Hotpot season is upon us, and the first in our series of hotpot reviews this upcoming winter is Three Travellers [sic] (三人行骨头王火锅), a chain that recently opened its newest baby smack dab in the middle of the fantastic restaurant corner that is Fumin/Julu Lu.
Unlike other Sichuan style hotpots, the specialty here isn’t of the numbing ma la variety. People flock here for the rich pork bone stock, a thick and fragrant broth that comes in a massive communal pot filled with cabbage, mushrooms, and taut and delicious meatballs. The bones are then served on the side, ready to be dropped back into the pot and re-simmered before you don plastic gloves and happily gnaw on them and suck out the marrow with a straw (or not, if you’re not into bone gnawing or sucking). On a freezing winter day, especially when you haven’t made a reservation before 6 pm and choose to dine on the outside terrace in order to avoid the 45 minute wait, there is nothing better than steaming bowlful and bowlful of some of the most flavorful stew to be found in Shanghai.
The other hotpot accoutrements are there as well; plates of fat-streaked lamb and beef, dumplings, mushrooms, duck blood, spam, noodles. Everything is clean and well presented and tasty and affordable (96 RMB for a pot that feeds 4-6), but it’s the stock that’s the celebrity here: we’ve heard that diners can go and feast on the pot without ordering anything else. Service is spotty since there are so many patrons, but Three Travellers is one of our top hotpot hangouts in town.
Three Travellers Restaurant – No. 758 Julu Lu, near Fumin Lu (三人行骨头王火锅 -巨鹿路758号, 近富民路). Tel: 6289-3369. Price: around 75-100 RMB a person. Click here for more locations.
Eric Hu is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news and gossip about Shanghai’s food scene to food at shanghaiist.com.