The hot pot restaurant culture is heating up across the globe. Being a diverse and multi-cultured nation, the US is home to some of the world's best hot pot restaurants. In a candid chat with Insider Monkey, David Zhao, co-founder The X Pot, shares what goes in the making of a culturally rich, aesthetically spellbinding, and tastefully unique hot pot experience.
Q: David, what's the history of The X Pot? Tell us about the team behind the X Pot.
David: The X Pot is founded by my partner, Harby Yang (Haibin Yang), and I. We first opened Chubby Cattle back in 2016, and fast forward to 4 years later, we now have 4 Chubby Cattle locations, and The X Pot is our newest venture. The team consists of many talented individuals from all walks of life.
We all came together as a team to create the best and most unique dining experience on the Las Vegas Strip. As the first and only hotpot restaurant on the Strip, we have become the destination for both Hot Pot lovers and people who are open to trying new cuisines.
Q: What inspired you to open The X Pot?
David: My partners and I wanted to disrupt the traditional hotpot restaurant industry by integrating cutting edge technology and Michelin level customer service. As a minority business owner, I pride myself on educating the public about our culinary traditions and bridging the gap of different cultures. In my opinion, everyone should try something new, something that is out of their comfort zone in their lifetime.
At The X Pot, we have curated special Chef's Tasting menus that are designed to teach people who are not familiar with Hot Pot. The menu offers ingredients that are both traditional to a Chinese Hot Pot restaurant and comparable to a 3-star Michelin Eatery.
Q: What's the difference between The X Pot and other Hot Pot restaurants?
David: The X Pot offers ingredients you might not be used to seeing at a regular hot pot place, such as a creamy lobster soup base, A5 Wagyu ribeye that's been dry-aged for 28 days, and Certified Kobe Beef. In addition to these premium offerings, the menu will include classic ingredients more common to the hot pot experience such as fish tofu, sliced beef tendon, and baby bok choy.
Q: What is the signature dish at The X Pot?
David: We have many unique dishes at The X Pot. But if I have to pick one, I will say the Wagyu Feast. The Wagyu Feast consists of Ribeye, Wagyu Short Rib, Beef Tongue, Short Rib Cube, Ribeye Cap, Brisket, and Prime Angus Ribeye. All graded as A5 (also known as the meat of Japanese Black, which is the highest grade given only to the finest beef)
Q: What's the goal for The X Pot looking into the future?
David: Since the opening, we have been receiving many positive feedbacks from our customers. We are so happy to see the growth of our brand, and we look forward to welcoming more foodies who are interested in exploring the culture of hotpot. We are so thrilled to announce that our second US location will open in early 2021 at the Roosevelt Collection Shops in Chicago's South Loop.
Q: What's it like to dine with robot servers?
David: A series of robots will help servers make dining "seamless" for visitors. The X Pot's smart-robot technology delivers each dish to the table in conjunction with human servers. The smart robot technology will allow robots to loop around to each table while being cautious of guests and staff, with the ability to pause at any moment. The X Pot robots are a must-see.