Wang Fu (Mimóza) Chinese Restaurant

For an interactive, communal dining experience, consider visiting Wang Fu (Mimóza), a long-standing Chinese restaurant a bit outside Budapest's city center. Wang Fu's specialty is hot potting, and their system works like this: first, you choose the ingredients from the two oversized fridges by the entrance, containing a countless variety of meats and vegetables. In the meantime, servers will prepare the cooking broths at your table. The fun begins when you start dipping the ingredients into the hot liquid for anywhere from a few seconds (raw beef) to several minutes (noodles).

Selecting the winning combination from the hundred or so options can be overwhelming. The popular and safer choices for first-timers are the classic shaved mutton (a staple of hot pot), shrimp, squid, fish ball, different types of tofu, shiitake (or other types of mushroom), lotus root, napa cabbage, and bok choy. If you like to experiment, also get the pork blood, which goes well with the peanut-based dipping sauce.

Wang Fu's default broth comes in a split pot with a light chicken broth and a somewhat spicier version enhanced by chili paste and chili oil. Towards the end of the meal, the broth transforms into a rich soup from absorbing the flavors of all the ingredients in it. For dinner, come on the earlier side (before 7 p.m.) for the liveliest ambience.