Downtown Bellingham’s Newest Hot Spot: HotPoint & Tea Express
One of the newest additions to Bellingham’s downtown area is HotPoint & Tea Express. The business just opened its doors this week on Cornwall, next to I and Wife Thai Cuisine.
The restaurant serves cook-it-yourself style hot pot. Each seat has an electric stove built into the table, with controls for three levels of heat or to turn the stove on/off. Customers are brought pots of broth with cooked vegetables and meats, as well as trays of raw ingredients to cook themselves. You can add as much as you like to the broth, and cook it to your own taste.
The basic options for hot pot include seafood, lamb with mushroom broth, korean kimchi, ad thai style taro soup. For an extra fee you can also add any extra ingredients, meat or vegetable, which are not included in the base soup. Every soup is priced at $10, which includes the broth, meats and vegetables, rice, and four kinds of sauces.
In addition to hot pot, HotPoint also serves a wide variety of tea, including bubble tea. Flavors include milk teas such as taro and melon, and traditional black and green teas. Boba, fruit jellies, and red beans can be added to any kind of tea as well.
HotPoint’s owner, Sean, immigrated to the U.S. from the city of Qingdao (青岛), located on China’s central coastline. Sean first arrived in L.A. five years ago, where he discovered Chinese-style hot pot was incredibly popular. After a few years in SoCal heat Sean decided the weather in L.A. wasn’t to his taste, so he moved to Bellingham with the idea of opening his own place.
After several mishaps with contractors that cost him most of his money, Sean was finally ready to open for business this week. He currently operates with the help of several employees, although he prepares most of the food himself.
The HotPoint is currently operating during variable hours, so give them a call before heading in. Go check them out at 1204 Cornwall Ave, and then let us know about your experience in the comments!