SICHUAN STYLE STEAMBOAT – THE MAGIC OF CHONGQING HOT POT
#04-06/07, Tanglin Shopping Centre, 19 Tanglin Road, tel: 6734-8135.
Image: The Magic of Chongqing Hot Pot
If you love all things hot and spicy, Sichuan style steamboats would be right up your alley. The Magic of Chongqing Hot Pot is mainly known for its mala (spicy Chinese sauce) broth, although it also serves soup bases such as herbal chicken, shark collagen and tomato. The latter is touted as a “beautifying” broth.
For adventurous foodies, you’ll be pleased about the more unusual choices of ingredients here such as buffalo tripe, pig’s tongue and duck gizzard in addition to the usual steamboat ingredients such as sliced beef, prawns and fish balls. There are no MSG used in the ingredients or soups too, so you can indulge without the guilt.
Prices: Vegetarian/Lunch Buffet (from $22.90), Beijing Spring Lamb Hot Pot (from $29.90) and Dinner Buffet ($35.90)
JAPANESE HOTPOT – SUKI-YA
Several locations, including #02-183B/C, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, tel: 6337-9969.
While ingredient selections here are limited (there are only three meat options – pork, beef and chicken), the affordable prices and soup bases are what makes Suki-Ya a star on its own right. The signature broth is the shabu-shabu, which is essentially made from a kombu (kelp) stock. It’s incredibly light and refreshing, complementing well with the rest of the hot pot elements. Other popular bases include the Sukiyaki (combination of soy sauce, sugar and mirin) and the tonyu (soy milk) miso.
The meats tend to have leaner cuts, while their vegetable selections, sauces and other steamboat medleys such as fish balls are available at a buffet table.
Prices: Weekday Lunch Buffet (from $14.90), Weekday Dinner Buffet (from $24.90), Weekend Lunch Buffet (from $16.90) and Weekend Dinner Buffet (from $26.90)
KOREAN HOTPOT – CAPTAIN K SEAFOOD TOWER
#01-02, Income@Prinsep, 30 Prinsep St, tel: 6255-2270.
Image: Captain K Seafood Tower
The steamboat concept at Captain K is unlike anything we have ever seen. We recommend that you visit this place with at least eight people, so you can order the 9-tier set and be wowed by the visual appearance of your meal. Seafood items such as scallops, prawns, and shellfish are cooked inside steamers stacked atop one another. For the 9-tier set, there are nine layers in all, with the final layer consisting of the soup base. During the steaming process, the juices from the seafood are collected at the last base, so the soup is exceptionally flavourful. There are three choices of broths: kombu dashi, kimchi stew and ginseng chicken. You can choose to add extra ingredients for a more satisfying steamboat process.
Prices: from $68.90 for 3 tiers to $298.90 for 9 tiers
THAI STYLE STEAMBOAT – COCA
Several locations, including #01-215/216, Resorts World Sentosa, tel: 6659-2133.
The default soup bases here are chicken and tom yum. The latter, while less fragrant than the typical tom yum goong, is just spicy and sour enough without being overpowering while the former is a clear broth that is delicate in flavour. Both are perfect as steamboat bases. Ingredients-wise choices are more varied during the dinner buffet. Meat choices include beef slices and fillet, chicken fillet, pig’s liver and stomach, and deep fried pig’s skin. There is also a decent selection of seafood ranging from flower crabs and oysters to jellyfish and squid. Standout ingredients include their shrimp wantons and pork balls.
Prices: Lunch Buffet (from $27) and Dinner Buffet (from $43.80)
SINGAPORE STYLE STEAMBOAT – JPOT
Several locations, including #01-53, Vivocity, tel: 6273-3536.
Local style steamboats are a great choice if you’re looking for something closer to home. Broths at JPot come in familiar and comforting flavours such as bak kut teh, laksa and porridge. Our pick is for the porridge, a less commonly seen soup base for steamboats, which has a gruel-like texture, just without the grains and is very flavourful. They’ve also recently introduced a new prawn mee soup base, which tastes very similar to the broth in one of our favourite local noodle dishes.
You can choose to have your steamboat in an individual pot or a pot for sharing, although we are definitely for the latter since it is a steamboat after all, unless you have an issue with hygiene. Steamboat ingredients include marinated or sliced meats, vegetables and rice or noodles. There is also a great DIY sauce table, where you can mix and match different condiments to further customise your steamboat experience.
Prices: Lunch sets start from $19.80 for one pax while dinner sets start from $73.80 for two pax