Hot pot is a lot of fun. But losing ingredients in the broth is a common frustration. You can spend so long trying to find a slither of meat in the broth that it ends up either overcooked or lost forever (and inadvertently wasted). That’s not a problem at Fishpot, a late-night Chinatown spot by Raymond Pang and Chek Cheng (both now-closed Niubi).

Fishpot has tech to keep you from losing your meat, seafood and veg in the large pots. Each table is fitted with a button that activates a hotpot lift – press it and your ingredients are strained and lifted up over the broth, showing you everything that was hiding under the bubbling surface.

While many hot pot joints around Melbourne offer spicy and numbing Sichuan malatang bases as their signature broth, Fishpot takes a creamier route. It’s based heavily on fish-head soup, so it contains a lot of dairy.

The namesake fish pot is made with grouper. Fish bones, chicken and spices are cooked low and slow for 15 hours to extract flavour, and once the broth is ordered, it’s cooked again with fresh grouper, taro and cabbage. Other seafood bases feature coral trout, parrot fish, abalone and pickled fish, alongside the usual spicy Sichuan mala, a mushroom-and-vegetable soup and nutrient-rich collagen broth.

And there are almost 100 individual ingredients to cook in them, plus platters for the indecisive. There’s premium A5 Kobe beef and M9+ Wagyu rolls for the meat, and live seafood including Aussie southern rock lobster, mud crab and abalone. Also find handmade fish and meat balls; your usual hotpot vegetables; different noodles and rice cakes; and a section of delicacies including beef tripe, duck blood, and bone marrow. Three fish tanks sit the condiment station, filled with live seafood – that’s prepared fresh to order.

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Updated: June 22nd, 2023

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