Are you in quest of the best steamboat in Singapore? Here’s what you need to know. Then, check it out with your family and friends.
We sift through dozens of steamboat restaurants on a quest for the best spots to take your family and friends.
For our foreign friends who just got here in Singapore, a steamboat refers to a boat powered by steam. So they get bewildered by the thought of eating in a steamboat restaurant.
The truth is, the steamboat is instead a popular meal option for Singaporeans, no matter what the weather is. Locals love to gulp the hot aromatic soup with soaked thinly sliced meat, fish balls, fresh seafood, tofu, and vegetables. To others, a steamboat meal is reserved for special occasions meant to be celebrated with their families and loved ones.
If you are new to steamboats, you’ll be happy to know that there are no complicated rules considering the overwhelming number of ingredients you can dip.
You simply soak the dipping ingredients into the soup base of your choice and then dip it into your self-made sauce. In fact, you can eat it in any way your heart desires. You can even drink beer as you cook and chat with family and friends.
It is interesting to note that the best steamboat Singapore used to be very basic. It involved a pot of boiling water and additional ingredients that you can throw in to flavour it up. Now, the soup bases are mostly stock or some precooked flavoured soup.
With the flavours, health benefits and camaraderie it brings, it is not surprising that the steamboat has found its own place in the Singaporean culture. That is why more and more steamboat restaurants have popped up all over the city-state in recent years.
But worry not! We have listed the best ones for you here.
For each steamboat restaurant we visited in Singapore, we have given our personal verdict based on these factors:
Are you looking for a unique steamboat soup with first-class service?
Well, look no more. Hua Ting Steamboat got you!
Hua Ting Steamboat is located at Claymore Connect, Orchard Hotel’s newly renovated shopping arcade.
What makes Hua Ting Steamboat standout is its soup bases derived from Chinese Cantonese cuisine. Opened in October 2015, this steamboat restaurant offers an irresistible collection of soup bases and dishes suitable for family, friends and colleagues who are up to a one of a kind and the best steamboat Singapore experience.
Naturally, we expected Chinese style steamboats with twists crafted by Hua Ting’s chefs. And we were not disappointed considering the prices of their fascinating dishes.
Hua Ting Steamboat offers steamboats for groups of diners and down-sized Casserole Hotpots for busy office workers. Nonetheless, both servings have the same scrumptious broths and freshly-picked ingredients. In addition, each soup base is made daily from scratch.
The hot pot has its usual divider to serve us two soup bases. We indulged ourselves in Sichuan Mala Seaweed Soup with Bean Sprout and the Shark’s Bone Cartilage Soup with Fresh Beancurd Soup.
Apart from these, there are four other soup bases:
Sichuan Mala Seaweed Soup with Bean Sprout was not too spicy. It has just the right kick to let us slurp soups. But if you are not into spicy food, you might want to skip this as it still has the spicy burn that lingers in your mouth, just like other mala soups.
Meanwhile, Shark Bone’s cartilage soup is mildly sweet and savoury. We had a couple of refills. You will also find a chunk of bone in this clear soup.
We also felt obliged to try Hua Ting Steamboat’s signature soup base, “Superior Fish Soup with Winter Melon & Conpoy ($34)” from the Chef Creation Pot. Unfortunately, the soup bases in the Chef Creation Pot are more expensive than the basic soup bases mentioned above.
Suffice to say that the presentation is brilliant and unique.
They cut off raw winter melon on both ends and scooped out the seeds. It is then put in a flat-bottomed metal pot filled with fish soup. Next, wolfberries, shredded dried scallop (conpoy), and Tianjin cabbage are added to the winter melon. The longer the soup simmers, the sweeter it gets, even without additional ingredients. I also found it fascinating that the inside is cooked while the outer layer remains uncooked.
You can dip your meats inside the winter melon, while you should cook larger items in the soup surrounding the winter melon.
As the meal ends, a server will cut open the winter melon to mix it with the soup within. The light sweetness blends perfectly with all the added meats and ingredients that we can’t help but gulp away.
The ingredients are add-ons. You need to pay for each serving.
Nevertheless, one notable ingredient worth mentioning is the prawns ($8 for 3 pcs).
They are the same prawns we have seen alive in the display. Only now they are skewered. It makes it easier to cook and peel. You dip it in the steamboat and then lift it to see it change into its bright orange colour.
Another ingredient we loved was the fresh kurobuta pork. It is served in 8 slices for $12. It’s so delectable that it disappeared within minutes.
Ever had some mouthwatering luncheon meat? This processed food did not even taste as if it came from a can. It is handmade to perfection!
The wide variety of sauces is overwhelming too. It could also help if each is correctly labelled in English for our foreign friends. So we have decided to try the chef’s recommendation: chilli sauce, coriander, Thai green chilli, spring onions, and sesame oil.
Hua Ting Steamboat is clean and modern, but nothing fancy in its interior design. Its modern cushioned orange seats made of synthetic leather do not help to create an elegant vibe at all.
The seats are placed close to each other, but there is still enough legroom to eat with family and friends comfortably. They want to maximise the floor space. However, it gets noisy when it is fully packed.
Hua Ting also takes pride in its live seafood displays. We could see the sea perch, lobsters and prawns waiting for their final end.
The service is a cross between up-market and fine dining. The staff can answer our inquiries about the menus and are quick to give suggestions. It shows that they have good product knowledge. They even memorised the varieties and prices of soup bases and ingredients.
The staff are also efficient in keeping the tables clean. They take away our empty used plates during the meal to give space for the other dishes. It is also notable that they make an effort to check on us regularly. What stood out for me in the service area is that they even offered to change our cutlery.
If you order a Yuan Yang pot, you can choose two soup bases for $26. The ingredients are excluded from the price.
The prices are also higher than other steamboat restaurants, but the dishes are of high quality.
Eating at Hua Ting Steamboat is quite an exceptional experience. However, it is not as budget-friendly as the other steamboat restaurants.
Add to that, the vibe is too busy and feels overcrowded. The serving portion of each dish was too small that we had to order many to get packed.
11:30am to 2:30pm, Dinner: 5:30pm to 10:30pm
442 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238879
Can’t decide between BBQ and steamboat?
Let Hao Lai Wu Steamboat give you the best of both worlds!
Hao Lai Wu Steamboat is famous for a couple of things. First off, it uses crystal pots which prevent burns. After two hours of dining, we touched the pot, and it felt hot but not scalding enough to burn our hands. Impressive! But expect these crystal pots to be shallower than the usual steamboat pots.
My personal tip is to get a seat inside the restaurant. The tables outside have the usual pots, while the ones inside get to have the crystal pots.
Another reason Hao Lai Wu is famous around its place is its steamboat cum grill buffet. You get to enjoy the hot pot and grill on the same table. Moreover, their BBQ grill emits less smoke than other grills. So you can leave the place without smelling like barbeque.
Finally, their seats serve a dual purpose. The cushions are removable, and you can keep your things away from the grill’s smell. Add to that. The whole colourful place is Instagrammable.
Hao Lai Wu offers six soup bases: Chengdu Spicy (Mala), Herbal Chicken Soup, Thai Tom Yam, Nutritious Mushroom, Healthy Tomato, and Secret Recipe Pork Bone. We ordered the most in-demand soup bases, which are chicken and mala.
The soup bases are created from scratch. The spiciness is adjustable depending on your preference, so don’t forget to tell the server how spicy you want your soup to be.
Hao Lai Wu Steamboat takes pride in its mala soup’s authentic taste, thanks to the chef from the Sichuan province. We requested moderate spiciness, and we were not disappointed with the aromatic mala soup.
We were also pleased to see our chicken soup base loaded with Chinese herbs such as red dates, dang shen, Chinese yams and goji berries. All of which are known for their health benefits. However, this chicken soup needed more umami, so we soaked the seafood. Soon, the flavour got better but not enough to be called mouthwatering.
The buffet had the usual varieties: vegetables, processed foods, meats and seafood.
The seafood is sweeter due to its freshness. You can choose from a wide variety, such as octopus tentacles, prawns, crabs, and bamboo clams. The most interesting for us is the octopus tentacles. It is something we don’t find in many steamboat restaurants. We soaked it in the soup for a minute and enjoyed the chewy flesh.
While we are more focused on the steamboat (since we are tasked to review it), we could not help but anticipate the so-called “lip-smacking egg omelette” cooked over the smokeless grill. Unfortunately, it is a special dish not on the menu, so you have to request fit from the server precisely.
Our server beat the eggs and added prawns, chopped scallions, and some chillies. Then, they poured it on the parchment-covered grill. Soon the eggs were rolled up and cut into smaller pieces.
The omelette is not as fluffy as anticipated, but the mouthwatering fragrance from the prawns and the scallions is heavenly.
The pig’s ears are weird, but you will like them if you are an adventurous eater. They are chewy and have soft cartilage that makes the texture interesting. Though considered exotic by many, considering that it’s the pig’s ears, the skin and tendon are in collagen – the same nutrient that makes skin healthier and glow from within.
Take note that some meats and seafood are not marinated. It means some tasted bland if grilled. You will need your self-crafted sauces to make them tastier.
Two particular sauces caught our attention as they are not usually seen in the best steamboat Singapore restaurants: the leek sauce and fermented bean curd sauce. However, they turned out to be too salty for our taste, so we reverted to our trusted concoction of sesame oil, sesame sauce, spring onions, minced garlic and chilli.
Let us not forget the yummy free-flow mantou. The outside has a delicate crackle, while the inside is delightfully soft. For an instant, we craved chilli crab. The fried mantou is so perfect we stuffed ourselves as we waited for the soups to simmer more.
Unlike the usual steamboat restaurants that are glamorous or traditional, Hao Lai Wu Steamboat is more into pop art. The interior design incorporates eye-catching images and art pieces.
The oil drum chairs are attractive too. You can put your bags in the compartment under the cushion to ensure safe from spills and barbeque smell. The whole place is air-conditioned well since there are also other fans. But the seats outside seem to experience a warmer environment.
The service at Hao Lai Wu Steamboat is good. The servers are attentive, and they make good omelettes. Also, they recommended the tastiest marinated meats.
Lunch, dinner, and weekday dinner: $24.80+
The ambience and service are great, and we loved the free-flow mantou. For a moment, it made me crave some chilli crab. However, the chicken soup base needs some flavour, so we had to throw in some ingredients to make it tastier.
11 am – 3 am Daily
8 Sago St, Singapore 059012
If your palate is craving the rich flavour of Laksa steamboat, then you should head along Teck Chye Terrace and try out King’s Laksa Steamboat.
We heard that the Laksa Soup here is a must-try for every Singaporean. This place is also known for its all-you-can-eat steamboat buffet too. So we expected to be fully satiated with food and experience.
We chose King’s Laksa Steamboat’s signature soup base and paired it with the more delicate option, chicken soup. But don’t forget that King’s Laksa also offers other soup bases such as spicy mala chilli soup, herbal and seafood soups.
Thanks to the rich coconut milk, the fragrant Laksa Soup base is creamy. The tingling spiciness is bearable. Even those with a low tolerance for spicy food can slurp the rich soup to their heart’s content.
Additionally, the chicken soup we ordered helped cleanse our palates and rejuvenate our taste buds. It is subtly sweet and savoury. The alternation of laksa soup and chicken soup is a newfound joy to our palate.
Once we had decided on our soups, we proceeded to their selection of ingredients laid out on the counter. Again, the options are not extensive.
You will find the standard vegetables such as corn, mushrooms, lotus roots, iceberg lettuce, potatoes, broccoli, and cabbage.
Besides the veggies is the processed food, including sausages, meatballs, cuttlefish, luncheon meat, and the ever-present fish balls. Of course, you will not miss noodles too. There are a couple of noodles that you can choose from, such as the Brown Rice Laksa Noodles, the classic Wholemeal Yellow Noodles, and the Hand-pulled La Mian.
The premium ingredients are not found among them. Instead, you can order your meat slices of pork, beef, chicken and lamb directly off the menu. The meat is lean and has minimal fat. If you want more fatty meat, you can opt for the pork belly. Additionally, the lamb is gamey but not tough to chew.
Try out the steamboat with mussels, clams, fresh prawns, squid, and flower crabs.
Aside from its famous buffet, King’s Laksa Steamboat also serve a wide array of fried appetisers (freshly prepared to order), such as mantou buns, nuggets, spring rolls, and prawn paste chicken wings. I was pleasantly surprised that the chicken wings were not too greasy. Instead, they fried it just right, and it’s finger-lickin’ good.
Also, you can help yourself with the free-flow drinks, including lemongrass drink, sour plum, water chestnut, and calamansi lime juice.
And did we tell you about the free-flow ice cream? They have six flavours: chocolate, yam, corn, mint, strawberry, and cookies & cream.
Once we entered the restaurant, we have immediately noticed how simplistic its interior was. You will see the monochromatic colour tone throughout the place, with a few headlamps emitting an orange-ish glow.
It is also a surprise that the place is not crowded, especially during lunch hours on a weekday. So we enjoyed the best steamboat Singapore in peace.
The service was fast, and the staff was attentive to orders. However, not all staff can converse in English. It seems that they prefer speaking too loudly.
Weekdays: The adult price is $21.80++ while the child price is $16.80++
Weekends and Public Holidays: The adult price is $26.80++ while the child price is $16.80++
King’s Laksa Steamboat lives up to expectations. Everything is absolutely delish, from the laksa soup base to side dishes. On the other hand, we think they need to step up their service area. We also feel that the options for ingredients are pretty limited too.
It’s also a nice place to catch up with friends since the area is not as crowded as other steamboat restaurants.
The price includes two soup bases, a standard selection of ingredients, cooked food, free-flow drinks and ice cream. Add to that. We are also offered free soya pudding. Worth the price!
11 am to 11 pm daily
17 Teck Chye Terrace, Singapore 545724
Pamper yourself with Guo Fu Steamboat’s authentic beef hotpot.
Just five minutes away from Chinatown MRT, you can indulge in Guo Fu Steamboat’s famous nourishing soup bases and free flow Xiao Long Bao.
Each soup base has various fresh Chinese herbs and spices that make it both tasty and healthy. You can have two soups in a yuan yang pot or have the soup base in small individual pots.
Guo Fu Steamboat offers three dining options for its diners: a la carte buffet, a la carte and set meal. If you are on the go and don’t have much time, you can get a set meal at $13.90 to $17.90. A $3 soup is already in the set meal.
The a la carte buffet has more than 60 ingredients ranging from mushrooms to meats. On the other hand, a la carte hot pot has over a hundred varieties.
Initially, we were surprised that the buffet price did not include the soup bases. So we had to order them separately.
So we got the large pot with a partition and ordered two soups out of Guo Fu Steamboat’s ten soups. For this feast, we chose Spicy Soup and Herbal Soup. I think you can share the twin-flavour pots among a group of four.
Also, they have premium broths called Elderly Tonic Soup, Male Vitality Soup, and Beauty Soup which are famous for women as it contains collagen.
There is also a vegetarian soup base for people who are not into meat. So, indeed, there is something for everyone, no matter your preferences.
We tried the herbal soup, and we think it is pretty basic with red dates and wolfberries. Despite the cloudy consistency, it was bland. If you are a fan of tasty soups, you can opt for Kimchi Soup and Curry Beef Soup.
Surprisingly, the mala soup was not too spicy. Don’t get intimidated by the fiery hue of this soup. The expected numbness is not there. But if you want a more intense kick like we do, you can hit the button console found on the table and ask the server to make it spicier for you. I think this is great for people who have a low tolerance for spicy food.
While Guo Fu Steamboat is famous for its A La Carte Buffet, the free-flow xiao long bao took the spotlight!
These dumplings are served piping hot. While the pouch is relatively thicker than its peers, it is still soft and easy to bite into. The soup inside is subtly sweet, and the meat is tender. We enjoyed it so much that we gobbled two servings before starting our hot pot.
Like other the best steamboat Singapore restaurants, Guo Fu Steamboat has a wide variety of meats, seafood, mushrooms, and vegetables.
Our table has sliced beef, pork, mutton, chicken, hog’s skin and duck’s gizzard. We also had fresh prawns, sliced fish and scallops. They added more briny flavour to the herbal soup, making it tastier.
My personal favourite is the special beef slices. It comes in generous portions, and each piece has fat streaks all over it. Ideally, it is soaked up in the soup, and the flavours blend well.
And did we tell you about the range of noodles that you can also enjoy? I thought it would be a waste if I stuffed myself with plain white rice, so I opted for sweet potato noodles instead. This wider pasta did well in soaking up the luscious mala soup. It was chewy and perfect for a bite.
As your steamboat bubbles away, take your time to concoct sauces on the condiment counter. I had a great time creating my dipping sauces at the clean and extensive sauce counter. Even the toughest eaters will find the best sauce to suit their palates.
Since we had our mala soup made spicier, we needed some refreshments. So to wash down the spicy kick, we had some homemade iced roselle tea (hibiscus tea). One of us also tried their snow pear with rock sugar.
Guo Fu Steamboat also offers wine and beer.
We got stuffed, but we still had some stomach space for desserts. There are four options: pumpkin cake, pumpkin puree, fried banana fritters and fresh fruits.
I loved the fried banana fritters best. It was not too greasy. Also, it is crunchy on the outside but delectably soft inside. That’s why it is definitely a must-try.
Guo Fu Steamboat’s environment is spacious and clean. It could get a bit stuffy during dinner but not overcrowded. It was also well air-conditioned. I reckon it is a notch better than the other steamboat restaurants.
We experience prompt service. The friendly staff was exceptionally attentive with the refill of soup and drinks. You can also use the button console to ask for your bill. It is such a relief that you don’t have to wave at the servers to catch their attention.
A la Carte Buffet (Lunch): Adult – $25.90++; Child – $13.90++
A la Carte Buffet (Dinner): Adult – $27.90++; Child – $15.90++
Individual pots range between $3 and $7. The twin-flavour pots cost between $9 and $23.
We had a tastier soup base in other restaurants, but considering the excellent free-flow xiao long bao, good service, and cool environment, we think that our money has been well spent.
11:30 am to 10:30 pm Daily
20 Cross Street, China Square Central, #01-31/32/33 China Court Guo Fu Steamboat
As we continued hunting for the best steamboat in Singapore, a friend suggested the Upin Hot Pot. So we went to the West Coast branch to try it out for ourselves.
I heard that the chef of Upin Hot Pot was once from HaiDiLao Hotpot. Maybe it’s because of certain similarities in the concept. However, the Upin Hot Pot menu is less pricey, and the place is less crowded.
You must also not confuse Upin Hot Pot with the UPOT. UPOT offers Taiwan’s distinctive hot pot served in a conveyer belt. Upin Hot Pot, on the other hand, does a more traditional Chinese style steamboat.
Most of the best steamboats Singapore we tried offer soups in Yuan Yang pots or quadruple pots, but Upin Hot Pot has its trio pot. We took advantage of this and ordered Black Chicken, Tomato, and Ma La soup bases. There is no buffet here, so the ingredients are a la carte.
Upin’s speciality, Tomato soup, is 100% fresh tomatoes boiled in an hour and painstakingly hand peeled. The chefs will then grind it into a pulpy mixture which is left to simmer until it produces the perfect sweetness and tanginess without extra flavourings.
Upin is known for its premium ingredients such as the Braised Pork Intestines, Fresh Ox Tongue, Beef Tendons, and Pig Brain. You can also indulge yourself with American Wagyu Beef, Fresh Bullfrog, Crispy Fish Skin, and Japanese Kurobuta Pork.
The handmade meatballs are interesting: Beef Balls, Pork Balls, Cheese Beef Balls, Shrimp Balls, and Fish Balls. The best among the handmade ball creations is the Handmade Mushroom Meat Balls.
If you love mushrooms like me, you will enjoy a wide variety of mushrooms such as Beech Mushrooms, Oyster Mushrooms, King Oyster Mushrooms, Golden Mushrooms, Black Fungus, White Beech Mushrooms and Shiitake Mushrooms. Each serving costs $4 to $5.
Hotpots are not complete without the self-made dipping sauce you can create with 24 types of sauces and toppings. And with just $3, we enjoyed the free-flow fruits, seasoning and sauces. Upin’s hotpot sauces are made in-house, including the mushroom sauce and the Korean-style chilli sauce. We customised our sauces from the wide selection of condiments. My very own concoction is just the essential: grated ginger, spring onion, sesame oil, and a pinch of salt. Another sauce I made consisted of 1 tbsp of sesame paste, 1 tbsp of light soya sauce, ½ tbsp of vinegar, ¼ tbsp. of sesame oil, ½ tbsp of chilli oil, and 1 tbsp of lightly toasted white sesame seeds. You can never go wrong with these sauces!
With only $3, you can get a free-flow homemade Iced Lemon Tea, Water Chestnut and Barley. We preferred the refreshing taste of barley. But if you want some liquor, Upin offers the most infamous Chinese liquor – Maotai. You can also choose from a variety of beers and wine.
One add-on that is hard to match is Upin’s entertainment. The Handmade Noodles, which costs$3 in a spectacular display of noodle-wielding prowess right at your tableside. If the night is not too busy for the staff, they will also have an interactive Sichuan opera face-changing performance at 8 pm.
Aside from the food, we enjoyed the inviting view of the Singapore River. Mind you. We only paid a fraction of the price Hai Di Lao could have paid. So if you want the same mesmerising view as ours, make a reservation.
The service is okay. Our soups were topped up with servers wearing clean aprons. Also, the staff are attentive and helpful as they suggest soup bases and ingredients to us.
We came for a Friday night dinner, and there was already a healthy crowd. Fortunately, there was no long queue that you usually see in Hai Di Lao. There was a buzz but not too noisy. There was a 变脸 performance halfway through our dinner.
Upin Hot Pot makes fresh quality Chinese food at a lower cost than other high-class and the best steamboat Singapore restaurants. The Tomato Soup was fantastic, and the Ma La soup has a distinctive bite of spiciness.
Opening Hours: 11 am to 3 am Daily
Address: #03-87 Clarke Quay Central, Singapore 059817
Reservation: 6221 5550
Opening Hours: 11 am to 12 am Daily
Address: #04-19 Orchard Gateway, Singapore 238858
Reservation: 6288 5550
Opening Hours: 11 am to 12 am Daily
Address: #01-02 West Coast Plaza, Singapore 127371
Reservation: 6258 5550
When you think steamboats can’t get any better, we get introduced to the delicious collagen broth of Beauty in The Pot.
Out of three branches, we chose to visit the one on the second level of the OneKM. This one looks fancier with the interior in various shades of pink. Everything is pink, from the ceiling drapes to the seats – a strong contrast with the level one branch, which is more black.
There are six soup bases to choose from:
The Beauty Collagen Broth is the most famous, especially among women. The soup is good on its own without us putting any ingredients. It is not only packed with loads of nutrients and vitamins, but it is also teeming with flavour. You may think it is a bit pricey, but once you gulp down the soup base and start the hotpot experience, you will not hesitate to visit again.
The Cooling Coconut Broth is something new to our taste buds. It even has young coconut meat giving the soup a sweet aftertaste.
This Paradise Group restaurant serves an extensive list of homemade specialities and fresh ingredients that can surely titillate your taste buds.
One of the most famous ingredients is the Homemade Fish Tofu crafted with yellowtail fish, egg white, and soya bean. The texture is so smooth that it feels like it is melting in your mouth. So heavenly!
The Drunken Live Prawns are succulent and fresh! It also has a rich wine flavour.
This 288-seater outlet reminds me of fluffy cotton candy. It put me in a cheery mood even before I ordered.
The blooming cherry blossom inspires interior design in spring, from the ceiling to the charging ports. Black and beige serve as the darks and neutral tones that highlight the pink accent perfectly. Also, there are pink private rooms for diners who want to have a more private experience. It is also interesting to see a private room with individual pots.
You will easily notice a huge playground suitable for 4 to 12 years old outside. Kids can play here while the grownups have hearty meals. Also, the colourful garden is an excellent brine to get the kids to sit and eat before playing outside.
The servers are attentive and respectful. They even bowed to us. Additionally, they refilled the soup without us asking, as if they could always anticipate our needs. Also, I appreciate how a server offered to peel the prawn shells for us. Most of the time, the little things count a lot.
Since this is not a buffet, every ingredient has its price per serving. So it is such a surprise that they added even the condiments to the bill.
Remember that they will forfeit your reservation if you do not arrive within 10 minutes. If you are a group of five, your dining time is only up to 1.5 hours. If you are a group of six or more, you can enjoy your hotpot for 2 hours.
The food quality is definitely worth the price though I think my family and I will reserve eating here only for special occasions.
On another note, it could have been better if they informed us that the sauces and other condiments are chargeable.
Finally, I love how the tables are not too near each other. It made me eat more with ease.
Address: OneKM, 11 Tanjong Katong Road #03-38 (Paya Lebar MRT)
Opening Hours: 11:30 am to 3:00 am
Reservation: +65 62848820
Address: The Centrepoint, 176 Orchard Road #05-15/16 (Somerset MRT)
Opening Hours: 11:30 am to 6:00 am
Reservation: +65 62353557
Address: OneKM, 11 Tanjong Katong Road #02-21 (Paya Lebar MRT)
Opening Hours: 6:00 pm to 10:30 pm
Reservation: +65 67022542
Everyone loves a good hotpot, and a non-MSG steamboat is quite heavenly.
And guess what! We do have that hearty soup base in LongQing Hotpot!
Couple James Chiew and his wife Chong Qing rely heavily on traditional cooking methods instead of monosodium glutamate (MSG).
I was curious about these non-MSG soup bases since many restaurants claim to offer this, but not all seem honest. But as soon as I slurped the first bowl of the wild mushroom soup, I knew it was authentic.
The soups are from boiling meats, herbs, bones, mushrooms, spices and other condiments for hours to have that authentic umami.
LongQing Hotpot buffet menu is relatively straightforward with its various soup bases: Signature Clear Broth, Ma La, Tomato, Shark’s Fin Melon Herbal Soup, and Wild Mushroom.
We know the clear broth sounds plain, but the experience is mesmerising, especially if you are not a fan of flavourful fiery soups. This soup has been cooked for more than 10 hours with a light herbal taste thanks to dang gui. It pulls every flavour from the ingredients and creates a refreshingly unique soup base.
We ordered the popular wild mushroom soup base. The fragrance of Wild Mushroom soup immediately whets my appetite. We heard that they boiled this nutritious soup with various herbs and wild mushrooms (tea tree mushroom, monkey head mushroom, and the cow liver mushroom/porcini), so we were not surprised by its sweetness.
According to James, the tea tree mushroom helps clear water retention in our bodies, and the monkey head mushroom detoxifies our digestive system. Moreover, we found out that porcini mushrooms have high anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. After boiling the mushroom and herbs for at least four hours, they will combine it with the chicken and pork broth boiling for about 10 hours. So now we know why it is so divine both in taste and smell.
We also tried LongQing Hotpot’s version of Spicy Ma La soup base. This Ma La soup is less oily than the usual ones we get from other the best steamboat Singapore restaurants. I was surprised that it is also good enough to be consumed as a soup and not just an intense soup base where you soak your meat. Soon, we found out that LongQing uses almost 40 herbs and spices, including Sichuan dried chilli, peppercorns, garlic, ginger and fresh chilli.
On another note, as I gulped the Ma la soup, I realised that this soup had infused flavours, not just spiciness. Other Ma La soup bases have numbing spiciness but are not as flavourful.
To maximise your hotpot experience, drink the wild mushroom soup first before the servers pour in more broth and dilute the taste.
As for Ma La soup, do not forget to put in the noodles to soak up the flavour. If you don’t want the greasy oil, just let it boil for a while to keep the oil at the pot’s side.
We munched on the Chilled Spicy Black Fungus while waiting for our soup bases. The spiciness and tanginess further whet our appetite. We liked how the fungus crunched in our mouths.
Also, the Spicy Garlic Pork Belly is a must-try. The thinly sliced pork belly is just right and becomes more delightful when dipped in its special sauce.
The next gastronomic delight is LongQing’s Braised Pig Ear with Mashed Cucumber. Not all hotpot restaurants have pig ears, so I was surprised to know they have it here.
The best ingredients that we loved in the soup bases are the crispy fish skin, crispy bean curd skin roll, the various mushrooms served on a platter, and the luncheon meat. The luncheon meat has meat chunks in it too. Also, we did not miss the chance to try the juicy handmade Hungarian pork balls.
The beef serving is pretty generous, considering it costs $22 to $24 per serving. But, aside from that, the fish and prawn paste is mind-boggling. The prawn paste even has a bit of tobiko inside, which bursts in your mouth.
Also, we helped ourselves with the DIY sauces. I appreciate that the labels are in English.
We ended the meal with the crispy taro balls. However, our fullness did not stop us from enjoying its crispiness on the outside and chewiness on the inside.
The whole restaurant 50-seater restaurant exudes a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Evidently, the business is brisk with the crowd, but it does not feel rowdy. I just hope they would expand as I thought that the tables aren’t many enough. It is best to make a reservation a day or two ahead.
As you let your eyes roam around, you will notice the interior industrial design and the wooden furnishing is simplistic yet with a tad bit of hipster art thanks to the monochromatic street style murals. I heard that the murals are photos of the lady boss’ and their child (then three months old). Yet, surprisingly, it feels homey and comfy.
Though a bit crowded, the service remained very friendly and warm. We felt accommodated from the time we entered the restaurant until we left. In addition, the servers can speak and understand English earning LongQing a plus point.
Evidently, “no-MSG soup bases” is not LongQing Hotpot’s empty gimmick. Instead, it serves authentic soups full of goodness in every slurp. It is refreshing and revitalising after a day of hard work.
I think their signature wild mushroom soup is the most superior I have tasted. However, I think tomato soup is not as memorable. On the other hand, the Ma La soup base is very drinkable and tasty.
The no service charge made the difference here, unlike most hotpot restaurants that we tried. Though the table is small, the servers are attentive enough to gather the used empty plates.
The only gripe we had was the very limited choices of ingredients and drinks compared to other hotpot places.
Overall, LongQing is definitely the best steamboat in Singapore.
Tuesday to Sunday 1:30 am – 2:30 pm and 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm
18 Hong Kong Street Singapore 059661
Undeniably, Hai Di Lao Hot Pot is one of Singapore’s most famous hot pot restaurants. It is so known and patronised that it now has eight branches across the city-state.
So in the search for the best hot pot in Singapore, we can’t ignore its presence.
We are not surprised to see the long queue of people waiting to be seated. It’s a good thing that we had a reservation. We arrived early, and I have noticed how Hai Di Lao Hot Pot takes care of its diners. People waiting in line can have a free manicure service, massage chair, one-time photo printing, fruits, and free snacks like crackers or popcorns. So you will not get bored while waiting for your table.
But if you want to avoid the long line of people, you simply have to arrive really early or after 10 pm when most of the crowd is gone. Moreover, there is no need to worry about the closing time since Hai Di Lao Hot Pot is open until 6 am. Also, it is excellent news for people who want to sober up after drinking through the night.
Once we got seated, we noticed how polite and friendly the servers were. They automatically passed the apron and zip locks for our phones. They will also pour you a drink and makes sure that you are comfy.
Even foreigners will be relieved to know that the menu is in English, complete with photos. That is how Hai Di Lao maintained its patrons, quality service and food.
So now let’s talk about food!
I highly recommend the Quadruple Pot for your first visit. You can try four different soup bases.
We decided on Seafood, Chicken, Tomato, and Sichuan Mala on our visit. The seafood soup base is creamy in itself. It somehow has a hint of sweetness you get from fresh seafood. The tomato soup base has fragrant and sweet. On the other hand, the Sichuan Ma La soup bites with its peppery, spicy burn. The chicken broth is tasty on its own.
If you want to order just two soups, we recommend having the strong Ma La and the delicious chicken soup to balance each other. However, if you are not into spicy food, better steer away from Ma La.
The hand-pulled noodles seemed to be the highlight of our dinner. The theatric dance is superb, though I hope it could be a bit longer. The handmade noodles soaked up the Ma LA soup just great in a few minutes.
The sauces are at an additional $4 per person. Choose from more than 20 different sauces and mix your creation. If you are clueless about what sauce to make, you can follow the listed concoctions posted on the sauce counter.
I may say that Hai Di Lao Hot Pot amazingly maintained its elegance despite opening a couple of branches since it started. The luxurious appearance of Hai Di Lao Hot Pot at Plaza Singapura is may be due to the clean and contemporary interior design that matches its logo well.
I love how the waiting area is comfy. The long queues can take one to two hours, but this does not mean that you will get bored. There are seats and tables you can use. Aside from the free snacks, Hai Di Lao also provides entertainment like board games and puzzles with rewards too. For example, if you solve a Rubik’s cube, you will get a free dish worth $6. Also, if you fold 30 cranes or 100 paper stars, you will get a complimentary dish.
In addition, the servers are courteous and friendly. They gave aprons to cover our clothes and zip locks for our phones. One of them even gave my friend an apron just because she likes it. They even offered to peel the prawns for us. And if you bring in a drink, they will open and serve it for you with no corkage fee. So nobody will be stopping you if you want to celebrate an occasion with a bottle of wine.
Dine-in Hai Di Lao on your birthday and get a free fruit platter which includes slices of mango, kiwi, tomatoes, watermelon and grapes. Not to mention a giant LED-light display signboard to make the day more memorable and Instagrammable. If it is your grandparent’s birthday, take them to Hai Di Lao, and they will get a platter of longevity buns to wish them good health and long life.
Take the service level up a notch. Hai Di Lao branches have playrooms for children. It has toys, puzzle games, and even cots.
But I think one of the best things about Hai Di Lao’s service is their foresight to provide charging ports to their diners. Each table has built-in USB ports where you can juice up your phone as you get full yourself.
Such detailed lah!
There is no buffet at Hai Di Lao Hot Pot. Each dish costs per serving. The average price per person could be $45.
It sure is a value-added service when your servers are multilingual. We felt comfortable throughout the dinner, and the servers are approachable. I think that the value of its outstanding service makes up for the price. And I heard that the service has the same quality in other branches.
Opening Hours: 10:30 am – 6 am
Address: 313 Orchard Road #04-23/24
Reservation: 6835 7227
Opening Hours: 10:30 am – 6 am
Address: 103 Irrawaddy Rd, #06-01/02 Royal Square @Novena
Reservation: 6565 5567
Opening Hours: 10:30 am – 6 am
Address: 2 Jurong East Street 21, #03-01 IMM
Reservation: 6896 4111
Opening Hours: 10:30 am – 6 am
Address: 33 Sengkang West Ave, #03-36/37 The Seletar Mall
Reservation: 6282 5505
Opening Hours: 10:30 am – 6 am
Address: 68 Orchard Road #04-01/20 Plaza
Reservation: 6250 0990
Opening Hours: 10:30 am – 6 am
Address: 1 Harbourfront Walk #03-09 Vivocity
Reservation: 6250 7557
Opening Hours: 10:30 am – 6 am
Address: Clarke Quay, 3D River Valley Rd, #02-04
Reservation: 6337 8627
Operating Hours: 10:30 am to 6:00 am
Address: 311 New Upper Changi Rd, #01-13 Bedok Mall
Reservation: 6385 3343
Want to take up your best steamboat Singapore experience to different new levels?
Get ready with your multi-tasking skills and head over to Flame Café.
Flame Cafe is a 6,000sqft restaurant set on the first floor of Centro Bianco. It is famous for its four-tier Halal steamboats served only after 3 pm. If you arrive early, you can enjoy other Western fusion dishes while passing up your time.
Flame Cafe’s Pagoda Steamboat is unique on its own. The bottom level is the Yuan Yang Soup Base. We had the chicken soup and the Mala Soup. Also, Tom Yum Soup and Herbal Tonic Soup are available. Like other steamboat buffets, the soup top-up is free-flow.
The Mala soup has numbing spiciness.
The second tier is the BBQ Hotplate for grilling meats and seafood in butter. I liked that you could dip your freshly grilled chicken in the cheese fondue. It was a superb combination though we all know that you can never go wrong with cheese.
Yup! The third level of this Halal steamboat is for the dip. You have three options here: cheese dip for the nacho dipping style and salted egg for those who want a unique experience. A dipping refill is chargeable at $3.90. We had the cheese dipping.
Finally, the steamer’s uppermost level is where you can steam your seafood, buns, siew mai, shrimp dumpling, and vegetables. After eating the tasty meat, seafood, and gooey cheese, you can relax your palate with the steamed veggies.
My personal tip is to check if the steam was coming out of the uppermost tier. If not, ask the server to adjust the setup for you. If you are starving, steam the dishes you want before focusing on the lowers levels. It will cook your salmon within a minute.
The ingredients you can cook will depend on the buffet you choose:
If you opt for premium or supreme, you can make your pizza in a mini wood fire oven. It is perfect for kids who are not into steamboats. Or you can free your inner child within and enjoy it yourself. You can go ga-ga and add as much cheese and toppings as you like.
End your dinner with free-flow ice cream and drinks.
On the other hand, if you think the buffet is too much for you to handle, you can choose from Flame Café’s a la carte menu consisting of Western-Asian fusion cuisine.
For health-conscious diners, Flame Café have available healthier versions for some a la carte dishes such as Mushroom Aglio Olio, Lemongrass Chicken, Teriyaki Glazed Chicken, and Grilled Salmon. You just have to add $2 per order.
Aside from the buffet, we also loved Flame Café’s a la carte menu.
If you are not in the mood for a steamboat or alone and want a hearty meal, you are sure to enjoy its affordable mains.
Flame Café’s teriyaki glazed is oozing with flavour. We loved the chef’s homemade teriyaki sauce!
It is just five minutes walk from Tai Seng MRT station. Also, there’s a spacious interior with minimalist, industrial décor. As you look around the Flame Cafe, you will see that the café is very easy on the eyes. It is very generous when it comes to spacing tables.
They did a job well done!
The Flame Café servers always checked if we needed any refills.
They were attentive and helped us adjust our 4-tiered pagoda steamboat. I liked how the lady staff kept smiling every time we asked a question as she explained the various tiers. I felt how friendly and patient she was.
Lunch (11:30am to 4:59pm): Deluxe $19.90+, Premium $25.90+, Supreme $35.90+
Dinner (5pm to Close): Deluxe $21.90+, Premium $29.90+, Supreme $38.90+
Weekends: Deluxe $23.90+, Premium $32.90+, Supreme $40.90+
Talk about multi-tasking!
Flame Café’s famous Halal steamboat gives a great experience. We were able to steam, BBQ and boil out savoury meats and other ingredients simultaneously. Everything seemed fresh except the bean curd, which tasted like it had been in the freezer for weeks. The drinks were also too sweet to my taste.
Our dinner’s MVP is the cheeses fondue. It complements well with almost everything we dip. Not to mention, there is a free-flow palatable marinated meat.
Finally, we think Flame Café’s Halal Steamboat is definitely worth the money.
Sundays to Thursdays 11:30 am to 11 pm and Fridays and Saturdays 11:30 am to 1 am
73 Upper Paya Lebar Rd, Level 1, Singapore 534818 (opposite Clarke Quay MRT)
Are you both a cheese lover and a steamboat person by heart?
Then you’ve got to try the Ladyboy Mookata Steamboat on Geylang Road, which is only a few minutes’ walk from Paya Lebar MRT Station Exit D.
Mookata, Mookata, what is that exactly? In Thai, it is roughly translated as “pork and skillet”. The fat from the grilled pork or meats rolls off to the side of the pot for an additional flavour of the dish that is cooked at the side.
We went there for an early Friday night dinner, and we were surprised that it was less crowded than expected. To think that we even made a reservation just to be sure that we’ll secure a table.
Before all else, I want to impart a personal tip: if you are a cheese lover and you think you are likely to consume a lot of its gooeyness, then opt for a buffet rather than the a la carte to make your meal worth it. But if you quickly get full, then a la carte is good enough for you.
If you get the buffet, you should expect an overall experience of cheese, Mookata, steamboat and a buffet of more than 50 ingredients.
Ladyboy Mookata Steamboat (Ladyboy MookaCheese, as others call it) has only two soup bases: Tom Yum and chicken soup. The Tom Yum soup is mildly rich and sweet compared to other Thai restaurants. It is supposed to complement the marinated ingredients and avoid making it too salty towards the end of dinner.
Have some Thai Mama Noodles to soak up the Tom Yum.
But beware: It is highly addictive!
As for the Mookata, the plate has three spaces for the cheese. The centre is the grill for the ingredients. There are six kinds of cheese to choose from:
You can go crazy and choose any cheese to satisfy your palate. You can also have the Ladyboy eggs concoction on the cheese to make a semi-cooked sort of fluffy omelette. We initially chose truffle cheese, Ladyboy Cheese, and salted egg cheese. I was surprised to see the salted egg cheese had some curry leaves inside. Make sure to keep the heat low to avoid your cheese from burning.
On the other hand, Ladyboys’ signature truffle cheese has a texture and aroma that can be best described as tantalising. It does not overpower the meat it coats. It simply compliments it. Moreover, it is not as gooey as the mozzarella.
The Ladyboy truffle cheese is more liquid and reminds me of fondue. With the Ladyboy Cheese, I was utterly speechless.
We also loved the Ladyboy Pork Collar, Pork Belly Shabu, Bacon-wrapped Enoki, and the Ladyboy Chicken.
Everything is almost here. Some meats are marinated, while others are plain. You will need the Ladyboy Chilli made especially for grilled food. If you want savoury sauce without the kick of spice, you can have Ladyboy Thai Chilli Sauce. We noticed that it is best paired with grilled chicken.
You can also enjoy many fresh kinds of seafood such as Baby Octopus, Bamboo Clams, Abalone slices, Mermaid Prawns, Salmon, Crayfish, squids, and Scallops. Also, do not forget to try the Sea Urchin Balls and discover the creamy roe inside.
We also tried Cheesy Fish Tofu, Cheesy Salmon Ball, and Cheesy Salmon Ball.
They also have some varieties of vegetables and mushrooms. Try the bacon-wrapped enoki too.
If you get thirsty, you can gulp down the free-flow Thai-style drinks, including Lemon Grass Tea, Green Milk Tea, Thai Lime Tea, and Thai Milk Tea.
Personally, I loved the lemongrass tea. It is the most refreshing with its light and citrusy flavour. On the other hand, I reckon the Thai Milk Tea is more on the sweet side.
Once you get tired of the cheeses and soup, you can refresh your palate with free-flow ice cream (Thai Milk Tea, Milo Crunch, mango, vanilla, and brownies & cream). We especially liked the silky Thai Milk Tea since it is not too sweet.
I’ve heard that Ladyboy Mookata is usually swarmed with snaking lines. We were lucky to experience it with less crowd until more groups of people came. That’s when I felt that the smoke around me became too noticeable. I would highly appreciate better ventilation. It’s a good thing that the staff offered plastic bags for our bags to avoid them from smelling like BBQ too.
The interior of Ladyboy Mookata Steamboat is very simple. The walls have a vintage pattern design. The tables and chairs are all in black.
The service is good too. The servers are attentive and refill the soup and cheese upon request. One server also patiently taught us how to remove the shell of the crayfish.
Adult: $29.90 (Mondays to Thursdays) $32.90 (Fridays to Sundays and public holidays
Child: $15.90 (7 to 12 years old)
Yuan Yang Steamboat: Add $5 for a mini pot and $10 for a regular-sized pot.
I think what caught my heart was the salted egg cheese. It made me feel like coming again with my other friends so they could try how delectable a cheese can get, especially with curry leaves and strong hints of salted egg.
Overall, the meal was good, but the salted egg cheeses took everything to the next level. The Tom Yum soup also added more texture to our dinner.
The free-flow ice cream and drinks completed the puzzle. We Geylang left full and completely satisfied as if all there wasn’t enough.
6pm to 2am, Sat: 5pm to 2am & Sun: 5pm to 1am
Lor 40, 644 Geylang Road
Now, while we know that the best steamboat Singapore are not always the cheapest, considering the over the top food, services, ambience and dining experience, we understand that many of us just want to have some hot pot after a long hard week. So we have also included a shortlist of cheap steamboat restaurants around Singapore.
Shi Li fang is known for its budget hot pot and MRG-free soups. You can choose from Mala Soup, Beauty Collagen Chicken, Chicken Soup, Mushroom Soup, Tomato Soup, and Fish Soup. It is perfect for small eaters who do not want to waste their money on a buffet.
Honestly, the soup base is not bad at all though the meat is not of high-grade quality. Expect the services to varying between branches too. This Taiwanese hot pot restaurant now has nine (9) branches all over Singapore.
Shi Li Fang charges an additional $2 for the dipping sauces. Add $0.30 to upgrade your vegetable selections and $0.60 for a free flow of drinks.
Jpot is a classic Singapore hot pot place under the Jumbo Seafood group. Each diner gets a unique pot at $14.80 for a set lunch menu.
The set lunch menu consists of soup (Jpot Superior Broth, Herbal Soup, Laksa Soup, Tom Yum Soup, or Vegetarian Soup). Also, there’s a selection of meat (sliced pork or chicken), Fish Paste Beancurd Skin, Cheese Tofu, Crabstick, Spinach, Enoki Mushroom, Handmade Fish Ball, Handmade Prawn Ball, Luncheon Meat, and rice/noodles. If you add $4, you can get the Live Prawns, Sliced Squid, Sliced Toman Fish, and Dried Fish Maw. It’s perfect for a solo-pot person.
On the other hand, you can order other cooked food, add ons, and ala carte meals.
Shabu Sai has a chain of six branches. It is famous for its cheap shabu-shabu.
On weekday lunches, most outlets offer buffets at $14.99 (except in Orchard Central and Eastpoint, which charge $16.99++). So it is the ideal choice for the fans of Japanese hot pot, especially with around 60 food items to select from. Also, the soup bases are inspired by teh Japanese cuisine, such as Sukiyaki, Curry, Tonkotsu, and spicy soups. And since the meat is equally essential in a shabu-shabu meal, Shabu Sai offers good quality chicken, beef and pork.
Danro Collagen Hot Pot Buffet presents a Japanese Hotpot at the most affordable price – not to mention that it is also good for your skin.
Choose two soups Chicken Collagen, Garlic Pork Spicy, Garlic Pork Collagen, Herbal Collagen, Mala, Pork Tom Yam or Sukiyaki. The soups are rich and tasty, but the best is still yet to come. At the price of $15.90, you can enjoy their unlimited prime cuts of meat and vegetables are available. You can also create your soup base by ordering the Pork Garlic Collagen soup and then dip marinated meat such as beef bulgogi to have a bulgogi stew. After your huge feast, end your meal with unlimited ice cream. There are always two options of ice cream each time, but the flavours rotate.
Overall, I can say that the meat is above average while some are just average. But you are sure to enjoy a feast without burning a hole in your pocket.
From its looks, Goro Goro has a great strategic location on the fourth floor of the Orchard Gateway at Emerald. The terrific view of the Orchard Road cityscape adds to the light-hearted ambience of the restaurant. It is also fascinating to note that Goro Goro’s unique name came from the sound of our stomachs when we are hungry and the boiling sound of broths. So it is not surprising that the restaurant’s icons are cute monsters.
At $16.90 for a lunch buffet, you choose two soup bases from seven varieties: bak kut teh, mala, tomato, beauty collagen, ginseng chicken, tom yum and Korean seaweed. Also, it has well-known Korean delicacies in its buffet line, such as Korean Soy Chicken, Korean pancakes, and Japchae. Make sure to enjoy a wide range of fresh meats, seafood, vegetables, and free drinks. If you want to load up with carbs, you can choose between steamed rice and various noodles (ee mee, mee sua, tang hoon, and instant noodles).
And while you are always encouraged to take as much as you can eat, you have to remember that food wastage is charged at $20 per 100g. So take only what you can confidently finish.
There is more to steamboat than just good food, excellent service and comfy ambience.
The best steamboat in Singapore offers the dining experience and the quality time we spend with our loved ones. The laughter and nostalgia when dining with old friends, the aspirations you share with your colleagues over the meal, or old stories shared between family members made steamboat meals extra tasty and special. In fact, it connotes fun for kids and satisfaction for the parents. Finally, it is simply a good excuse to spend more time with your favourite people while enjoying your favourite food.
I think what made steamboats part of our culture is that it is meant to be shared with the people you are close to.
So grab them and take them to the best steamboat in Singapore restaurants for a hearty treat and great memories to reminisce about for years to come.