Malatang delights Koreans' taste buds!
By chance I found out that "Chinese Malatang (another form of hot pot) delights Koreans' taste buds" became one of the hottest recent queries on Weibo. How hot? Yesterday's top spot. So what is the meaning of this sudden rise to stardom?
"Chinese Malatang delights Koreans' taste buds" became one of the hottest recent queries on Weibo.
The story begins with a research conducted by Korean convenience store chain CU, which analyzed its sales of beers from different countries. CU discovered a boom in the sales of Chinese beer, which has risen has a "powerhouse" in the Korean market. Data indicates that the market share of Chinese beer in Republic of Korea has hiked from 4.9% in 2014 to 10.2% in 2019, with its rank climbing from 7th to 3rd place. Korean industry analysts believe that the popularity of Malatang might be the "hidden secret" that has driven the growth in Chinese beer consumption.
Just how popular is the Malatang in Republic of Korea?
In Republic of Korea, the number of Malatang consumers has increasingly risen. Previously, Malatang restaurants are mostly found around Daerim-dong and Konkuk University, but in the past year or two such eateries have expanded to areas such as Gwanghwamun, Yeouido and Gangnam, even into niche commercial districts in communities and alley clusters.
A Malatang restaurant in Republic of Korea
Other than eating out, many Koreans have also taken a liking to DIY Malatang at home. According to data from a Korean online shopping platform, in 2019 the sales of Chinese spicy condiment and ingredients for Malatang soared by 96 folds compared with 2018, while sales of materials used for the preparation of ma la xiang guo ("numbing and spicy dry hot pot") also surged by 41 folds year-on-year.
Why is Malatang so attractive and addictive? Let's hear what the Koreans have to say:
"The freedom to choose ingredients is such a selling point for Koreans."
"When work gets too stressful, spicy hot pot is a great way to blow off some steam."
"A numbing and spicy storm is sweeping across Republic of Korea."
"The soup tasts extremely delicious."
Hungry for some spicy hot pot yourself? Here is a list of some fantastic Malatang restaurants that I have tried!
Little Gizzard Chuanchuanxiang of Steel Pipe Factory District Five
Avg. cost: RMB58/person
Add.: No.16-18, Tianxiang Street, Chengdu; No.267 HongXing Road Section 4, Chengdu; No.3 Middle Xi'an Road, Chengdu.
Ma Lu Bian Bian Malatang
Avg. cost: RMB76/person
Add.: 2/F, Shijie Plaza, No.16 Daye Road, Yanshikou, Chengdu; No.145-148, 1/F, 339 Shopping Center, No.96 Mengzhuiwan Street, Chengdu; No.12-3, South Yulin Street, Chengdu.
Niu Hua Ba Po No.8 Malatang
Avg. cost: RMB73/person
Add.: 1/F, Oriental Times Plaza, No.43 South Tianxianqiao Road, Chengdu; No.322 Shujin Road, Chengdu
Avg. cost: RMB63/person
Add.: No.100 of First Ring Road North Section 3, Chengdu; No.8 Nantai Road, Chengdu
Hurry and book your table for tonight!