JPOT has you spoilt for choice with nine soup bases, including Singapore style variations such as Laksa, Chilli Crab, and Bak Kut Teh. The restaurant also offers patrons the option of having individual pots or a large pot to share with large groups. The range of ingredients is even more exhaustive, comprising of fresh seafood, red meats, vegetables, and even local delights such as Yong Tau Fu favourites of tau pok with fish paste ($2.80 – 3pcs) and red chilli with fish paste ($2.80 – 3pcs), and the hand-made prawn balls ($6.80) and spinach skin beancurd ($5.80).
Beauty in the Pot specialises in soup bases that are purportedly good for your skin. The two signature soups, Beauty Collagen Broth and Spicy Nourishing Broth ($20 each, $25 together), use collagen-rich shark cartilage as their main ingredient. The latter even deploys a cornucopia of Chinese herbs like red dates and ginseng, so the soups are as nourishing as they are delicious. Like Hai Di Lao, the hotpot liao here are a bar above your average steamboat joint. There’s US wagyu rib-eye ($21), Kurobuta pork (from $9), and a selection of fresh fish. Don't miss out on their specialty homemade paste; dried scallop fish ($12), century egg ($10), or ebiko prawn paste ($12).
With its wide variety of ingredients and steaming broths, Upin Hotpot is probably one of the closest alternatives to Hai Di Lao you can get. Granted, the meats may not taste like the premium Hai Di Lao offerings, but it's good enough for the moderate price you’re paying. Upin offers seven broths for you to choose from, including their specialty tomato soup base ($12), mushroom ($12), and pork bone ($18). Choose up to three for the price of one. Must try items include the mushroom meatballs, prawn paste, and crispy fish skin. For all the adventurous eaters out there, Upin also offers a selection of innards for you to indulge in. Open until 3am each day, you know where to head to next time after a long night out.
Don’t let the relatively small space and unassuming signboard fool you. Having been around for four years, Hai Xian Lao has since made a name for themselves for their excellent service and value-for-money food items. Putting together eight different soup bases for you to choose from, including popular ones like the prawn soup, laksa soup, and Sichuan spicy soup, with the variety of only the freshest of ingredients such as their pork belly platter ($14.80) and live tiger prawns ($16.80) and top-notch service, it’s a no wonder the restaurant is fully packed every dinner time. Head down early to avoid any disappointment. You can also opt for the buffet spread option at $34.80 per adult and $15.80 for kids, from 5pm to 10pm.
Herbal chicken broth hot pot with fatty pork belly and hand-pulled noodles, all for just $10? Yes, it’s possible at Shi Li Fang. The Taiwanese steamboat restaurant offers steamboat set lunch meals for just $9.90 (taxes not included, take note) that even comes with a drink of your choice. You pick a soup base (the place prides itself on not using MSG), a main protein and the type of noodles for your meal. Then on top of that, you get a good heaping of vegetables – cabbage, carrot, winter melon, bok choy – tofu, black fungus, enoki mushrooms and an egg. It’s definitely enough to induce a post-lunch food coma.
Everyone’s go-to steamboat buffet on a rainy day, you can’t forget Suki-Ya. With nine locations conveniently located in shopping malls across the island, the comforting and familiar smell of its signature broths, including shabu-shabu and sukiyaki, simply draws you in. While the offerings may not be extensive, classic hotpot ingredients and fresh greens from the vegetable bar, along with an unending flow of beef, chicken, and pork will definitely satisfy your hungry tummy. Parents rejoice, kids 12 years and below dine free with every two paying adults.
After spending the afternoon singing your heart out at the karaoke place next door, head to Shang Pin for piping hot bowls of soup. This no-frills steamboat joint lets you have up to three soup bases in one pot ($16), making it great for variety seekers who refuse to commit. Popular à la carte dishes include black pork ($10), shrimp paste ($12) and sliced beef ($14). It even has hand-pulled noodles ($3) for people looking for dinner and a show.
After spending years living in Shanghai and learning from his wife – a native of Chong Qing – Long Qing’s owner James Chiew has perfected his soup base recipes to appeal to both traditional Chinese and Singaporean palates. There are only four types of soup available: the signature pork bone soup, mala, tomato and wild mushroom ($18 for a choice of two) so you won’t feel too bogged down by choice. Premium ingredients like the Mangalica pork collar ($30), US short rib ($22) and Canadian scallops ($12.80) are delivered daily while pork balls ($12) and prawn paste ($14) are made fresh every afternoon.
Amid a sea of mookata stalls in Golden Mile Tower you’ll find Thien Kee, one of the few remaining Hainanese steamboat restaurants. You can order the ingredients for your steamboat à la carte or in sets ($34-$100). The soup is admittedly bland when it arrives, but add the raw ingredients served alongside – they include omasum (part of a cow’s stomach) and cockles – and that changes. Don’t forget Thien Kee’s other Hainanese dishes like chicken rice ($18-$36) and deep fried pork chops ($12-$16).
Decorated in grand shades of gold and red, this upscale hotpot restaurant comes with plenty of bells and whistles – hot towels, plastic covers to protect your phone, and even cloth to clean your soup-splashed spectacles are all offered. The tots are well looked after here, too – the restaurant offers a small play area for younger kids to burn off excess energy, and accommodates them during the meal with high-chairs and easy-to-use utensils. Plus, a performance by a resident noodle master is sure to delight both children and adults. And if the little ones get tired, borrow a baby cot so they can nap while you finish off your meal.
Combining recipes passed down from the owner’s mother with quality Chinese herbs and ingredients, Tang has the right formula for success. This small restaurant makes use of TCM principles to create soups like House Special ($19) – made by boiling chicken, pork and fish bones together with medicinal herbs for over eight hours – and Authentic Sichuan Spices ($21), which has over 40 different spices and herbs to aid digestion. These soups are best accompanied with hotpot ingredients like sliced fish ($22) and marinated beef ($19).
At this hotpot outlet, each soup base is made fresh daily and soups like the ginseng chicken soup and Sichuan spicy soup are robust enough to be enjoyed on its own. Throw in a range of premium meats, seafood, handmade meatballs and vegetables to get your steamboat party bubblin’.
If that wasn't enough to satisfy your tummies...
Once in a while, you always have that sudden craving for something warm, homely, and comforting. We gathered for you the best local desserts places so you don't have to find it, but instead kick back, relax, and end the night with these sweet treats.
Whether you like your soft-serve ice cream topped with honey, served with waffles or made with interesting flavours, we've rounded up the best cool treats.
Throw a stone and it'll most likely land at the doorstep of one of the many Chinese restaurants in Singapore. We've got traditional outlets that have been around since our grandparents' youth as well as new digs by young chefs looking to reinterpret their culinary history.