Sunday, 8 June 2014

Hai Di Lao Hotpot 海底捞火锅

Many have been raving online about the excellent food quality and service at Hai Di Lao Hot Pot. Hai Di Lao serves more than just delicious food to happy customers, their service is almost exceptional and unique compared to other places (In a good way, duh) But with ridiculously outstanding customer service, one should expect to get a ridiculously long waiting time as well. Even so, there are still many who are willing to go through that long wait. 

Reservations are recommended, or you can expect the waiting time to go up to 2-3 hours on weekends and during peak hours. If the queue is really too long, distract yourself with some free snacks provided at the counter. My brother took some popcorn and it's really not bad for a free snack! 

And which other restaurant would offer FREE manicure service to customers? There is also a children's play corner for young kids. 

The waitress provided us with a hot towel, an apron to wear and even plastic bags to protect our phones. Talk about awesome service! 

There are roughly about 20 different sauces and condiments - Some unique ones include Beef sauce, Korean style chilli sauce, mushroom sauce. I just kept mixing different ones to try! Have to make the $4 charges worth it. With $4, you get unlimited sauces and free flow of fruits and dessert. However, the choices of desserts are quite limited since it is not really a buffet. 

Soup bases - Seafood and mushroom soup hotpot (Double flavour)

 There are other popular soup bases such as Sichuan spicy hotpot and tomato soup. Would love to try the spicy one if I visit this place again! 

You can easily order your food from the restaurant's iPad and half portions are also available for some of the food items. I think this is good for those who are either light eaters or when there are only two diners. 

Wagyu Beef

If I'm not wrong, this plate itself already cost like $50+. That's around $7~ per piece and even though the beef is so nicely marbled and tasted so heavenly, and even though I'm not the one paying for it, I could felt the ache by just placing it in my mouth. If you're ordering this, be careful not to overcook the beef, having it 'medium rare' would probably be just nice as the tenderness of the beef would be perfect. (I accidentally slightly overcooked one piece and the difference of the texture is quite huge)

Black Angus Beef

Price is definitely not as steep, and if you're not the type who wants to splurge on top-notch quality, these are still worth the try! Quality wise is still up to great standard. The only downside is the not-so-soft and instant-melt-in-your-mouth texture. 

Beef (I forgot the exact name)

P.S. I was busy enjoying the food such that I have forgotten about marking down the names and prices of the food!!

Not bad for a try! My dad personally love eating this. But I find it quite troublesome to chew on something with bones. The texture is also not as soft and tender like the sliced ones. The meat is a little on the chunky side. 

Black Pork

Just like Wagyu beef, Black pork is also among the premium standard of all pork. The texture of the black pork compared to the normal quality is less tough and dry. Worth the try as well. 

Soon Hock Fish

The fish is really fresh and tasty. But remember not to overcook it or else it would defeat the natural freshness and mouthfeel of it. 

The meat and fish are quite satisfying to begin with. But I wouldn't quite give the same ratings for the meatballs and vegetables. I feel that they are really overpriced. Fishballs, sausages, luncheon meat and some of the greens cost like $6~. The price for such dishes are not very worth it in my opinion. Maybe a few dishes to complete the meal is fine, but I would honestly rather splurge on another round of meaty feast than to spend a few more dollars on something that is of a really low cost. 

Beef Balls

Beech Mushrooms

Assorted Vege and fishcakes


House Made Kungfu Noodle

We were entertained with a noodle dance that looks quite interesting. Noodle quality is not really that fantastic but the performance is surely worth watching at least once for a first-time visit. Or you can just check it out from tables around you if you are curious but not interested to taste it. 

They provided us with this stand to hang our utensils while cooking the meat. 

Anyway, for the FOC desserts at the counter, we had MANY bowls of sweet tofu pudding. It was so silky smooth and sweet. Within a few gulps, we finished 1 bowl, and another, and another. My bro stacked up his bowls and this is the amount that he have eaten. I think I had my fair share of around 4-5 bowls. 

Hai Di Lao is definitely a restaurant that has exceptional awesome customer service that makes us satisfied not only on our stomach but our heart as well. The portion served was substantial and delicious but I would not recommend ordering much of the vege and assorted meatballs as you can get those at any other hotpot restaurants at a much lower price. I believe many patronise Hai Di Lao not only for its food quality but to be pampered by their great service. I wouldn't deny that the food and ambience is a great place for dining, but for the hefty price that comes along with it, I would rather go for alternative restaurants that serve decent quality food but with a much lower price tag. 

The total bill per pax is roughly $50+ and there were 6 of us that day (Of which 2 did not really eat the meat). 

海底捞火锅 Hai Di Lao Hot Pot
3D River Valley Road, 
#02-02 Clarke Quay, Singapore 179023

Contact: +65 6337 8626 / 6337 8627

Opening Hours: 10.30am to 3am Daily

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