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Hot pot wars heat up as global chain moves into this Burnaby mall

Haidilao in the Amazing Brentwood will take on Station Square's Dolar Shop
A sample of ingredients.

A hot pot chain with over 600 locations world-wide is about to open another restaurant in Canada, and it's in Burnaby.

Haidilao, which debuted in Richmond in late 2018, has already transformed the one-time Swiss Chalet franchise at 3204 West Broadway in Vancouver and is now set to move into the new Amazing Brentwood mall.

Signage has already been put up in Brentwood next to the skybridge that connects to the Tables food court.

Haidilao (sometimes spelled out Hai Di Lao) began in 1994 in Sichuan Province, in China. Their first U.S. location opened in 2013 in Los Angeles. They also have locations in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan.

The name "haidilao" means "fortune," and is a term used in the game of mahjong in Sichuan. 

Offering a selection of boiling soup bases, such as tomato, spicy butter, and the traditional oil, Haidilao is a classic hot pot set up: You pick your soup and cook your proteins and veg at your table.

This is the best hot pot I have ever had and will be a great addition to the Burnaby food scene.

One of the chain's signature moves is to go to great lengths to keep customers occupied while they wait for their table (as even with reservations, customers often are asked to wait). They offer things like board games, snacks, and manicures for waiting customers. Of course, with COVID-19 forcing restaurants to scale back on the number of guests in the venue at a time, and on interaction, it's likely you won't be getting your nails done at the restaurant any time soon. 

Haidilao will be taking on The Dolar Shop in Station Square in the Metrotown area. It’s a global hot pot giant that operates in several U.S. markets, Australia and, of course, all across China. There’s also one in Richmond.

The company boasts that its hot pot is fresher than others and offers the kinds of ingredients that aren’t offered at other restaurants. Such as wagyu beef cubes, shrimp pate, peony shrimp and more.

As for the broths, there is a black truffle broth among the options, as well as tomato and oxtail.

Both of those are something I’ve never seen at a local hot spot. And I’ve tried a lot of them so it will be interesting to see how the competition goes.

No opening date has been set just yet for the Brentwood location of Haidilao, simply that it is "opening soon." Follow Haidilao on Facebook for updates.

  • With reporting by Lindsay William-Ross, Vancouver is Awesome
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