Last Updated: February 14, 2018
Hotpot fans will be delighted to know that there is a new hotpot place in town. But what’s so exciting about it? Well, you’ll get to pick ingredients for your hotpot off a conveyor belt!
Popular Taiwanese hotpot chain Upot has finally set foot in Singapore with its first outlet situated in the newly-opened Singpost Centre in Paya Lebar.
Upot builds on traditional hotpot dining with a modern, revolutionary dining experience that allows customers to get their ingredients straight from the belt into the pot.
Upon reaching Upot, we were welcomed by a huge LED screen that is hard to miss.
The restaurant has both booth seating (favourable for families), as well as individual counter seating similar to those seen in typical conveyor belt sushi joints. With individual pots, one will not have to worry about fighting over the choice of soup. I get a soup, you get a soup, everybody gets a soup!
Unlike its Taiwanese outlets, this one in Singapore has bumped up its selection of soup bases from two to a whopping six.
Brand new soups such as Wild Mushroom Soup ($7.80) and Tomato Soup ($7.80) have been specially added to the menu to meet our diverse and insatiable Singaporean appetite.
The booths conveniently contain six stoves for each of the different soup base choices, so there’s no reason not to go for all six!
Like traditional hotpot restaurants, there is a self-service condiment station with a varied selection of different sauces and seasonings to choose from. Once you have made the tough choice of selecting your soup base, the feast begins. Take your pick from the massive array of over 80 ingredients that will pass you by on the conveyor belt.
Similar to conveyor belt sushi restaurants, the conveyor belt ingredients are served on different coloured plates: Green ($0.99), Orange ($1.99), Blue ($2.99), and Red ($3.99), each with their own unique price.
We tried the classic and the most popular Xiao Long Kan Old Hotpot ($9.80), which is their version of a mala hotpot. It was rich in spices from star anise to Szechuan peppercorn that left a numbing sensation in my mouth.
I personally felt that the soup could have been a little less oily. However, as a huge fan of spicy food, I really enjoyed how the spiciness and the subtle sweetness were able to permeate well through all the ingredients. Definitely a must-try for the brave.
We were also highly recommended the Taiwanese Herbal Pork Rib Soup ($8.80). Filled with pork bones, red dates and wolfberries, the taste is reminiscent of the local Bak Kut Teh. The herbal flavours were not too overpowering and allowed the essence of the pork bones to shine through, although not as much as I would have liked.
My personal favourite was the Thai Tom Yum Soup ($7.80). Allegedly made with tom yum flavours created for Thai royalty, Upot’s version of tom yum was delicately sweet and had a mildly spicy and sour flavour that worked really well with the hotpot ingredients.
To preserve its freshness, the red meat has to be ordered and then sliced on the spot. Ridiculously priced at $3.99 per plate, it is probably the most worth-it shabu shabu you can find and definitely a highlight at Upot.
Believe it or not, one plate of US Angus Beef Slices ($3.99) can get you 10 slices. They had a good amount of fat and were absolutely delicious.
We also tried the thinly-sliced Kurobuta Pork ($3.99) which was nicely marbled and perfect for shabu shabu.
One of my favourite plates was the Sea Urchin Balls ($2.99) which has four per plate. The balls were overflowing with sea urchin that was pleasantly not too fishy. Even after being cooked, the sea urchin managed to retain its moisture and made for a delectable goodie.
The Shrimp ($2.99) was fresh and juicy in every bite. Each plate had three and was definitely worth the price. However, be sure to keep your eyes on the prawns as they tend to get overcooked easily.
After the meal, your bill is tabulated by using a cool scanning device that is able to count the exact number of the types of coloured plates.
For Upot, its emphasis will always be on providing top-quality food to its customers. Personally, I was a little doubtful that the ingredients circling around the conveyor belt would be able to remain fresh, but they easily put those fears to rest.
Using a high-tech cooling system for the conveyor belt and by sealing the ingredients under plastic covers, customers can be assured of the food’s freshness. So, hold on to your seats as you await new delicious hotpot treats rounding the corner on the conveyor belt!
Expected Damage: $15 – $25 per pax