Massive International Hot Pot Chain Liuyishou to Arrive in Boston
Boston, MA - Of all the myriad forms of shared meals, hot pot tends to be one of the more divisive. Vegetarians are at odds with non-vegetarians; heat seekers will invariably be at odds will milder tastes; and unless you and your dining companions share the exact same palates, virtually none of you will see eye to eye on exactly every ingredient.
Of course the simplest resolution would be to eat alone. But you don’t want to be that sort of glutton do you? (Good thing Liuyishou has divided preparation pots for selfish customization!)
Liuyishou Hotpot is perhaps one of the most wildly successful hot pot chains in the world; and while you can argue that the competition isn’t vast (the exact number of international hot pot chains can likely be counted on both hands if you’re not being modest), at over 1000 global locations and an annual gross revenue of over $576 million, it’s difficult to argue with numbers. Now they’ve announced plans to open their fourth US location in Boston starting in 2019.
Originally started in 2000 as a modest street cafe, Liuyishou exploded into a global phenomenon that counts adherents from locales as diverse as Canada, Dubai and France. What sets Liuyishou apart from other hot pot chains (chains,Shabu-Zen lovers; chains) is their offering of Chongqing style hot pot, notable for the lip-numbing introduction of Sichuan peppers as a broth base. And with a name that literally translates to “one armed Liu” (a pun on the founder, who lost an arm during a motorcycle accident)... well, let’s just say it could be a daring (albeit welcome!) move.
This would not be the first time a hot pot chain has attempted to make headway in the American market. Liuyishou’s main competitor, the Hong Kong-based Haidilao, has been operating with several locations in the U.S. for over four years now—with fair to middling success. But whereas Haidilao promises a multimedia experience with live entertainment, shoeshine stalls and subsequently commanding prices, the focus of Liuyishou appears to be on the food; not the amenities.
Reports from the recently opened location in Queens, NY indicate an extensive 32 item buffet style sauce bar, which also comes with includes fresh fruits and tripe salad; while the main soup ingredients are presented handsomely on round wooden platters, and contain items including boiled fish, braised duck and extensive vegetarian selections. There’s also an a la carte menu which includes beef tongue, tendon, lamb and tripe.
While an exact date of opening (or location) has yet to be set for Liuyishou, hot pot lovers in the Boston area know exactly where to go in the meantime. And where to go can be more divisive than who to go with.