By Chelsey Chen
Hot Pot is a very old way of preparing and serving dishes cooked up in a big pot at the table where the people boil the food by themselves. This eating and cooking style comes from China and it has at least a 1,000-year history. Usually Chinese people like eating Hot Pot in winter because the pot stays at a constant boiling temperature, but a lot of people like to eat it in the summer in a venue with air-conditioning. Therefore Chinese Hot Pot has become a very popular dish in any season and everywhere in China.
Today, Hot Pot is not only popular in China as you can also find it very easily in many foreign countries because of a lot of Chinese immigrants, just like in Budapest where there is an excellent and highly authentic Chinese Hot Pot restaurant. This restaurant’s name is Wangfu, and it has good and simple Chinese-style interior design. It opened at least 15 years ago and while the place looks quite big, it can still be hard to make a reservation, especially in winter. The restaurant is located at Hungária krt. 174 at the corner of Mimóza utca, (Zip Code: 146 Budapest), so you just take any convenient transport and change to tram No.1 to reach Erzsébet királyné útca and continue by foot about for about three minutes to get there. You can also drive there but you may find it hard to park.
Outside the restaurant there is a huge sign that has two big words written on it –Wangfu(王府) in Chinese, so you can spot it easily. This restaurant is particularly interesting because there is no written menu – the guests just order what they see in the big fridge and whatever they want to eat, so this way of ordering is very good for anyone, even people who do not speak Chinese.
Wangfu has lots of fresh food for guests to choose from, such as shrimp, fish, tofu, scallops, vegetables, and so on. If you are Chinese you get a feeling of home, while if you are foreign – this is where you can find authentic Chinese cuisine. A great thing for all guests is that you can order all fresh food in half measures, so this is very good for first-time visitors, but this does not include appetizers and warm food. Before you eat Hot Pot, you must choose what type of soup you want – spicy or non-spicy or just both of them, then you can start eating with your food and Wangfu special sauce.
At the end of the meal, you will be given free fruit and special sweet back rice porridge when you pay. Wangfu also has quite good prices though it depends on how much food you order. Finally, Hot Pot is a great and special Chinese cuisine you have to try and Wangfu will be become your favorite in Budapest.