4   +   1   =  

What a steamy time to be alive. One Xi’an hot pot (火锅 in Chinese) restaurant recently decided to turn up the heat by becoming a different type of “spicy” and add a slide of new, not so little, fresh meat to its surroundings. Check out these Temper Tasties.

Diclaimer
Our admittedly extremely cheesy headline du jour refers to HaiDiLao (海底捞 in Chinese), a chain of hot pot restaurants founded in Jianyang, Sichuan Province, back in 1994. And a household name in your daily “what’s for dinner” China vocab.
Thank you for the GIFs, Video Ruptly.

Thank you for the GIFs, Video Ruptly.

The Chinese notion of “what is a real man” has become a tongue-numbingly hot topic in recent years. China’s Gen Z, particularly, includes a new wave of male fashionistas who love a genderless and dashingly bold dress code.

Their penchant for the innocent but sexy (又纯又欲in Chinese) look, together with the  “Little Fresh Meat“ (小鲜肉 in Chinese) vocab, today lies at the heart of a constantly evolving debate surrounding masculinity in China.

The terms refers to handsome, young males whose aesthetic outlines have entered a fashionable fog.

China’s state-run media Xinhua in 2018 criticized this new portrayal of manhood claiming the young idols are “sissy pants.” They also warned that showing men wearing cosmetics on TV was “sick” and “decadent” and is something which threatens the future of the nation.

So where does the whole hot to trot pot come into the narrative? Well… Moving to the other side of the “what is a real man” spectrum, allow us to go from sissy pants to only pants.

At La Yan Huo Guo (literally “Spicy Feast Hot Pot”) the waiters are beefy and shirtless. Muscular young men serve tables, pose for photos and even sit down to chat with guests.

The waiters’ duties are performed while shirtless and wearing black aprons set ablaze with the restaurant’s name.

Thank you for the GIFs, Video Ruptly.

Since changing its customer service strategy late last year, the restaurant owner said there’s been a rise in the number of female customers. Yet the restaurant has stirred up a clash of opinions from netizens, ranging from excited to the disgusted.

“Is this a restaurant or a bathhouse?” asked one Sina Weibo (China’s Twitter equivalent) user, while another wondered, “What should I do if his armpit hair falls into the bottom of the pot?”

Health hazard concerns aside, some users chimed in with the more obvious of tongue-in-cheek remarks, including, “I just want to eat his ‘beef’,” and “I want to eat his chest.”

Coming to a Chinese city near you soon. Tasty.

Thank you for the GIFs, Video Ruptly.

Thank you for the GIFs, Video Ruptly.

Trying to steer clear of any “Guess Wu’s coming to dinner” jokes, we at Temper don’t discriminate and simply celebrate the hotness we think those aforementioned “sissy pants” are bringing to the table. Take a look:

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FEATURED IMAGE: Courtesy of Video Ruptly
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Elsbeth van Paridon
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