Try this: Novelty hot pot at Spice World, Sydney

At Sydney’s latest hot pot restaurant Spice World, the novelties just keep coming. Fancy a Barbie doll donning a meat dress a la Lady Gaga circa 2010 or a soup base in the shape of Hello Kitty? You’ve got it.

And the gimmicks don’t end there. Robots make their way around the Chinese hot pot chain, carrying trays of mints and sesame oil cans. Free arcade games make long waits for a table a little less aggravating (we had to wait for an hour).

Gimmicks aside, the broth is good and the selection of meat, seafood, and vegetables is solid. Spice World offers either large shared pots or individual pots. We go for the former, which is split in half to allow for two types of soup. Both the mushroom soup and spicy soup prove flavoursome – especially the spicy broth with its slick of Sichuan oil on top.

The Barbie doll beef platter at Spice World. Image: Sarah Han

A DIY station is at our disposal with completely custom dipping sauces, plus a few side dishes and fruit to end the meal on a sweet note. We leave with happy bellies and the spicy smell of hot pot permeating our skin.

Find it here: Spice World, 405 Sussex St, Haymarket, Sydney.

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