Friends kept jio-ing me out for hotpot. Also because they know I am a soup person.
When the months hit December and January, the combination of the cool weather and festive period makes the cravings insatiable.
Interestingly, some Singaporeans also call hotpot the “battleship”.
This is because PM Lee Hsien Loong once shared a personal nugget of family life, in which Mr Lee Kuan Yew used the word “BATTLESHIP” to mean “steam boat” in a telegram to save the number of words and cost.
It was a lovely story that reminded us of the importance of thriftiness.
As we meet for hotpot / steamboat gatherings, let’s not just focus on the food, but the togetherness and fellowship as well.
Here are 15 Hotpot Restaurants in Singapore to have your ‘battleship’.
Hai Di Lao Hot Pot
Various outlets including Clarke Quay, 313@somerset, Plaza Singapura, VivoCity, IMM, Bedok Mall, Seletar Mall, Sun Plaza, Paya Lebar Quarter, Century Square Marina Square
One pot, endless smiles. Hai Di Lao can be known more for their gimmicks more than their food itself – not that it is any bad.
“Have you heard about the hotpot place with FREE manicure service? Oh and FREE fruits and popcorn while you are waiting for a table?”
Good service generally, something that may even put Singaporeans ‘uncomfortable’. Recommended food include Aorta (pork/beef), handmade balls, and house made noodles for the server to do those acrobatic pulls in front of you. #forthegram
The tomato and laksa soup bases are some of my favourites. Hai Di Lao is indeed all about the entire package and experience, and certain satisfying.
Price is on the high side, and some may not be happy with the extra $4 charge on sauces. People are quite willing to pay more for the attentive service, and its fresh ingredients and variety.
The newest outlet at Marina Square continues to capture attention with its AI-technology, futuristic looking projected walls, and customisable tomato and mala soup bases. Hai Di Lao (Marina Square)
Beauty In The Pot – The Centrepoint
The Centrepoint, 176 Orchard Road #05-15/16 Singapore 238843 (Somerset MRT)
Tel: +65 62353557
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 6am (Mon – Sun)
Branches at JEWEL Changi Airport, KINEX, Star Vista, VivoCity, Westgate
Beauty In The Pot is known for its Beauty Collagen Broth. There are six different nourishing soup bases with rich flavours and nutritional benefits, including Signature Beauty Collagen Broth, Vitamin C Tomato Sweet Corn Broth, Signature Spicy Nourishing Soup (Pork Bone Soup), Herbal Drunken Chicken Broth, and Cooling Coconut Broth.
Diners can choose between a single pot, twin pot or a quart pot. The price of a single pot starts from $14; a quart pot starts from $5 each.
Whether you are picking a twin or quart, one of the soups should contain the Beauty Collagen Broth, since it IS the signature and tastiest of the lot.
Just a note that the broth used to be shark collagen, but it has been replaced with a concoction of pork trotter, chicken feet, compoy, chicken and pork bones. I would personally prefer the older version, but this makes a worthy replacement with its semi-thick, creamy and nourishing flavours.
Some of the must-try items include the melt-in-your-mouth Signature Homemade Fish Tofu ($13.20), Ebiko Prawn Paste ($18.80), Assorted Balls Platter ($12.80), and Fried Beancurd Skin ($10.00). Beauty In The Pot (Jewel Changi Airport)
COCA Restaurant – Suntec City
3 Temasek Boulevard #02-440 Suntec City Singapore 038983 (Esplanade/Promenade MRT)
Tel: +65 6259 7176
Opening Hours: 11.15am – 10.30pm (Mon – Sun)
The concept of COCA Restaurant marries authentic Thai cuisine with traditional elements of Cantonese home-style cooking, creating distinctive flavours.
There are also now 7 enticing COCA broths to look forward to, from Hua Diao Phoenix which would ignite your love for hotpot, to Over The Top Coriander – the first of its kind in Singapore.
The Hua Diao Phoenix broth is concocted with the Chinese rice wine, and other condiments to further enhance the aroma and taste of Double Boiled Treasure.
P.S. Watch out for the blazing “Phoenix” as the serve lights up the bowl of tender chicken with fire, before adding the mix into the broth.
With this explosive combination, you get an aromatic pot of drunken goodness that could ignite your taste buds. COCA Restaurant (Suntec City)
Spice World Hot Pot (香天下火锅)
Clarke Quay Block B #01-06/07 River Valley Road Singapore 179021
Tel: +65 6265 9777
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 4am (Sun – Thurs), 10:30am – 6am (Fri – Sat)
Reserve Online Now – Spice World Hot Pot
Spice World Hot Pot is known as one of China’s top global hotpot brands, with no artificial flavours, MSG or flavour enhanced used. Soup bases are first prepared in Sichuan China, then airflown to Singapore.
You can choose from 7 different soup bases. Most would go for the signature Mala which comes in three varying degrees of spiciness (mild, medium, hot), pork belly and chicken, three-delicacies (pork, chicken, duck), wild mushroom, tomato, tom-yam, and curry.
The Teddy Bear Mala Hotpot is one of the most fun (and strangest hotpot) I ever had, with mala soup shaped into a teddy bear (or Hello Kitty). Watch the cute bear slowly melt into a pool of appetizing broth to cook your meats and handmade balls.
The only thing to take note it: there are only 10 bears and 10 kitties per day. Remember to reserve them as they are limited.
Most will also order the Australian M8 Wagyu beef ($38.90), draped like a meat dress over a doll. Lady Gaga will approve. Spice World 香天下火锅 (Clarke Quay)
112 Middle Road #01-00 Midland House Singapore 188970 (Bugis MRT)
Tel: +65 6255 5744
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am – 3:00pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon Lunch
Dinner: 5:30pm – 11pm (Mon – Thurs), 5pm – 11pm (Fri – Sun)
Reserve Online Now – Captain K Middle Road
Captain K at Middle Road, known to be the first to introduce the Korean Seafood Tower in Singapore, has also started to offer hotpot.
Steamboat-lovers would be happy to know that there are a total of 6 variations of soup bases, in which you can select a dual “ying-yang” pot for a double soup option.
A Single Soupbase is affordably priced at $16.00, while a Double is $20.00.
The original 3 soup bases – Kombu Dashi, Korean Kimchi and Ginseng Chicken (extra $4), are Korean inspired. Newly introduced are the Szechuan Mala, Tomato and TomYum Mushroom Soups to cater to local regular diners who kept requesting for them.
The Mala broth at Captain K is actually very drinkable and appetising – I finished bowls on my own.
Added with Szechuan peppercorn, dried chillies and other spices, there was still that slight numbing effect which provided that kick without overpowering. Captain K (Middle Road)
Imperial Treasure Steamboat Restaurant
Great World City, #01-37, 1 Kim Seng Promenade , Singapore 237994
Tel: +65 6235 6008
Opening Hours: Lunch 11.00am – 3.00pm, Dinner 6.00pm – 11.00pm Daily
ION Orchard, #04-09/10, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
Tel: +65 6636 9339
Opening Hours: Lunch 11.00am – 3.00pm, Dinner 6.00pm – 11.00pm Daily
Imperial Treasure’s soups are simmered for hours, their Ginseng chicken soup tasting rich and nourishing is my favourite. If not, there are always the Traditional Pork’s Bone, Seal & Kelp, Parsley & Century Egg, Sichuan Spicy and the intriguing Satay Flavoured Soups for choices.
We loved the fresh and bouncy handmade prawn and pork balls, and tender pieces of sliced marble beef and kurobuta pork belly. Set course of 2 at $98++ onwards.
The highlight of the entire meat has to be its condiments and sauces, ranging from peanut sauce, green and red chills, spring onions, plum sauce, chopped garlic, sambal chili and chicken rice chilli … All 12 of them. Imperial Treasure Steamboat Restaurant (Great World City))
Crystal Jade Steamboat Kitchen
#02-32, Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238839
Tel: +65 6336 2833
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 10pm (Sat, Sun and PH)
If I talk about Imperial, I cannot not talk about Crystal Jade right? Crystal Jade Steamboat Kitchen offers steamboat buffet at affordable prices in a restaurant setting along with the traditional Cantonese favourites.
The 90-minute buffet includes more than 35 ingredients such as fresh chicken, pork and beef slices, mussels, mushrooms and vegetables. I wished duration was more than 90 minutes though.
The 6 different soup bases include Pork’s Bone, Tomato, Curry, Miso, Superior, and Spicy Mala Soup.
Weekday dinner buffet is at $24.80++ for adults and $17.80++ for children aged 12 years and below. On weekends and public holidays, dinner buffet is $30.80++ for adults and $22.80++ for children aged 12 years and below.
If not, go for the Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao branch at Holland Village which offers free flow Xiao Long Bao with steamboat. There are 3 seating at 5:00pm, 6:45pm, and 8:30pm.
Da Miao Hotpot 大妙火锅
Clarke Quay Block C #01-11, 3C River Valley Road Singapore 179022
Tel: +65 6250 9969
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 5:00am Daily
Good news for those craving for authentic Sichuan style Mala hotpot, the popular Da Miao Hotpot from Chengdu China can be found at Clarke Quay.
The highlight is its Mala soup base, said to contain more than twenty spices, added with special plant oil and herbs. Therefore, it is not that greasy, yet still quintessentially Sichuan.
If you fear for your tickling tongue, you can always opt for a “modified to local taste” option, or have it the “original Chinese way” if you are up for the challenge. You decide.
Of course, there are also choices of Pig Bones, Tomato and Mushroom soup bases.
Ingredients-wise, get the Beef or Fresh Shrimp Paste ($18) – a flat block of freshly-minced meat paste, made without additional starch so that you can still savour the original favours after being cooked in the soup bases.
Come at night, and you will be entertained by traditional Sichuan performances of “Bian Lian” (literally meaning mask changing), and Chinese long-sprout tea pouring ceremony by professional “Stage Artists”.
Long Qing Specialty Hotpot
18 Hong Kong Street Singapore 059661 (Clarke Quay MRT)
Tel: +65 6533 1618
Opening Hours: 5:30pm – 11:00pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Long Qing is one of those not-so-commercial brands that I would have liked to give my support to.
Located at Hong Kong Street opposite Clarke Quay MRT, the interior of concrete wall and wooden furnishing makes it kind of ‘hipster’ as a hotpot specialty restaurant.
Its soup bases is kept fairly straightforward with 4 to choose from – Signature Clear Broth, Ma La, Tomato and Wildroom ($14.00 for one soup base, $18.00 for dual).
The Clear Broth soup is recommended, MSG free, cooked for more than 10 hours, with a light herbal taste due to dang gui added. Suitable for those who would like soup bases that are not too heavy.
I wondered if it was due to the CNY period, but the meat slices weren’t as impressive as I imagined – had that ‘frozen’ bite in them, and could have been fresh.
Taikoo Lane Hotpot 太古里火锅
Chinatown Point, 133 New Bridge Rd, B1-16, Singapore 059413
Tel: +65 6970 0966
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Famed for its deliciously numbing Sichuan cuisine, Taikoo Lane which is under Chengdu Restaurant has tapped its culinary team to craft a menu of broths in different flavours, and a bevy of unique ingredients – not quite the usual stuff you would find in a typical hotpot restaurant.
At Taikoo Lane Hotpot, diners can have a choice of either individual pots for a more customized experience, or share a large pot among family and friends.
Whether you prefer to dine solo or as a group, you can find the best arrangement here.
Go for the Chengdu Green Pepper Broth. If you are bored of the usual mala and want to try something different, this would be a refreshing change.
Inspired by the Fish with Green Peppercorn Soup, a best-seller from Chengdu Restaurant, the broth takes two Sichuan-specialty ingredients (peppercorn oil and green peppercorns) and makes them the soup’s bedrock of flavour. Taikoo Lane Hotpot (Chinatown Point)
Upin Hot Pot
Clarke Quay Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen St, 03-87, Singapore 059817 (Clarke Quay MRT)
Tel: +6221 5550
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 3:00am Daily
I read somewhere that the owner of this restaurant used to be a chef of Hai Di Lao, thus there are some similarities.
Perhaps some components such as the soup bases and sauces but the service *cough cough*. Not that it is any bad, it is just not THAT over-the-top.
There is a variety of soup bases such as Herbal, Seafood, Chicken, Pork Bone, and Mushroom. There is an interesting Upin Three Soup Hot Pot ($14) with inclusion of Three Delicacy Soup, Spicy Soup and Tomato in the middle.
The Tomato was my favourite, sweetish in a way that reminded me of minestrone.
Get the Meat Balls Combo ($18.00), a platter of fresh, bouncy and tasty assortment of balls.
CompassOne Mall #03-05, 1 Sengkang Square, Singapore 545078
Tel: +65 6386 4838
Opening Hours: 11:15am – 10:00pm (Mon – Fri), 10:30am – 10:00pm (Sat – Sun
Fan of Beauty In The Pot?
You should like Paradise Hotpot as well, which is a Hong Kong style steamboat concept that offers each diner an individual hotpot with choice of a desired broth.
There are 14 different soup bases to choose from, such as Authentic Pork Bone, Century Egg with Coriander, Tomato with Sweet Corn, Teochew Style, Spicy Szechuan, Chicken with Wild Mushrooms, Thick Beef Bone, Tom Yum, Kelp and Bonito to Korean Kimchi Soup.
Prices are considered wallet-friendly, starting from $3.50 for a Teochew Style Soup Base, $4.00 for Authentic Pork Bone Soup Base ($4.00) to $9.80 for Chicken with Wild Mushroom Soup Base. Paradise Hotpot (Compass Point)
Tong Xin Ru Yi Traditional Hotpot
6 Lorong Telok, Singapore 049019
Tel: +65 6536 8058
Opening Hours: 11am – 10.30pm (Mon – Fri), 12pm – 10.30pm (Sat, Sun)
Depart from the usual hotspot joints and go for the interestingly unique variety of soup bases at Tong Xin Ru Yi Traditional Hotpot 同心如意传统铜火锅.
What’s the difference between this and other hotpots?
I am talking about Golden Chicken Soup, Golden Frog Soup (!), Stewed Marinated Beef with Spicy Soup, Tomato with Oxtail Soup, Pickled Chinese Cabbage with Pork Rib Soup, and Catfish with Spicy Soup.
The recommended is the Golden Chicken Soup / Golden Frog Soup. the Golden Soup is composed of different ingredients added in at the right moment – a medley of black fungus, yam, konjac, pineapple chunks, sliced cucumber, brown shimeji mushrooms, fresh parsley, and sweet golden pumpkin swimming in a pool of liquid gold.
Hours of slow cooking produced a robust flavoured soup that harmoniously blends with fresh hotpot ingredients – your choice of succulent chunks of chicken and a nourishing chicken broth or some plump frogs.
Here you will find a wide range of different beef cuts from around the world, from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and USA. There are also unique and specially-sourced vegetables like the Gracilaria (龙须菜) and Pea Sprouts (豌豆尖) to be discovered. Tong Xin Ru Yi Traditional Hotpot (Boat Quay)
Da Long Yi Hotpot Singapore
Orchard Central #08-06/07/08
Tel: +65 6509 0002
Opening Hours: 11am – 6am (Mon – Sun)
Feast together with friends and family over a special steamboat meal at Da Long Yi, a prominent Chinese hotpot brand. Its first outlet opened in 2013 in Chengdu, China and swiftly grew to more than 200 restaurants in Mainland China.
Conveniently located on the 8th floor, Da Long Yi is on the left side as you step out of the elevator. Occupying 3 units, it is quite spacious with impressive interiors.
If you are after an authentic Szechuan experience, the quality of food here will not disappoint.
Pick the Butter Mala Soup Base as this is the signature of Da Long Yi. I thought this was more ‘la’ (spicy) than ‘ma’ (numbing), and may make some break out in sweat. Quite shiok.
The Shrimp Paste ($16), Mountain Marble Beef ($24), Kongfu Potato Chips ($7), Spicy Pork Ribs ($24), and Rose Beef Tongue ($20) are other recommended items.
You can find a variety of hotpot spices and sauces from the sauce station ($2.50 per person). Check out their own customised sesame oil, which is the hallmark of an authentic Chengdu hotpot restaurant.
Did I mention hotpot till 6am?
Shi Li Fang
Various branches: Star Vista, Orchard Central, Icon Village, J-Cube, Chinatown Point, City Square Mall, Tiong Bahru Plaza, Hougang One, Bedok Point, West Coast Plaza, Compass One, Eastpoint Mall, KINEX, Junction 10, Tiong Bahru Plaza
Taiwanese hotpot restaurant Shi Li Fang is one of the wallet-friendly hotpot restaurants you may want to consider, with more than 10 branches in Singapore and counting.
It prides itself in its MSG-free soup bases, non-fried cuisine, with over 20 dipping sauces (sauces offered free of charge).
They have different promotions going on at different times and branches, so it is best to check with the restaurants (if they answer your call).
Recommended items included Japanese Kurobuta Pork ($13.00), Japanese Wagyu Beef ($24.50), Specialty Beef ($6.10), Pork Tenderloin ($5.40) and Crab ($9.80).
First things first, I know some of my friends would give me *that look* if I were to suggest Shilifang.
I think this largely has to do with their tacky décor more than everything. That bright purple walls, Pokemon toys which look fake, and staff having to wear those (fake) Pokemon caps inviting people to come in.
Soups include Specialty Mala Soup, Tonic Chicken Soup, Beauty Collagen Chicken, Nourishing Fish, and Tasty Mushroom Soup.
Try their Tomato Base soup for light tanginess and sweetness in the broth, which would become more flavourful after addition of the meats. So actually the soup base was not that bad, though you know the meats are not of the highest quality.