With the relaxed dining rules in Singapore, many of my friends have a similar idea in mind… HOTPOT.
Nope, the name does not mean ”smelly smelly”, but ”gather”.
Reservations were not that easy to come by though, and not very straight-forward.
Apparently, the reservation link still allows up to a maximum of 5 diners (6 pax for Jewel Changi Airport), even though some of the booths and rooms can fit 6 or more.
Even as I enquired privately, they mentioned they were limited by table configurations.
Coucou Hotpot.Brew Tea 湊湊火鍋 at Suntec City is a Taiwanese-style hotpot chain founded in China, with close to 200 outlets in major Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
The second Singapore outlet has opened at Jewel Changi Airport, and seems to have gathered very positive Google reviews even before its opening.
Its next outlet is likely to be at i12 Katong.
Before you get lost in Suntec City Mall, this mega restaurant is found at Level 3 (Tower 1 & 2) near Tendon Kohaku. (Remember where Kushin Bo used to be?)
It was quite clear they were pretty short-handed, but the staff were generally earnest, friendly and tried their best to help.
They were probably quite overwhelmed, so they could be long moments customers could be standing at the entrance without nobody attending to you.
The interior was unlike other typical hotpot restaurants, decked in modern OTT oriental with dark lighting. Very dark. Not the kind of place you would want to go on your first blind date. If you dropped your contact lenses (or something small there), then good luck.
There are six soup base options, including Taiwan Style Spicy, Fish with Sichuan Pickles, Sichuan Style Spicy, Bovine Bone with Tomato, Fresh Mushrooms and Coconut Chicken.
Even though on paper, there was a three-in-one soup pot, we were not allowed to order as “only customers in the rooms can have it”.
Yes, the problem was, I did reserve the room, but just happened not to given it during that day. Anyway…
Price-wise, the signature Taiwan Style Spicy Soup Base is priced at $28.90 for a twin pot, $39.90 for a single.
All-in-all, this soup base was considerably tasty, layered and can be drinkable unlike many other mala hotpots.
The favourite component were the soft pieces of beancurd, though unfortunately duck curds (which is typically in such styles of Taiwanese hotpot) are not allowed here.
The Coconut Chicken may take some getting used it. It started being sweet and light, but as the meats and seafood were cooked within, it gained this savoury richness that made the soup nourishing-tasting and flavourful.
Recommended ingredients included the Assorted Beef and Seafood Platter ($108), Berkshire Pork Collar Slice ($26.80 for 150g), Australian Grain-Fed Short Ribs ($42.80 for 180g), Australian Lamb Leg Slice ($18.80 for 150g), Vegetable Platter ($24.90).
On the pricier side.
My favourite item was definitely the Mashed Prawn Paste ($16.80 for 150g) which had a crunchier bite than similar ones we had, plus pieces were pretty fresh and sweet tasting.
The Meatball Combo ($12.80) with pork, beef and fish was not bad too, as I enjoyed the QQ bouncy texture.
Now on to the other part of this restaurant, which is the Bubble Tea. There are options of Classic Milk Tea ($3.60) and Wax Gourd Tea with Da Hong Pao ($5.20) that came in larger-than-normal mugs.
The drinks took a long while to come after several reminders (first to order, last to arrive).
For a restaurant to put “Brew Tea” in their name, the beverages were unfortunately unimpressive – without the strong tea fragrance and pearls were bland, and would probably skip them the next time.
In summary, delicious Taiwan-style spicy hotpot base, not bad meats, accommodating (but overwhelmed staff) and ordinary tea in a cool environment.
Coucou Hotpot ‧ Brew Tea
Suntec City Tower 1&2 #03-332, 3 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038983
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
78 Airport Blvd., Jewel Changi Airport #02-208 / 209, Singapore 819666
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
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