Real Beijing Chinatown Halal Hot Pot

Chinese hot pot is always a special thing. Whenever the temperature drops during winter, hot pot is immediately on the cards. It’s not just a meal but a social event as everyone sits around a big bubbling pot dipping & cooking their food. There were barely any halal hot pots available in London before and, if we were desperately craving for hot pot, we would go for just seafood and vegetables. But let’s be honest, it’s just not the same without meat! So when we came across Real Beijing’s halal all-you-can-eat hot pot offering, you bet we came running over to Chinatown to try it. As it’s so centrally located, we have been there several times since and I think it’s safe to say it has now become my hubby’s favourite spot in town!

What is Chinese Hot Pot

Chinese hot pot is a communal way of dining where you have a simmering pot of flavoured broth over a portable stove served at the centre of the table. You will have a tableful of raw ingredients and everyone will cook the food in that bubbling broth. The food served typically consists of thinly sliced meats, a variety of seafood, tofu, mushrooms, Chinese vegetables, noodles, dumplings, etc. As for the broth, there are many varieties as well including herbal broth, Sichuan mala chilli broth, clear broth, etc. Once the food is cooked, you will dip it in a serving sauce to eat. As mentioned, it is an incredibly popular dining option during the winter months as the bubbling pot and all the steam certainly keep you warm!

Hot pot originates in China but it has made its way all across East Asia. In Southeast Asia such as Thailand and Malaysia, hot pot is known as “steam boat”, typically featuring Tom Yum broth or curry-flavoured broth. The Japanese have also taken the concept and made it into their own “shabu shabu”, using kombu dashi broth and only serving thinly sliced beef, vegetables & tofu instead of a whole tableful variety of ingredients.

Real Beijing: Halal All You Can Eat Hot Pot in London Chinatown

Date of visit: December 2023 and multiple visits since

You can find Real Beijing restaurant at the end of Gerrard Street where it intersects with Newport Place near the Soho Fire Station side. The restaurant spans two floors and hot pot is typically served upstairs where all tables are equipped with an electric stove. If the upstairs area is too busy, downstairs will be open for hot pot as well using traditional portable gas stoves. Make sure you ask for the halal menu when you get seated.

All-You-Can-Eat Price: £32.99 per person (there is a food wastage fee for £10 a box)

Is Real Beijing in Chinatown halal?

Yes, a separate halal menu is available. Alcohol and pork are served at the restaurant.

Halal hot pot at Real Beijing London Chinatown

The Broth / Soup Base

At Real Beijing, the halal hot pot menu offers clear soup base, Sichuan-style spicy soup base, tomato soup base, and mushroom soup base. Having tried all of them, our favourite is the tomato soup base, which is beautifully rich in flavour and complements every ingredient impeccably.

The beauty of hot pot is that you can opt for two flavours as the pots typically come in dual compartments. As hubby enjoys spice, we typically go for the Sichuan-style spicy soup base as the second broth flavour. The spicy broth doesn’t add a lot of heat per se but carries a numbing “mala” flavour from the Sichuanese peppercorns. We also enjoy the mushroom broth a lot but the tomato broth is the one we adore the most.

Hot Pot Food Ingredients

Meat, meat, meat! The beef & lamb slices are a must, sliced paper-thin and neatly rolled up. There are options for just regular beef/lamb and premium beef/lamb. In all honesty, confirmed by staff as well, they are just the same. We have a slight preference for lamb as it’s got a bit more flavour in our opinion. Chicken is also available but they are served in the form of chopped-up bone-in chicken rather than thin slices.

There is also a decent selection of seafood to choose from, including prawns, mussels, fish slices, baby cuttlefish, squid slices, fish balls (may not be on the menu but do ask for it!), etc. For vegetables, Chinese cabbage is essential and we also enjoy Tong Hoo, which is a coriander-like leafy vegetable unique to East Asia. A variety of mushrooms are also available such as Enoki Needle Mushrooms, Fungus, Oyster Mushrooms, and Shiitake Mushrooms.

A hot pot is not complete without noodles and we have thoroughly enjoyed the options available at Real Beijing. My personal favourites are the fresh noodles and udon, while hubby’s favourites are the rice cakes and wide vermicelli.

Hot pot beef slices at Real Beijing London Chinatown

Dipping Sauces

We would recommend getting sauces as they complete the hot pot dining experience. Options available at Real Beijing include Sesame Sauce, Minced Garlic in Sesame Oil, and Soy sauce. They are charged £2 per dip and we like to order all three, or at the very least the sesame sauce plus minced garlic sesame oil, and mix them together with a little splash of the hot pot broth in our bowls.


Drinks are charged separately on top of the all-you-can-eat price. For a traditional Chinese hot pot experience, we recommend ordering a jug of sour plum juice (酸梅湯), which is a popular pairing with hot pot to help with digestion and expelling the “heat” from your body. It’s got a sweet and zesty tangy flavour that’s incredibly refreshing. It’s great for hot pot and is also great for opening up your appetite to make the best deal out of the all-you-can-eat offer!

Alternatively, you can also get Aloe Vera Juice, Coconut Milk, Chinese Teas, or any typical soft drinks.

Real Beijing Review Summary

We are just absolutely thrilled about being able to enjoy halal Chinese hot pot in London. As mentioned, we have revisited Real Beijing several times after and it’s always a joy to get our hot pot fix there whether it’s just the two of us or with friends and families. We are aware of more halal hot pot places slowly popping up in London but Real Beijing’s central location is a huge draw and most convenient for us. Furthermore, if you somewhat still have space for desserts after the hot pot feast, there are plenty of desserts and/or bubble tea options all around Chinatown to make a proper foodie day/evening out of it!

  • Food
  • Value for Money
  • Atmosphere
  • Service

Halal Status

Separate halal menu available. 

Real Beijing Restaurant Info

Nearest station: Leicester Square

Tel: 020 3278 1888
Restaurant Website | Instagram

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