Hai Di Lao Hot Pot’s Cupertino branch draws long lines

Hai Di Lao Hot PotPhoto: Hai Di Lao US

“Stop whining about the long wait,” says one Yelp review about the new Hai Di Lao Hot Pot branch in Cupertino.

That’s because those who know about the globally popular Chinese hotpot chain “understand eating here is almost like a religion, just like lining for the new iPhone,” the reviewer said.

Sure looks like it. A local realtor posted online video footage on Sunday of one of the long lines that persist outside the newly Hai Di Lao branch located at Main Street Cupertino, 19409 Stevens Creek Blvd.

The restaurant’s long-awaited grand opening happened just last week, but some reviewers on Yelp already reported six hour waits to reach their table. Even so, Hai Di Lao Cupertino earned positive initial reviews for its food and service.

“As soon as we sat down, we had quickly forgetten (sic) the wait and started wondering what it was that made this meal so good,” a reviewer said.

To read more about the history of Hai Di Lao, check out this report earlier this month by Bloomberg. The article details the steep career trajectory of the company’s co-founder Zhang Yong, whose “popular chain of restaurants that serves up boiling soup broth with meat, seafood, vegetables, and noodles” has “196 outlets in 60 Chinese cities as well as more in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Singapore, and Seoul.”