Hai Di Lao in Sydney worth it?

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Hai Di lao at Chatswood

Hotpot was unheard of to most Aussies while I was growing up, and your best bet was to make it yourself at home. (click here to learn how to make hotpot at home) But now it’s a much loved social event for Aussies wanting to gather together around great food. 

Today, I’m taking you to Haidilao’s Chatswood branch to see if it lives up to the Haidilao hype. 

Here are all the details:


Shop 607 / 8/1 Anderson St, Chatswood NSW 2067

Haidilao is an international hotpot chain originating from Sichuan, China. They are famous for their incredible customer service and, of course. Hotpot. 

The hotpot they specialise in is the Sichuanese style mala hotpot. However, my family has Cantonese tongues (a.k.a we suck at spicy food), so we didn’t go for any of their mala soup bases this time. 

We went for a half/half, Chicken soup and Tomato soup base. 

We went a bit crazy with ordering since it was my mum’s birthday, and ordered a few items in almost every category on their menu. 

To start off, we have various meat balls and shrimp paste. The signature shrimp paste was really good. Extremely fresh, had a good flavour to it. The cheese sausages were a little disappointing as the cheese doesn’t melt or burst out. 

Great for safety, but I had expectations of hot liquid cheese bursting out with each bite…

We also ordered a bunch of meats such as wagyu beef, pork belly and squid. But a personal favourite is ox tongue. I have it every single time I eat hotpot. 

The texture isn’t like the usual beef slices and it doesn’t have the usual gamey taste like other organ meat. It’s the best of both worlds. 

The marbled pork belly was also great. Fatty meat soaking the soup is something you can’t go wrong with. 


Other items I really enjoyed was the radish, fried fish skin and plain noodles. 

We ordered the dancing noodle as well, which was great fun to watch. However I preferred the plain noodles more. and it’s cheaper!

Which brings me back to “is Haidilao worth it?”. We ordered a wide range of items off their menu from almost all categories and there’s a few that stood out for me. Such as the ox tongue, shrimp paste and noodles.

Is it the best hotpot in Sydney? Maybe not. 

But is it worth it? Yes! 

Everything was fresh, tasted good and I enjoyed the soup bases. But you don’t come to Haidilao for just the food. You come for everything else.  

From the extra perks while you wait for a table, to the birthday signs they took the time to prepare. To the extra snacks and fruit they give out, to the level of care you will experience while eating. 

Haidilao isn’t just a meal, it’s also entertainment. 

Janice Fung

Janice Fung

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