A CHINESE restaurant offering a hotpot with a difference has opened in a prime spot next to York's Grand Opera House.

Chungking Hotpot is situated in premises in Cumberland Street which were vacated in the spring by the Cat’s Pyjamas, an Indian street kitchen and craft beer restaurant which closed after its parent company went into administration.

In July, the Cat's Pyjamas was set to be replaced by The Play House, a venue featuring retro arcade games, air hockey, pinball machines and pool tables, along with American-style food and drinks.

But it emerged in September that the Play House plans had been abandoned after problems securing a licence.

A notice in the premises window today states that an application for a premises licence was made on December 20 to City of York Council by Yuzon York Ltd, and any representations must be received by January 18.

Each table inside appears built to accommodate a very large hotpot - of the Chinese rather than the Lancashire variety.

Chungking hotpot, also known as Chongqing hotpot, has become very popular in recent years, especially since the release of a food documentary series,A Bite of China II, some years ago, and there are Chongqing hotpot restaurants in many Chinese cities.

The restaurant's website says Chongqing is a major city in southwest China and Chungking Hotpot is 'the real taste of China's most loved social gathering.'

It states: "Indulge in our spicy or mild broths while bubbling away your fresh & locally sourced ingredients, we aim to connect neighbourhoods and different cultures with a dining experience like no other, our purpose is to connect customers with the real China like the way ingredients are connected to food.

"A traditional hotpot is created in a simmering pot of soup which diners eat and enjoy using various complementing ingredients such as thinly sliced meat and various raw vegetables. Hotpot is a dish favoured by 1.6 billion people in China, we believe that there is none that is as tasteful or fragrant like Chongqing Hotpot which has a special place in the Sichuan community."