Hey hot pot lovers, gather ’round because we’re about to spill the deets on the hottest spot in the west – Dragon Hot Pot Footscray.
While you may be familiar with this fast-growing hot pot restaurant chain, their two-level Footscray branch is the only one you’ll find in Melbourne’s west. It’s also the biggest and busiest restaurant, bar the flagship store in Swanston Street, Melbourne.
And if you’re not familiar with Dragon Hot Pot, know this: it’s not your regular hot pot restaurant where everyone dips their ingredients into the same giant vat of soup. Instead, it’s a food fiesta with more ingredients than you can throw a chopstick at, plus a choice of soup bases that are all next level flavoursome.
Oh, and they cook it for you. Done and done!
Young Footscray food pioneer Mango Huynh gives us the lowdown on how Dragon Hot Pot found its first home in the west.
“I own Hot Dog Hustle in Footscray and knew the owner of Cafe Cui, which used to be on this site. He knew the owner of Dragon Hot Pot, and they offered us the opportunity to open the first franchise in the west,” he says. “I wasn’t sure I could take it on at first, but I sold my food truck to take advantage of this opportunity.”
In 2023 Dragon Hot Pot staked its claim as the hot pot royalty out west. With queues snaking out the door most days it’s been a taste sensation ever since.
“For the first month it was crazy! Because our soup bases can take up to eight hours to simmer, I literally slept in the restaurant so that I could produce enough soup around the clock to meet demand,” laughs Mango ruefully. “Wake up, switch on the stove, go to sleep, turn off the stove, put the next lot on the stove, over and over. You can’t cheat the process!
“Now, we go through 250 litres of soup a day, and double that on a weekend. I’m always here too, making sure that we maintain the quality.”
Let’s talk about their signature soup – the Malatang. Mango’s personal fave, and their bestseller. “It’s so flavoursome and you can choose your level of heat. We have people coming in three times a week to eat it!” Spoiler alert: those huge bowls are Instagram-worthy.
As well as their soup bases, what sets Dragon Hot Pot Footscray apart? You can choose from 300+ ingredients, some you won’t find at any other Dragon Hot Pot. We’re talking crayfish, boneless chicken feet, pig’s ear, vegan meat and fish balls.
Yep, a wild culinary journey awaits! Get ready to slurp, savour, and soak in the Dragon Hot Pot hype, right here in Footscray.