Over the past nine years, one hotpot fanatic in Nanjing, China has dined 627 times at Haidilao, and has spent over 270,000 yuan (S$50,000) on her meals.
Her love for the hotpot chain recently came to light when she shared a screenshot of her correspondence with the restaurant’s customer service on social media, which revealed how often she patronised them.
Speaking to Yangtze Evening News on Nov 20, the 32-year-old hotel manager described herself as a foodie.
“I can’t cook, and I don’t have any other hobbies. I don’t care about fashion or put on make-up… I just like to eat,” she explained, adding that the only “costly” restaurant she goes to is Haidilao.
Kong said she became “insatiable” after her first taste of hotpot there, remarking that she felt the ingredients were fresh and tasty.
Since then, she developed an addiction to hotpot, and once visited Haidilao 12 times in a week, reported Chinese media.
Kong also shared that she has dined at 78 outlets across 20 cities in China and holds a Black Sea membership — the highest tier at Haidilao.
Aside from her love for the food, Kong said the restaurant chain’s remarkable customer service is why she keeps eating there, reported the South China Morning Post.
According to Kong, she once visited a Haidilao outlet in Shanxi while on a business trip. Afraid that she wouldn’t be able to wake up for her early flight if she slept in her hotel room, Kong asked a service staff if she could sleep in the restaurant instead.
The staff obliged, and even provided Kong with a pillow and blanket, which made her feel touched by their hospitality.
Malaysian man eats at Haidilao 754 times in three years
Kong told Yangtze Evening News that her family is aware of her penchant for hotpot, but doesn’t know how often she dines there.
The woman even has a hotpot ‘buddy’, who has eaten with her at Haidilao for over 100 times.
And it appears that the Chinese woman is not the only avid fan of the hotpot chain.
In Malaysia, another Haidilao enthusiast has dined at the hotpot chain 754 times in three years, according to Sin Chew Daily.
The diner said he ate at Haidilao 10 times in two weeks, and even had meals at the restaurant for consecutive days.
Limit hotpots to once or twice a month: Nutritionists
Hotpot may be tasty but the frequent consumption of the dish is not healthy.
Kong shared that she gained 13.5kg from regularly consuming hotpot and milk tea.
However, she’s had to cut down on the frequency of her hotpot meals due to health reasons.
“For the past few years, the results of my health examinations have not been as good as before,” she admitted.
“I used to eat it two or three times a week without getting tired of it, but now I only eat it once a week.”
Nutritionists recommend limiting eating hotpot to “once or twice a month”, especially for steamboats with spicy broths and ingredients high in fat and sodium.
A typical hotpot broth has more than 7000mg of sodium per serving, which exceeds an adult’s recommended daily allowance of 2,000mg.
Overindulgence in high-fat food can lead to weight gain and chronic conditions such as heart disease, and frequently consuming salty items in large quantities increases the risk of high blood pressure and kidney problems.