Guide: 5 Hotpot and Steamboat Spots for Chinese New Year

Guide: 5 Hotpot and Steamboat Spots for Chinese New Year

Nothing says reunion quite like sweating over a bubbling pot teeming with ingredients.

Mention Chinese New Year and, chances are, I’d say hotpot. The gathering of family, friends and even neighbours around a bubbling broth, teeming with everything under the sun. It has got dad’s favourite grouper slices, mom’s go-to beef tripe and the crowd-pleasing cod-roe fish balls. Hotpot (or some call steamboat) is the sort of meal that’ll have the entire table in a convivial mood - the ideal medium for a reunion. Here are 5 hotpot and steamboat spots for Chinese New Year: 

1. Golden Mile Thien Kee Steamboat Restaurant

Chicken rice and steamboat, Golden Mile Thien Kee Steamboat. Photo: Jessica Chan

Steamboat, Hainanese chicken rice and zi char all on the same dining table? Say yes to Golden Mile Thien Kee Steamboat Restaurant. This retro establishment remains a favourite among the young and old since its opening in 1952 (originally in Bugis Street) thanks to its extensive menu of honest-to-goodness Hainanese fare. While the highlight is, of course, the steamboat (price varies) that comes with a bubbling chicken broth and your selection of raw items, it’s impossible not to grab a plate of their succulent Hainanese chicken (from $19/half chicken) and fragrant chicken rice on the side. And remember to come hungry (or with a huge group). You’ll want to supplement the meal with their equally impressive zi char menu, such as the famed Hainanese Pork Chop and Pork Satays. Tip: The space has little to no ventilation so dress light.

Address: #B1-20, Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road. Singapore 199588.

Tel: 6293 5910

Daily, from 11.00am-10.00pm

2. Tong Xin Ru Yi Traditional Hotpot

Golden chicken soup hotpot. Photo: Tong Xin Ru Yi

Eschewing from the usual hotpot offerings, Tong Xin Ru Yi impresses with its selection of house-made soup bases. Popular options include the Stewed Marinated Beef with Spicy Soup ($48), where a trio of braised beef chunks, tendons and backstraps bubble away in a piquant soup of Sichuan spices, and the Golden Frog Soup ($68) that’s perfect for Chinese New Year celebrations. Golden pumpkin are infused into a thick chicken broth, lending the base an enticing colour reminiscent of flowing gold. Within are already a medley of mushrooms and vegetables, but you’ll want to order the Black-bone Chicken Slice ($20/portion), a black chicken known for its sweeter flavour, and the crunchy Gracilaria ($6) greens. While waiting for the overflowing pot to boil, you can also nibble on the appetite-whetting Fried Mint Leaf ($8).

Address: 6 Lorong Telok, Singapore 049019.
Tel: +65 6536 8058
Mondays to Fridays, 11.00am-10.30pm
Saturdays to Sundays, 12.00pm-10.30pm

3. Little Sheep Hot Pot Singapore

Premium beef cubes. Photo: Little Sheep Hot Pot

China’s Little Sheep Hot Pot (colloquially known as xiao fei yang) has a bit of a cult following - and a meal there is all you’ll need to see why. Their House Original White Soup ($9/small;$20/large) boasts a flavoursome combination of goji berries, star anise, the ginger-like amomum tsao-ko and galangal to go along with their signature lamb slices (from $9/portion to $38 for the luxurious three-tiered display). Thinly sliced and with an alluring red alluding to its freshness and quality, they can be enjoyed alongside other hotpot favourites of Kurobuta pork and seafood. But if you’re yearning for a full-fledged experience, save space for their Mongolian Style Roasted Lamb Shank ($26) and - an all-time favourite - Signature Lamb Kebabs ($8/skewer) heavily infused with cumin and chilli. Hint: The adventurous gourmet can look forward to the spicy grilled Lamb Hearts ($6).

Address: #01-05, One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road, Singapore 049213.

Tel: +65 6222 9959

Daily, 11.00am-11.00pm

4. Seasons Coconut Chicken Steamboat

A platter of hotpot ingredients. Photo: Seasons Coconut Chicken Steamboat

Another Hainan speciality on this list, Seasons Coconut Chicken Steamboat - as the name suggests - is all about the fresh coconut juice-based broth. Creme de la creme coconuts are sourced and combined with free-range Wenchang chicken for a light yet umami-laden base; a much-needed departure from the plethora of fried and spicy foods commonplace during Chinese New Year celebrations. A well-curated selection of raw items, from mashed shrimp ($18) to handmade pork balls ($12) are available, to fill you up but it’d be a waste not to make space for their Signature Lap Mei Rice ($5), claypot rice with waxed meats. Dessert options continue with the coconut theme and sees a palate-cleansing Coconut Jelly ($8).

Address: #01-01, 44 Prinsep Street, Singapore 188673.
Tel:+65 6463 6568

Daily, 11.00am-11.00pm

5. Tian Wai Tian Fish Head Steamboat

Tian Wai Tian steamboat and plate of prawn rolls. Photo: Jessica Chan

Tian Wai Tian Fish Head Steamboat has stood the test of time for good reason. This teochew-style steamboat began in the 1980s in Serangoon and has since expanded to multiple branches across the island. Perhaps a testament to just how delicious it is, the original Serangoon outlet continues to see a snaking queue come dinner time in spite of its infamously bad service. There are only two options for the broth - red grouper or pomfret - in small, medium and large (from $22 to $45) and comes in a old-school charcoal pot. While the steamboat is overflowing with yam and lettuce, you’d want to get in on the array of zi char specialities. Up the ante with the plump Cereal Prawns ($20) and Hae Zhou (prawn roll) ($10) or, for the spice heads, grab a plate of their famed Cuttlefish Kang Kong ($9 to $15). Reservations are recommended.

Address: 1382 Serangoon Road, Singapore 328254

Tel: +65 9172 2833

Daily, 5.00pm-10:30pm

For more delicious recommendations and recipes on Chinese New Year, see our Chinese New Year 2020 page. 

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