What’s the Deal with Hotpots and Barbie Dressed in Sliced Beef?

4 December, 2018

If you’ve noticed Barbie starting to appear outside of kids’ toy chests and her eponymous Dreamhouse Adventures, you’re not alone. More and more, the plastic queen has come to represent the Chinese hotpot.

According to the internet, this phenomenon of Wagyu-clad dolls began in 2016 in Beijing, perhaps not coincidentally following Lady Gaga’s infamous flank steak gown worn to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards (the outfit has its own Wikipedia entry). Now, New York, Vancouver and Sydney are serving thinly sliced marbled beef over Barbie dolls.

In Flushing, NYC, Niu Pot restaurant began serving meat-clad Barbies as a Valentine’s Day special – and it was such a smash that the owner kept it on the menu. The hotpot haunt has also raked in the Insta likes with its winter melon hotpot that’s served out of a hollowed melon ring. The melon flesh is eventually cut off and dropped into the soup just as the shaved meat slices.

Memory Tongue in Chatswood’s District Dining is another such restaurant using Barbie as a decorative (and eye raising) meat hanger. The #meatbarbie gimmick is likely a success thanks to its Instagram-worthiness and the creativity in fashioning raw meat into an elegant gown. Once the snaps have been taken, diners gradually defrock Barbie by taking pieces of the shaved pork belly or Wagyu beef and dunking them into the bubbling broth. Seafoods, noodles and vegetables are also added, according to the diners’ whims.

So are you ready? This unofficial hotpot mascot awaits you at Memory Tongue, District Dining.