WWII Shelter Aims at Burning Your Tongue


If you have a savory taste and lean towards spicy dishes, Chongqing is a Chinese city worth exploring to satisfy your culinary experience. A popular local dish readily available is the hotpot dish. It is an interactive meal in which diners sit around a simmering soup pot with various raw ingredients, such as meat, seafood, vegetables, and tofu, sliced for quick cooking.

Although the dish might sound appealing, some people may opt-out of the food item during the summer heat wave with the high temperatures. Business owners adapted their services to transform World War II-era air raid shelters into dining restaurants, where the temperature is cooler for guests. Locals call this dining experience “cave hotpot.”

The dark history of the war present in the cave expands to cater to hungry customers. The store entrance welcomes guests with bold red Chinese letters that read: “Cave Pavilion Hotpot. Founded 1989.” People fascinated with historic buildings and fine cuisine might be thrilled to engage in this experience.

“We stay away from the summer heat in these air raid shelters. It’s cool in here, a good place to stay in summer,” said customer Tang Ronggang.

Diners serve beef tripe, meat, fish, and vegetables in a sizzling broth filled with scattered red chilli peppers and Sichuan peppercorns. For those with a lower spice tolerance, a non-spicy broth is also available so you do not have to sweat buckets.

Abandoned raid shelters are not the first location that comes to mind when considering where to open a restaurant. However, in extreme temperatures, it is worth embracing the cave hotpot.


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