BANGKOK — Whether or not you have been hearing frenzy about the Chinese hotpot chain that comes with a complimentary nail spa and other extra perks while waiting for several hours to get a table, it’s coming to Bangkok this weekend.
Central World announced on Friday that Haidilao will open its flagship branch on the 7th floor of the mall this Sunday. Although it will not cater for 24 hours like in China, but the Bangkok branch will stay up late until 3am, according to the mall’s Facebook post.
Known for its Sichuan-style hotpot, spicy mala broth, and a table-front noodle dance, Haidilao is gaining its buzz among Thais who have been to China or neighboring countries like Singapore and Malaysia where it has become a craze.
But it’s not only food that makes it a worldwide hit, the chain is also known to cleverly turn the wait into an extraordinary experience by offering services like the shoe shining service, manicures, and even a card game for its starving customers – all without any extra charge.
Exact pricing information for Thailand is not yet available, but expect to pay around 1,500 baht (RMB 300) for a three person course, according to a review from a Thai foodie in Guangzhou.
Founded in 1994 in China’s Sichuan province, Haidilao has more than 400 restaurants in several countries across the globe including Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia, Canada, the US, and the UK.
In 2018, Forbes reported that the company raised up to 900 million dollars in the initial public offering, which aims to provide funds for global expansion. The fundraising also set its founder Zhang Yong to become the world’s richest food entrepreneur.
Although Thai tongues are familiar to Chinese cuisine, Haidilao is one of the few food chains from Mainland China to expand into Thailand, coming after Lugang Cafe which opened it first branch at the Asiatique in 2017.