haidilao toronto

One of Asia's most famous hot pot chains with dancing noodle staff is coming to Toronto

As hot pot chains flood the city, one is bound to set itself apart with a few extra perks, including manicures, neck massages, and a noodle dance show. 

The massive Chinese chain Haidilao Hot Pot is making its foray into Toronto with two locations, adding the city's restaurants to its list of more than 600 restaurants worldwide. 

According to job listings posted on Indeed, one restaurant is set to open at Woodside Square in Scarborough. According to the AGCO, the second is slated for 5328 Highway 7, where Elegant Chinese Cuisine used to be. 

Founded in Sichuan in 1994, Haidilao, or Hai Di Lao—which was bestowed the lofty title "Ferrari of Chinese hot pots" by the LA Times in 2014—has made its claim to fame over the years with a list of perks goes way beyond soup bases. 

Free neck massages, manicures, snacks, and board games are offered for customers waiting to be seated in Asian locations. It's unclear whether manicures will be offered in Toronto, since Canada's first Hai Di Lao, located in Vancouver, doesn't. 

But since a wait is almost guaranteed (locations in Hong Kong garnered hours-long line ups, and month-long waits for reservations in Vancouver) the complimentary entertainment is crucial. 

The brand is also known for its noodle dancers: staff who prance around the restaurant twirling ribbons of noodle dough. 

You'll also get a bian lian ​​​​​​show, where performers run around with opera-inspired face-changing masks, fans, and fans. And if you're dining alone, servers will bring you a giant teddy bear to accompany you during your meal. 

As for how good the actual food is, that's up for debate. But given Toronto's willingness to line up for anything new and shiny, the free show won't go unappreciated. 

Lead photo by

Haidilao 


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