Hot pot. Some sat that the hotpot from Chongqing is the beset and most addictive, perhaps because it is awash with chillis. The Chinese hotpot is a great meal. The ones we ate in Beijing involved sitting round a table on which stood a pot. Into this a block of frozen stock was dropped with a bump, hot water poured over it and the heat turned up under it. The block quickly melted and provided a stonkingly hot spiced, very red broth called hong tang. To the table where delivered slivers of meats, fish, prawns (US: shrimp), noodles, mushrooms and one or two other completely unidentifiable things. These would be dipped in, dragged through the boiling stock for a few seconds and then popped into the mouth, slightly like shabu-shabu in Japan. I gather there is a milder version of the stock called yuan wei and I do slightly wish that we had had that one. Strange. I don’t mind the brains and duck bowel but I think sometimes that my need for chillis is decreasing.