely still hot pot weather in Melbourne. And Thai soup specialist Jiyu is now delivering its spicy and warming bowls to homes across the city. You can choose from hot pot set meals with all the trimmings (starting at $119 for two-to-three people) or go for mini hot pots ($59 for two). Plus, it has teamed up with Gotcha to bring bubble teas to your door for $5.50 a pop. You can check out all the deets here.
Melbourne's got a clear penchant for hot pot. The city's full of Sichuan-style spots pouring big bowls of spicy broth, but at the CBD's Jiyu, you'll find something a little different: classic Thai soup dishes. A contemporary seafood restaurant with a hefty hot pot offering, Jiyu has made its home in the heart of Chinatown on Little Bourke Street, right next to a Gotcha Fresh Tea. Across two levels, it's working a breezy fitout of pastel pinks and white tiles, finished with lots of foliage and bottle green banquettes.
An express lunch menu encourages solo hot pot adventures. Start by choosing your base: tom yum, pepper chicken, creamy curry laksa or sour fish soup. Then, pimp it out with your choice of noodles, rice, fresh veggies and proteins, from $16.80 a bowl.
Dinnertime brings a similar array of bubbling soup base options, though here they're made to share between two–four people, and can be enjoyed as an interactive group feast at the table. Seafood reigns supreme across the rest of Jiyu's menu, with plates like prawn pancakes ($12.80), Thai-style stir-fried pipis ($12.80) and a rich and lively prawn curry ($29.80).
Dessert might bring treats like a bowl of mango-topped sticky rice ($6.80), while the cocktail lineup features creative fusions like The Lost Pearl — a blend of fresh lychee, popping yoghurt pearls, gin, tonic and blue pea flower ($22). See also a range of fresh juices and a booze-free collaboration line with the crew at Gotcha Fresh Tea.