Taiwanese Hotpot at Shuang Shuang, London

The concept of hotpot for one at Shuang Shuang completely bowled me over, and I have since been 3 times. The menu has changed with each visit and the prices have gotten far more reasonable since it first opened too.

I adore hotpotting. It's just one of those epic Chinese meals that are highly sociable whether you have it in a restaurant or have it prepped it at home, but it's definitely the sort of meal that require a few people to share everything and would be really tricky with one or two people.

Usually, everyone gathers at the table, a steaming pot of soup bubbles away whilst you choose whatever meat, fish, vegetables or carbs you'd like to throw in. Everything is dunked into the boiling soup, cooks pretty fast and then dipped in your favourite sauce.

And this is where Shuang Shuang is super smart for coming up with the idea of small plates on a conveyor belt a la Yo! Sushi style. With everything as small portions, you get to try a bit of everything without needing to order large portions of the same thing which is how hot pot is traditionally done.

Service at Shuang Shuang is not great though. Half the staff are not really sure what some of the food items are, they're not very attentive and no one knows how to smile and greet customers properly. My third visit as a new mum with a pram was met by the very unaccommodating restaurant manager which made me feel like I was a nuisance to them, which to say the least put a right damper on my evening. Terrible service aside, the food really is superb and just where else can you get hot pot for one?

Shuang Shuang is Taiwanese but the food on offer is not much different to the usual Hong Kong style of hotpot that I'm used to. All the ingredients are super fresh, good quality and tastes awesome.

Everyone gets their own small individual hot pot directly in front of them, how super! The hotpot station comes with temperature dials for the pot, as well as condiments and the all important chopsticks and scoop for fishing out the food.

These are the photos from my first visit at Shuang Shuang. There are 4 soup choices now, though there used to be 5 or 6.

My favourite is this black bird soup, it's intense with gamey flavours but refreshingly mild and clean tasting at the same time. I also tried the mala soup and fishpond soup (they no longer serve this one) from Charlie and Etta's hotpot. The mala was not great, a little on the bitter side and not aromatic enough. The fishpond was quite strong in taste and I can't say I loved the strong sour and fishy notes.

Foodie night with Charlie and Etta!

For the dipping sauce, I went for all of them and mixed the lot together. That's red beancurd paste, sha cha paste, sesame paste, garlic puree, spring onion, chillies and sesame seeds. So good! I love that they offered the red beancurd paste, it makes the sauce taste totally authentic.

My station.

Their homemade tofu fishballs which come in 3-4 different varieties are just sensational. These balls are not really something you can buy in Chinatown supermarkets, so they really are quite special.

Fresh prawn paste to make your own prawn balls. They come in this cute little scoop, so you just use the mini spatula to cut and scrape directly into the hotpot.

Plates cleared.

The soya milk ice cream with candied ginger was great in concept, but actually quite unforgettable.

I always get the market set to start, since it's really great value for money. The soup base alone is £7-8, and this set comes with the soup, a noodle and 3 green plates.

Shuang Shuang
64 Shaftesbury Avenue

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