The sleek new dining precinct above the revamped Chatswood station is going from strength to strength, with international Chinese hotpot restaurant Simmer Huang setting up shop on the top floor next to The District food court. The large, cavernous space is decked out with an industrial chic interior with splashes of red and slate columns, making it well suited to its unconventional hotpots which are born from Simmer Huang’s CEO’s ancient family recipes passed down from his ancestors who were chefs to the Emperor of China.
Instead of your regular broth and raw meat combo that you’ll usually see at a hotpot restaurant, Simmer Huang’s hotpots are assembled by their wait staff at each table and feature a base of butter paste and veggies, with the main protein on top and spices for seasoning, before simmering it all for about 15 minutes on their modern induction cookers. After that, Simmer Huang’s “secret sauce” is stirred into the hotpot to complete the dish.
Braised Spiced Pork Belly Simmer Pot $43.9
To celebrate their new eatery at Chatswood, Simmer Huang have teamed up with former Masterchef finalist Alvin Quah, who has created a delicious Braised Spiced Pork Belly Simmer Pot which showcases the indulgent meat in this unique format. We tried Alvin’s creation (dining with the man himself!), along with the Barramundi Simmer Pot and have to admit we definitely preferred the richer flavours in Alvin’s Simmer Pot compared to the Barramundi which had just a bit too many bones for our liking.
Braised Barramundi Simmer Pot, $49.9
The beauty of the Simmer Pots is that after you’ve finished with the majority of the hotpot, the leftovers are then turned into round 2 by the wait staff who spin and stretch out long noodles by hand at your table. The hand pulled noodles are added to the hotpot’s leftovers, along with broth to create something a bit more like a traditional hotpot. The broth is heavier than what I’m used to with standard hotpots, due to the richly flavoured butter base and secret sauces coating the hotpot.
Simmer Huang’s Chatswood outpost is also the first in the chain to feature a bar and I enjoyed their refreshing Plum Blossom cocktail which features Hibiki 12 Year Old Whisky, Aperol and oriental elements like osmanthus with smoked plum juice, blended with lemon juice and ginger ale.
Plum Blossom, $13
All in all, the Simmer Pots offer a different way to enjoy a hotpot – it’s still fun to do one for a group dinner and I love that their wait staff look after all the cooking at the table for you. Not to mention, you also get to eat the dish two ways, which keeps things interesting.
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of Simmer Huang
The District, Podium Level
436 Victoria Avenue
Chatswood NSW 2067