​If you haven’t heard of Elixir Health Pot, you’ve been missing out. It’s a Taiwanese hotpot chain that prides itself on its healthy broths. With every pot ordered, you also get unlimited “tofu bread” and duck blood.

Hotpot in Shanghai: Elixir Health Pot for healthy hotpot. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Elixir Health Pot, also known as Ding Wang Wulao Guo (鼎王无老锅) currently has four locations in Shanghai. The first, original location, which opened in 2013, still stands on Hengshan Lu.

The Food: Soups & Meats & Tofu!

The soup base to order is the half-and-half (yuānyāng 鸳鸯) for ¥128 (table of 4-6) or ¥168 (table of 8-11).

Hotpot in Shanghai: Elixir Health Pot for healthy hotpot. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

One side is the “tofu bread bone broth”, a milky, collagen rich broth made with pork, ginseng and an assortment of other healthy herbs, while the other is a fiery chili and peppercorn-laden base. The bone broth is good enough to drink—maybe get a ladleful after the first round of meat goes in. The chili isn’t as daunting as it looks, and is definitely milder compared to other Sichuanese hotpot bases I’ve sampled.

Hotpot in Shanghai: Elixir Health Pot for healthy hotpot. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Elixir’s calling card, apart from its marketed-as-healthy bone broths, is the unending flow of “tofu bread” (miànbāo dòufu 面包豆腐). These fluffy, aerated rectangles of light tofu soak up the soups excellently and just melt in your mouth. Service is also excellent, as the servers will make their rounds to top you up with soup and all these glorious add-ons. You’ll get unlimited duck blood, too.

Oh, and you’ll also get complimentary “tofu ice cream” (bīngjīlíng dòufu 冰激凌豆腐), one piece per person. Surprisingly, these resilient puffs stay whole in the boil, yet disintegrate in a bite.

Hotpot in Shanghai: Elixir Health Pot for healthy hotpot. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Sliced Beef Rolls (¥99)
Hotpot in Shanghai: Elixir Health Pot for healthy hotpot. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Tripe (¥79)
Hotpot in Shanghai: Elixir Health Pot for healthy hotpot. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Assortment of dumplings (¥29)
Hotpot in Shanghai: Elixir Health Pot for healthy hotpot. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
More beef (¥129)
Hotpot in Shanghai: Elixir Health Pot for healthy hotpot. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Beef meatballs (¥69)
Hotpot in Shanghai: Elixir Health Pot for healthy hotpot. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Crispy tofu

And this was a newfound discovery: there’s a massive pot of rice at the sauce bar. What! It’s good rice, too—lightly oiled and with a chew. (I have a thing for rice. Can’t live without it.) A little goes a long way when you want to sop up that remaining dipping sauce and a bit of meat.

Hotpot in Shanghai: Elixir Health Pot for healthy hotpot. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Apparently the Jing’an locations are extremely popular, like, take a number and wait level of popularity. But during my last visit, a weekday evening at Hengshan Lu, the restaurant was only half full. By the time I left there were plenty of tables available. It could have been a one-off, but either way, make a booking or go after peak dining hours.

In Summary: One More Hotpot Spot

Hotpot in Shanghai: Elixir Health Pot for healthy hotpot. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

It’s one of those bastions I remember from my early days eating around Shanghai. And it’s still good—a testament to its quality and longevity.

Average check is around ¥200. Bilingual picture menus available.

Before Covid, Elixir was open until 2am. They’ve since reduced hours.


Elixir Health Pot (鼎王无老锅)
Xuhui: 2 Hengshan Lu, near Taojiang Lu 衡山路2号甲, 近桃江路
Tel: 54561489
Jing’an: 2/F, Fengsheng Li, Bldg 16, 281 Maoming Bei Lu, near Nanjing Xi Lu 茂名北路281弄16号丰盛里2楼, 近南京西路
Tel: 32120399
Jing’an: 1829 Beijing Xi Lu, near Yuyuan Lu 北京西路1829号, 近愚园路
Tel: 53550239
Gubei: 677 Huang Jincheng Dao, near Yinzhu Lu 黄金城道677号, 近银珠路
Tel: 62801889
Hours: 11am-11pm