Hotpot..now that’s a dish all too familiar to most Singaporeans. We have been known to join snaking queues for a taste of its famously rich broth, and some even proclaim themselves to be the “Hotpot Connoisseurs”. But for all the hype, where in the world are the best hotpot places? Let’s take a look at our pick on the Best Hotpot Restaurants in Singapore.
Hai Di Lao 海底捞
The unchallenged champion of the list is Hai Di Lao. While queues can easily be as long as 3 hours or more, Hai Di Lao’s draw is all about the experience and service you get here. I mean, which other hotpot restaurant would offer free manicures, mobile screen protectors, and a snack station while you wait for your table? It may sound gimmicky on paper, but they really do deliver in customer experience. It is their superb, customer-tailored service that has earned them their name. Some of the recommended dishes to get at HDL includes fresh tripe, beef aorta, handmade balls and handmade noodles. The noodles will arrive accompanied by a show; an acrobatic noodle-stretching act right before they go into the pot! HDL is pricier than most other hotpot places, easily reaching $45-$50/pax. But it is well worth it; you will dine like a king!
Address: 313 @ Somerset, 313 Orchard Road #04-23/24
Opening Hours: 10am – 6am
Beauty In The Pot 美滋锅
A refreshing concept by Paradise Group, Beauty In The Pot is famously known as one of the best collagen steamboat restaurants in Singapore. The hotpot paradise opened its latest outlet at Jewel Changi Airport, and to much of our surprise, the interior is dressed in Tiffany blue instead of their usual blush pink decor. Beauty In The Pot’s signature broths include Beauty Collagen Broth, with concoctions of pork trotters, chicken feet, and bones. Its Spicy Nourishing Broth comes in three levels of spiciness, and is boiled with chinese herbs such as red dates, wolfberries, ginseng, and dang gui. Both broths are prepared and simmered for more than 8 hours, promising rich flavours and medicinal benefits. One of their ‘must try’ dishes is their Homemade Fish Tofu, made with yellowtail fish, soya bean, and egg white, giving it a taste and texture that will melt in your mouth. You can make your choice of either a Single ($14), Twin, or Quart ($5 each) pot. We suggest choosing the quart pots so you can try as many of their broths as possible!
Address: Jewel Changi: #B2-224/225/226
Opening Hours: 10am – 6am (last order 4.30am)
Jinji Teochew Steamboat 锦记海鲜火锅
Located at Joo Chiat Road, this traditional Chinese steamboat place might look just normal on the outside, but Jinji Teochew Steamboat is so much more than that! At first glance, you will notice a wall covered in photos of celebrities posing alongside the owner, a suggestion at how famous and legit this place is. Jinji Teochew offers an extensive selection of soup broth boiled for 5 hours with shark bones and fresh fillings like US prime beef, cuttlefish and garoupa. It is recommended to order their fish porridge, which comes with fresh fish slices, before moving on to the steamboat. Teochews undeniably love their kway teow, and one of their house specialties is Fish Kway Teow, freshly-made daily. Their special soup base costs $10 for 2-4 pax and $15 for 5-8 pax. Jinji Teochew has a policy of “bu hao chi, bu shou qian”, meaning “If the food isn’t satisfactory, you don’t need to pay a cent!”.
Address: 176 Joo Chiat Road 427447
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2.30pm, 5pm – 11pm
Spice World Hotpot 香天下火锅
Spice World Hotpot is famed for its authentic MSG-free Sichuan-flavoured broth and unique food presentation. If you’re feeling fancy and extravagant, this is the place to be to satisfy your spicy hotpot cravings. Order up their ‘10 per day’ limited Teddy Bear Spicy Butter block ($9.90++), which is left in the pot to melt, enhancing the flavour of the soup. Out of their array of meat selections, we recommend ordering one of their signature items, the Premium Barbie Wagyu Beef ($38.90++). Also get their One Metre-long Mutton slices ($28.90++), which are tender and thinly sliced, only taking seconds to cook to perfection.
Address: Block B, 3 River Valley Road,#01-06/07 Clarke Quay
Opening Hours: 10.30am – 4am
Guo Fu 国府
Calling all Xiao Long Bao aficionados, you must not give this place a miss! Their weekday buffet price starts at $25.90++ for lunch and $27.90++ for dinner. Guo Fu is famously known for its fat cow hotpot and its free flow of Xiao Long Bao dumplings for all patrons. One unique aspect of Guo Fu that sets it apart from other hotpot places is their use of an individual pot for each diner for the purposes of cleanliness and hygiene. So for those who don’t like to share, this might be a better option for you. This place offers three hotpot options: Set Meal, Ala Carte and Ala Carte Buffet (recommended). You’ll be spoilt for choice as there are a total of ten soup bases to select from, including Beauty, Elderly Tonic and Male Vitality hotpot. Don’t forget to visit their dipping sauce station; the sauces are all made in house!
Address: 20 Cross Street, #01-31, China Court, China Square Central
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 10.30pm
Hao Lai Wu 好来屋
It’s the best of both worlds at Hao Lai Wu, where they serve both BBQ and Steamboat! Hao Lai Wu is not the ordinary steamboat place you think it is; most notably, their clear crystal pots are illuminated in red. They claim that their crystal pots prevents accidental burns and are safer for children. Lunch buffets start at $18.80++, which gets you an impressive spread of fresh seafood and meat. Don’t miss out on their special menu, the Dragon Phoenix Sunrise Egg Roll, where you’ll have a professional “egg roller” on request.
Address: 175B Bencoolen Street Burlington Square #01-57
Opening Hours: 11am – 3am
Da Miao Hotpot 大妙火锅
Are you one to enjoy a performance while enjoying your meal? Da Miao hotpot keep its patrons entertained with a Bian Lian/Face Changing opera performance, a popular act in China. Da Miao originates from Cheng Du, and Singapore is their first international flagship store, apart from their 10 outlets spread across China. Their special soup oil is made from pure grapeseed oil freshly prepared in Sichuan, and when used as a replacement for butter and vegetable oil, creates a more natural flavour that is not all greasy. You have the option to either have your soup ($22++) modified to a local taste or—if you’re up for a challenge—go for the original Chinese taste.
Address: 3C River Valley Road, #01-11, The Cannery, Singapore 179022
Opening Hours: Mon-Thurs, Sun 11.30am to 10.30pm, Fri-Sat: 11.30am-5am
If you fancy a more fusion-type of steamboat, give COCA Restaurant a try! Originating from Bangkok, where it has operated since 1987, COCA is inspired by Thai-Chinese flavours. By marrying authentic Thai cuisine with traditional Chinese home-cooked elements, it’s no wonder the taste resonates well with many Singaporean diners. Among their seven different broths, one unique soup flavour will stand out because it comes with a mountain of fresh coriander, and let’s be honest, you’ll either love it or hate it! However, don’t pass on their Tantalising Laksa soup base, which is truly an authentic Thai experience. Their house specialties include Fish Glue, Shrimp Paste & Handmade Dumplings.
Suntec: 3 Temasek Boulevard #02-440 Suntec City Mall
Ngee Ann City: 391 Orchard Road #04-23 Ngee Ann City
Kallang Leisure Park: 5 Stadium Walk #02-01 Leisure Park Kallang
Opening Hours: 11.15am – 10.30pm
Now there are plenty more hotpot restaurants available in Singapore, no doubt! These are just some of the best value for money places we recommend. If you are looking for a hotpot session that specialises in lamb, perhaps you can check out this article on Little Sheep Hot Pot!