Although most hotpot spots are fit for large groups, LongQing stands out for its homely atmosphere: owner James Chiew tends to each table personally, and a portrait of his wife and son is painted on the wall. As old-school Mandopop plays in the background, settle down by a wooden table – they’re suitable for eight – to share one hotpot. Even the smaller tables, which seat four each, can combine to form a longer table. Alternatively, book out the whole restaurant and throw a hotpot party for up to 40 friends.
Instead of bogging down customers with too many options, LongQing keeps its menu simple. There are only four types of soup available: the signature pork bone soup, mala, tomato and wild mushroom ($18 for a choice of two). After spending years living in Shanghai and learning from his wife – a native of Chong Qing – Chiew has perfected his soup base recipes to appeal to both traditional Chinese and Singaporean palates. Premium ingredients like the Mangalica pork collar ($30), US short rib ($22) and Canadian scallops ($12.80) are delivered daily while specialty pork balls ($12) and prawn paste ($14) are made fresh every afternoon.