San Mateo, CA

Conveyor Belt AYCE Hot Pot in the Bay Area? Sign me up!

Vee Eats

If you are looking for a huge selection of items for your all-you-can-eat hot pot during this winter season, head over to Seapot in San Mateo for your seafood cravings to warm you up. The concept of this restaurant is quite unique because instead of choosing the items from a menu or iPad, this place has small bowls of hot pot ingredients coming from a conveyer belt which makes the experience even more enjoyable and fun. You choose the soup base and meat first then dive right into grabbing the ingredients of the belt. However, due to COVID, they had to pivot and there is a QR code at the table where you can see the menu and order your items. If you want faster service, I would recommend asking the server for the items instead. While the portions are quite small here, I love that it gives you the chance to try something else versus having a huge portion that you have to finish. There are tons of options to make your own sauces from the sauce bar which also has appetizers. Located in a plaza, there is a parking lot right outside so you don’t have to struggle to find parking. If you’re interested in dining with Seapot during the pandemic, they currently offer reservations through the Yelp app for outdoor dining.

I was impressed by the selection of choices on the belt. The items range from blue crab, fish balls, vegetables like lettuce and cabbage to pig blood, clams, mussels, tofu skin, etc. They even have a decent noodle selection with vermicelli, udon, and more. Their selection is more extensive than typical restaurants and the majority of the items are really fresh. It was pretty fun to grab the food initially but make sure you can eat what you choose since you can get carried away. For the soup base, I went with the house spicy and also tried the Thai base. Both soup bases were pretty good and provided a good kick. There is no meat like beef or lamb on the conveyor belt but you can ask for another order with the servers. Meat portions were also on the smaller side but I didn't mind since it was all-you-can-eat. Certain meat such as waygu obviously would cost more than your regular meat selections. I loved being able to grab which items I wanted. You also get your own pot instead of sharing one large pot for the entire table which is perfect during the midst of a pandemic. Having the conveyor belt was fun and I'll definitely come back for more soon.

I've been to the San Mateo location a couple of times and was excited to see that they recently opened their second location in Sunnyvale on El Camino Real which saves me a drive from crossing the bridge. This location has barbeque as an option for only an additional $5. If you're a huge meat lover, you can get the best of both worlds and get AYCE hotpot and barbeque! With the colder weather, Seapot is definitely a great option for your hot pot needs. While it is not the cheapest option for hotpot compared to getting individual prepared hot pot like Boiling Point or Tasty Pot, their ingredients are surprisingly high quality and of course, the all-you-can-eat factor makes it expensive. The price for the hot pot starts at $28.99 which is considered average for the Bay Area.

Have you heard or tried Seapot before? If yes, I would love to hear your experience below. If you also have recommendations for other restaurants that I can check out, drop them in the comments. Follow me for more food recommendations in the Bay Area and where you should check out.

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San Francisco, CA

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