Haidilao provides a very different informal dining experience. Our hotel concierge made a reservation for us and warned us not to be late as the restaurant gets very crowded. You are first seated in a waiting area that has complementary snack food, board games, and drinks. There are also video games at the back of this area and a play area for small children. After a very short wait, we were seated at a hot pot table. We ordered off of a picture menu with some help from the non English speaking waitress. We got a spicy broth (which was really spicy!) and a mushroom broth which were side by side in the middle of the table. The Mongolian beef was excellent! We tried the "scallops" but they turned out to be mixed seafood and weren't that great. Our waitress tried to steer us away from this dish and we should have listened to her. Don't miss the sweet potato. they are delicious cooked in the hot pot! We also really liked all of the green veggies. The hand-pulled noodles are really tasty in the broth and come with a bonus "noodle man" who hand pulls and twirls the noodles at your table before putting them in the broth. There is a condiments table that also has some cold appetizers and fruit. I know some reviewers commented that this meal seemed expensive but we thought it was remarkably inexpensive and entertaining. Five of us (all adults) ate for 256 yuan which is less than $10 per person.
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