A Satisfying, Bargain Hotpot Meal at Dragon Beaux [San Francisco]

I headed for Dragon Beaux with wife and stepdaughter for a New Year’s Day hotpot meal. We were set on their advertised $32 pp “all you can eat” option, but chagrined that they weren’t offering it on the holiday. However, we found out they have a number of affordable themed “sets” not shown on their website, designed to feed 2-3 people. We, confirmed carnivores, went for the “meat lovers’” option (not sure of the exact name).

This set included:

  • Lamb
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Pork Paté
  • Spareribs (ready to eat)
  • Pork belly (sliced like uncured bacon)
  • House-made wontons.

Also included:

  • Choice of two broths in a “yuanyang” (divided) pot.
  • A large platter of raw greens
  • Two types of noodles, including squid ink noodles
  • An array of ingredients (including freshly crushed garlic) for DIY dipping sauces
  • Bottomless hot tea

All of the ingredients appeared fresh and of good quality, and the set filled the three of us, healthy eaters but not fressers, to satiety. The price, before T&T, $68, or about $23 per person.

There’s also an all-seafood set for 2-3 persons for $88, and a couple of intermediate sets.


Thanks. How are the taste of the soup bases?

Both broths were subtler than they look, all the better to absorb flavors from the meats. The chicken emerged from the beef bone broth still tasting like chicken. The fierce-looking spicy broth won’t burn the bake off you, and even exhibited a slight herbal overtone.

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Just wanted to chime in to one of our latest meals at Dragon Beaux. I noticed on their website that they had this winter melon hot pot. I was intrigued and decided to give that a shot (okay I just like winter melon…). Rather than souperman’s set menu, we opted for a la carte.

Just starting off our meal, a few extra condiments were brought to our table.

First was the savory green onion soy sauce.

In a platter of four, minced garlic, hot sauce, satay sauce, and hot oil.

Anywho, our wintermelon appears. Essentially its a wintermelon that is cut in half with the top portion carved.

After a roiling boil, we were served a bit of the winter melon soup. The soup is on the herbal end with a chicken base (some red dates and goji berries are within the pot). I thought it was tasty, but definitely not the same as a double boiled wintermelon soup. The flesh of the wintermelon is not ready to eat, and well since its pretty much raw, didn’t absorb the flavors of the broth.

As an appetizer, we ordered the scallop siu mai. I thought it tasted the same as the lunch time meal–quite happy with it. Dim sum is available during dinner time, but is a little more limited than lunch.

Starting off on the more vegetarian end, we have soft tofu, napa cabbage (I do wish they were chopped differently) and a crown daisy. The veggies looked pretty fresh and each added their own sweetness to the broth. The tofu was mainly a great flavor absorber haha.

Wasn’t quite sure what cobia was, so we just ordered it. Relatively firm flesh, it was quite easy to overcook. Taste wise, mmm… I thought it was on the blander end even with the chicken broth base. Ended dipping it with a little soy.

Next up we ordered a steamed oysters with garlic (there are live oysters for hot pot, but we just opted to try their steamed dish). With the addition of the seafood soy sauce, I really enjoyed the oysters cooked (wasn’t a huge fan of raw oysters but I do occasionally eat them). They tasted quite fresh!

For our meat selection, we went with the regular prime rib and the kurobuta pork. I thought both meats were quite good though I didn’t think they were anything special either.

Honestly I really like the fish and shrimp paste. Just scoop a little out and when cooked the blob will float to the top. Both the fish and shrimp pastes have a seasoned taste and a good bouncy texture (more so than the cuttlefish).

The cuttlefish had a softer consistency compared to the shrimp and fish surprisingly (usually I tend to think squid/cuttlefish as chewy).


The soup was definitely getting more flavorful, but you can see that the wintermelon flesh at the top still isn’t ready. One of the employees proceeded to cut the wintermelon into smaller pieces and that’ll eventually cook.

Next up we tried the Australian wagyu. The marbling looks a little better than the prime rib, but I enjoyed the prime rib a bit more. There was a stronger mmm… I can’t really say gamey smell, but a little stronger scent.

Next up were some fresh shitake mushrooms. Quite nice and definitely a different flavor than the dried shitake mushrooms.

Coupling the fungal journey is the enoki mushrooms.

Adding one more to the seafood journey, we have mussels!

For a last round of veggies, we went with watercress.

At the end, with the wintermelon cut up (and another round of tofu to soak up the flavor), the soup was quite good!

Some complimentary sesame balls to end our meal (wish they were hot though).

Overall, I would say Dragon Beaux does a great job on the seafood/veggie hot pot side. I don’t have any issues with the meat, just thought seafood dishes were better. Regarding the wintermelon, I’d just order the slices of wintermelon next time. It looks awesome, but the wintermelon itself makes the hot pot smaller and more difficult to maneuver. The top portion isn’t practical to eat unless you cut it, and since the soup wasn’t really made with the winter melon in mind doesn’t add any additional benefits that I can think of in terms of taste.


Those Mussels are gi-normous! Do you know where they were harvested? How were they prepared?

Great photos. Nice report, Souperman.

Mmm… good question, I didn’t really see anything about the sourcing nor did I really ask. I presumed they’re farmed (nothing wrong with mussels being farmed!) but yeah, they were pretty big! And prepared… mm… just ready to be shoved into the hot pot lol. I guess cut in half with the shell?

Senior moment here…forgot this was part of a hotpot meal.

Looks similar to those frozen green New Zealand mussels that I used to get from 99.

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Dragon Beaux dinner can overwhelm you with options. Hot pot, dim sum, set meals for 6-10, and a separate list of fancy fried rices - truffle, abalone, etc., so best to have a plan before you sit down. Daughter wanted hot pot for birthday dinner though, but we also got some dim sum and beef chow fun. Beef bone broth and spicy, kind of limited meat items as a bunch were not available, but waygu and short rib were great. Honey pepper chicken wings were crazy good, beef chow fun was good, pork belly excellent. Har gow and siu mai were fine.
Craftsman and Wolves pastries for dessert.