Thursday 26 December 2013

Hai Di Lao Hot Pot at Clarke Quay (海底捞火锅)

Hai Di Lao at Clarke Quay Singapore

Hai Di Lao Hot Pot (海底捞火锅) is the epitome of good service and quality food. Hailing from Si Chuan, China, it boasts an entire fleet of passionate and attentive service crew, and the finest ingredients and soup base for hot pot. The besties have been hearing about Hai Di Lao from me ever since my internship days in Shanghai, and ever since Hai Di Lao opened a branch in Singapore. Now, the besties may just be sussing me for getting them hooked.

Hai Di Lao Singapore

Hai Di Lao is located amidst the myriad of restuarants and pubs at Clarke Quay and is a wonderful addition to this vibrant scene. It is located on the 2nd storey of the stretch of shophouse housing Hooters, and right above Renn Thai. It is a piece of hidden heaven up there.

Waiting area at Hai Di Lao

You'll be warmly greeted by their service staff and many hungry people once the lift door opens. You must make a reservation (which is really very strongly recommended), or you'll be handed a queue number and the wait could be up to an hour. But fret not, lots of entertainment for you to enjoy while waiting.

Hai Di Lao Snack Station

Hai Di Lao Snacks

There is a snack station at the waiting area and you could have (to your heart's content) drinks like herbal tea, sour plum juice and soyabean milk; fruits like longan, oranges, melons; snacks like popcorn and banana chips. Free of charge, and free flow.

Manicure at Hai Di Lao

Apart from board games, there is also manicure services to keep you occupied. The service is likened to an express manicure, and nail art is available upon request. Again, free of charge.

Ipad ordering system at Hai Di Lao

We left our names at the manicure counter as our table was promptly ready for us. Ordering of food is done on an Ipad. The system is simple and really easy to use. The portions at Hai Di Lao is rather huge, and it is a good thing that they allow orders in halves, just click '+0.5'. This allowed us to try a variety of the ingredients.

Condiment Bar at Hai Di Lao

Soup & Condiments at Hai Di Lao

We went for the famous mala soup, and the seafood broth. There were already prawns, clams, mussels and fishballs in the seafood soup. Sauces and condiments were free-flow and charged at $4 per person, and the Hai Di Lao special sauce (in red) is not to be missed. It is a good explosion of sourness and spiciness, and goes really well with everything.

Seafood soup at Hai Di Lao

To start off the meal, we were first served a bowl of the seafood soup before any other ingredient is added inside. The soup was really rich and sweet. I'm usually not a fan of clear, non-spicy soup, but the one at Hai Di Lao always wins me over. The besties agreed (fervently) with me too.

Fish paste at Hai Di Lao

Items that you must order at Hai Di Lao are the chives and pork dumpling, fish paste, sliced beef, and sliced chicken. I am not a carnivorous on usual days, but Hai Di Lao does their meat really right. Juicy and tender no matter how bad a cook I may be.

Ramen master at Hai Di Lao

You must also order a portion of ramen. The ramen master will come to your table and make the ramen fresh, literally right in front of your eyes. He does his thing with the ramen- the ramen coming so close, yet not touching our faces or any of the furniture or decorations around. The ramen is bouncy and tangy, and is best in the mala soup.

Hot Pot at Hai Di Lao

Each service staff is dedicated to 3 tables and with that kind of ratio, you'll get really personal and attentive service. We were given hot towels to freshen up, hair ties to tie up our hair, and zip lock bags to protect our phones. Our plates and bowls were changed frequently, we never see the bottom of our glasses and the staff even offered to peel the prawn shells for us! We were truly pampered the entire time we were there.

Fruits at Hai Di Lao

Hai Di Lao Beancurd

Fruits and beancurd were available to sweeten our tooth after the hearty hotpot meal. The beancurd is absolutely tasty- it is comparable to Lao Ban, and is available free-flow. Really yummy!

Nail art at Hai Di Lao

We got a call from the manicure counter right after our meal- such perfect timing. We requested for nail art and the manicurist promptly agreed, and we spend the next 2 hours or so there, getting ourselves pampered even more.

Hai Di Lao is on the pricey side, but of course you cannot compare it to the run of the mill hotpot restaturants along Liang Seah Street. Hai Di Lao belongs to a different league altogether. Go ahead and treat yourself- your tummy and your nails at this fine hotpot place.

Singapore Food Blog Review by Kumory


Hai Di Lao Hotpot (海底捞火锅)

#02-04 3D River Valley Road Clarke Quay Singapore
1030am- 3am daily

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