Haidilao Hot Pot is a local culinary sensation in Shanghai. It is so popular that there are usually long queues waiting for a spot at the coveted tables. Thankfully the wait usually isn't too long - and the service here is legendary. While you wait you are given lots of snacks to keep you happy, and there are even free manicures for the ladies.
Once you are seated, you order the food on a tablet. It is quite convenient as the total is tallied up on the tablet as you order - so you know exactly how much you are spending. There are different types of soup base to choose from - we chose the Sichuan hot oil soup and a herbal soup. Personally I prefer the herbal soup which has a nice subtle fragrance - whereas the Sichuan soup tends to mask the taste of most items dipped into it.
Besides the normal ingredients for the hot pots such as pork, lamb, beef and seafood, you can also order other small dishes and snacks to complement the meal.
Order then Kung Fu noodles and you get a noodle master to perform at your table.
Service throughout the meal was exceptional by China standards. Wait staff were always at hand to help with cleaning up the table, topping up the soup, divvy up the food, etc. This is one of the most pleasant, satisfying and value-for-money dining experiences you could have in Shanghai, and it won't end up emptying your wallet either.