Warm up your winter in Guangzhou with mutton hotpot

Hotpot is the ideal Chinese winter comfort food, and it is a good idea to eat mutton and warm up you body. However, it can be quite confusing for westerners. In English speaking countries mutton refers to adult sheep but in China the word is used to describe both goat and sheep. Here are three local restaurants that specialise in 'Asian mutton,' so that you can sample it for yourself.

Xinxing Restaurant 

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Founded way back in 1979, this is one of the most popular goat restaurants in the city, and comes with a special recommendation from the famous Hong Kong film producer turned gourmet and food critic, Chua Lam. The house specialty is stewed goat served in a clay pot, but there are also sliced plain boiled mutton and goat's milk tart on the menu too. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that goat is warm and nourishing, especially in the cold depths of winter.

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While the meat of black goats raised in southern China retains a hint of veal and venison, it does not have an overpowering gamey flavor or smell. Sirloins and fillet are best suited to long braising. Goat is leaner than both lamb and beef and is therefore well suited to low-heat, slow cooking to preserve its tenderness and moisture. A creamy dipping sauces made from fermented tofu, barbecue sauce and peanut butter, forming a zesty, sweet and salty taste, will help to accentuate the savoury flavors of the hot pot ingredients.

Average cost per person: 75 to 100 yuan

Address: 94 Qianjin Lu, Haizhu district, Guangzhou (广州市海珠区前进路92号) 

Baijia  Restaurant 

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The signature dish here is a traditional stew cooked over a charcoal stove. Patience is required as the dish takes a slightly longer time to come to the boil than it would on a gas flame. Once a steady stream of steam begins to escape from the vent in the pot's cover, the meat is ready to eat. Fried bean curd sticks, fried gluten, winter melon and noodles are all popular later add-ins to absorb the savory meat flavours.

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The restaurant resides in a traditional South East Asian Qilou building, decorated with red lanterns hanging on the front, wooden frame windows opening up high, and green-and-white floor tiles covering inside out. People can experience an old fashioned atmosphere of Guangzhou life during their meals.

Average cost per person: 125 - 150 yuan

Address: 339 Daxin Lu, Yuexiu district, Guangzhou (广州市越秀区大新路339号) 

Guangming Clear Soup 

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The clear soup of the hotpot is extremely delicious because goat bones are boiled continuously for more than three hours to release the deep flavours. Locals believe this soup has many beneficial tonic effects.

Customers usually order pre-cooked meat for the hotpot and then each is served separately. The mouthwatering chunks are tender after just a few moments in the boiling hot soup, which also includes maize to give it an important sweet flavor.

Average cost per person: 80 yuan

Address: 20 Tongqing Lu, Haizhu district, Guangzhou (海珠区同庆路同聚坊20号1-3楼近解放桥)

Source: Life of Guangzhou

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