Philadelphia's Chinatown has seen a flurry of activity of late. Looks like hot pot is about to become a Thing:
Xun Yu Si Kao took over for the short-lived Sea Bar at 140 N. 10th St., next to Ting Wong. Specialty is boldly spiced seafood hot pot; menu also includes more Americanized Chinese dishes. Lovely interior includes tile walls and nifty nautical-ish chandeliers fashioned out of heavy ropes. Low-priced beers – $3 Buds, $3.50 Heinekens and Coronas, anyone?
Little Lodge, specializing in the northern Chinese hot pot-like street cuisine called mala tang, is under construction at 927 Race St., the former homes of Nan Zhou Hand-Drawn Noodle House and Happy Noodle House. Opening date is TBA, as it's shrouded in newspaper-covered windows and occupied by workers who decline comment.
A branch of the Las Vegas hit Chubby Cattle, whose specialties include Mongolian and Chinese hot pots (with food sent out on a conveyor belt), will open in "September or at the latest, beginning of October" at 146 N. 10th St., says Joe Muscaglione, a native New Jerseyan who is helping with the opening.
To cool the fires, N2 Sweet Cafe – whose specialty is liquid-nitrogen ice cream – is on the way to 125 N. 11th St., the corner of 11th and Cherry Streets.
Rising Tide's 14-year run at 937 Race St. came to a close last month. Restaurant phone was disconnected, as was the owner's cell phone. The liquor license is in safekeeping, which suggests that a new operator is on the way. For many years, the location housed China Castle.