Retail Tipsheet: New Bellingham restaurant offers hot pot Asian dishes

Something a little different has arrived on the Bellingham restaurant scene.

Sean Ji recently opened Hot Point Tea Express on 1204 Cornwall Ave. The restaurant features a variety of hot pot Asian dishes, including seafood soup pot, Korean kimchi soup pot and Vietnamese noodle soup. The restaurant also features bubble tea and shaved ice.

The hot pot meal is more interactive than many restaurant meals. After the main ingredients are assembled in the pot by the chef, it is brought out and placed on a heater that is built into the table. Customers then choose the heat level to determine how quickly they want it to be ready to eat, said Sam Starr, who works at the restaurant. Starr, who grew up in the U.S., tried her first hot pot meal in Taiwan and fell in love with it.

“It’s a very authentic experience,” Starr said.

Maxwell Bedingfield, who also works at Hot Point, said it’s a popular dish throughout Asia. Bedingfield grew in the same eastern China neighborhood as Ji. They went in different directions as adults, with both eventually coming to the U.S. Ji connected with Bedingfield through social media, and he agreed to come to Bellingham to help run the restaurant.

The price for a hot pot meal is around $10.

The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. Details about the restaurant can be found on its Facebook page.


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-- Hammerhead Coffee is hosting a Galentine’s Day Pop Up Market from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13. Vendors include a trio of women selling a variety of products, including cards, clothes and jewelry. It will be held at Hammerhead’s new space at 2000 Franklin St., Suite 101. Hammerhead also will have coffee and chocolate samples.

-- A Bellingham building permit application was submitted to expand the former coffee drive-through building at 1200 E. Sunset Drive to make way for a new Verizon wireless store.

-- Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine has decided to honor canines with a “Dog-Gone Weekend” Feb. 19-21. This includes “Yappy Hour” from 3-5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19, on the outside deck of Packers Oyster Bar. Other events include a visit on Friday evening from Lawrence the dog-whisperer, who works on fixing dog behavior issues, a red carpet dog show on Saturday morning, and a special pet package that includes a doggie bed and dining bowl. For every bed and bowl package on Feb. 20, a donation will be made to the Whatcom Humane Society. For details, call 855-917-3767.