Admit it, we all want to enjoy good quality spicy mala hot pot and sometimes, you really don’t know if you want to be a part of the queue for a certain restaurant that’s famous for their long lines. Though we know that Hai Di Lao is probably one of the best mala hot pots in Singapore, not everyone has the time to queue for two to three hours.
Here’s a list of 10 Alternate mala hot pot restaurants sans the crazy queues and are equally delicious and equally ‘ma’.
1. The Magic Of Chong Qing Hot Pot (重庆火锅馆)
Located in Tanglin Shopping Centre and established in 1994, The Magic Of Chong Qing Hot Pot is the first in Singapore that serves authentic Sze Chuan steamboat.
What is so special about this place is that it does not use any MSG in the soup, which makes it great for the health conscious folks. The famous soup bases include Ma La Tang and Old Faithful Chicken Stock, whereby both have been boiled for hours to ensure optimum flavours and consistency.
Priced at an average of $35.90++ per pax, this will be a favourable place to celebrate your parents’ birthdays.
The Magic Of Chong Qing Hot Pot: 19 Tanglin Road #04-06/07, Tanglin Shopping Centre, Singapore 247909 | Opening Hours: (Daily) 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm | Tel: 6734 8135 | Website
2. Hai Xian Lao (海鲜捞)
Ideal for big groups that always have a problem with deciding what to order, Hai Xian Lao‘s steamboat is done buffet style but it certainly does not skimp on the quality.
The buffet spread ($35++ per pax) includes fresh prawns, clams and a wide variety of quality meats. Psst, there’s even a collagen soup base too that will definitely find favour with the ladies.
On top of those, you get to enjoy some addictive deep fried snacks, and did I mention that it closes at five in the morning? Now you know where to get your supper fix.
Hai Xian Lao: 8 Wilkie Road, Singapore 228095 | Opening Hours: (Daily) 11am – 5am | Tel: 6509 6194 | Facebook
3. Shang Pin Hot Pot (尚品火锅)
Shang Pin Hot Pot has relocated to Marina Square and you’ll get to choose up to three different soup bases for your hot pot. A little secret I found out about this place is that the employees were previously from Hai Di Lao.
As such, almost all the food taste the same as the ever popular counterpart and it also has the noodle-pulling show to boast. With wallet-friendly price tags that average to $30 per pax, this place is ideal for large scale family gatherings.
Shang Pin:6 Raffles Boulevard Marina Square #02-102, Singapore 039594| Opening Hours: (Daily) 12pm – 12am | Tel: 6238 7666 | Facebook
4. Tanyoto Hotpot (谭鱼头)
Tanyoto (谭鱼头) stands for Tam’s fish head, a literal translation of the Chinese word. Known for its quality fish-based soup and spicy fish head. Most patrons spend about $40 – 50 per pax here.
Unlike the local rendition of fish head soup, this place serves traditional mainland Chinese style steamboat and other kinds of dishes that aren’t as easy to find elsewhere, such as the sweet and spicy ox belly and piquant duck tongue.
If you want to try authentic flavours from Sze Chuan, this place is a great bet.
Tanyoto: 177 River Valley Road Liang Court, Singapore 179030 | Opening Hours: (Daily) 11.30am – 11.30pm | Tel: 6836 6839 | Facebook
5. Beauty In The Pot (美滋锅)
Beauty In The Pot is under the Paradise group of restaurants and you can be sure that the signature collagen soup base will enthral your taste buds. Perfect for supper lovers, the restaurants in both OneKM Mall and The Centrepoint only close after 12 midnight.
To justify the ‘beauty’ in its name, this establishment offers spicy nourishing pork broth and beauty collagen shark cartilage soup ($25 for both) that are beneficial for consumers’ health and skin. To add on, it serves complimentary yuzu sorbet shots at the end of the meal, how thoughtful.
6. Upin Hot Pot (優品火鍋)
Located in The Central mall near Clarke Quay, guests at UPin are invited to enjoy the traditional Sze Chuan face-changing show while enjoying their steaming, spicy hot pots.
Among the seven different soup bases of varying spice levels and extensive selections of food, the tomato soup and mushroom meatballs are known to be the crowd’s favourites.
With its prime location and closing time at 3am, this could probably be the next supper spot for the fellow night owls.
7. LongQing Restaurant
Priding themselves in various soup bases that are 100% free of MSG and made from scratch, LongQing serves a great mala hotpot.
In addition to their delicious hotpot, their restaurant is decked out in super hip furnishings complete with concrete walls painted thematically and tastefully.
Hot Pot Set ($55 – $65)
For the divided bowl, we selected a mala broth on one side and wild mushrooms on the other. The spicy mala was numbingly satisfying as our meats and vegetables absorbed the spice when dipped into the piping hot soup. The wild mushroom was an excellent palate cleanser as well.
Their luncheon meat ($6.80), potato noodles ($3.80) and crispy beancurd skin rolls ($6.80) are strongly recommended.
The downside to LongQing is their relatively small portions.
Address: LongQing 隆庆, 18 Hong Kong Street, Singapore 059661
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (5.30pm – 11pm), Closed on Mondays
8. Guo Fu Steamboat (国府珍锅)
Located in the Chinatown vicinity, Guo Fu Steamboat offers unique soup flavours, and some are specially customised in consultation with a Chinese medicine practitioner. Be sure to try the Curry Beef Soup and Male Vitality Soup.
Apart from the very neatly placed food that will soothe an OCD, Guo Fu Steamboat offers free-flow Xiao Long Bao as part of its buffet menu. Yes, all of these for less than $35 per pax.
9. Hao Lai Wu (好来屋)
Here’s where you’ll find the fanciest-looking hot pots; the clear crystal pots illuminated in red that Hao Lai Wu use is not only photo-worthy but also children-friendly since they serve the sole purpose of preventing accidental burns, even when the pot is boiling.
On top of the fresh ingredients that it uses in the buffet spread ($15 – $25 per pax), the chef that prepares the soup originates from Sze Chuan so you can be promised an authentic experience with a pocket-friendly price.
End your meal with Hai Lai Wu’s pan fried ice cream ($5) that are rolled into shapes of love letters.
Hao Lai Wu Steamboat & BBQ: 8 Sago Street, Singapore 059012 | Opening Hours:(Daily) 11am – 3am | Tel: +65 62210065 | Facebook
10. Shi Li Fang (食立方)
The most wallet-friendly of the lot, Shi Li Fang is located in Orchard Central and provides a very affordable option for groups that want to gather over a steaming hot pot without compromising the taste and dining in town.
This place offers Taiwanese style hot pot with lunch deals starting from $9.90, which includes a basic set that consists of vegetables, meat and rice. For a more immersive hot pot experience, add on the Kurobuta pork slices and Japanese Wagyu beef.