Today was one of the rare days that Daddy was able to get off work earlier. We decided on a whim to go for dinner at this steamboat restaurant that many of my Mommy friends have been raving about. We both love steamboat and today’s wet and rainy weather presents the perfect opportunity to enjoy some steaming hot soup!
|A screen-grab from Daddy’s Facebook…|
The name ‘Hai Di Lao’ 海底捞 is catchy and I suspect it might be a pun on the Chinese idiom ‘海底捞針’. We were warned that this restaurant is super popular (even on weekdays) and true enough, we arrived at 6pm to an almost packed restaurant. At the waiting area, we were served complimentary iced plum drink, some fresh fruits and pop corns. There was also an assortment of reading materials and games to occupy the diners and check it out – a free manicure service for diners who register early upon arrival! Pity I didn’t get to try this service as there were too many ladies in the queue..
|Items to keep you entertained while waiting…how thoughtful.|
|Bright, cheery playroom for the kids!|
After a short 15 mins’ wait, we were led to our table. The interior is decorated in tasteful, Neo-classical Chinese style. Once seated, a bevvy of waiters descended on us with warm hand-towels and an interactive menu on the Ipad. Dana had fun ordering our preferred soup base and other ala-carte ingredients from the Ipad. We were given a wise advice to order ‘half-portions’ for the dishes so that we can have greater variety. Before the food was served, the waiter presented us with plastic covers for our mobile phones, a cloth for my spectacles (in case it gets misty due to the condensation from the steamboat), an apron for every diner and even a small cross-stitch handicraft for Dana. Impressive!
|Dana’s helping Mommy with the orders…|
|Interactive Menu on the Ipad comes in both Chinese and English versions…|
We started with some appetizing pickles and peanuts. In less than 5 minutes, our steamboat was served.
|One of the nicest pickles we’ve tasted!|
|Our 2-in-1 hotpot consisting of Mushroom and Herbal Chicken Soup…|
|Beancurd Skin (my fav!) and Handmade Pork Balls…|
|Condiments Galore and US Beef Slices…|
The soup was very flavourful, ingredients fresh and condiments tasty. But the icing on the cake was the attentive and prompt service we received. Despite running at full capacity, our food came swiftly; our soups and drinks were constantly refilled; and tables cleared of clutter. The waiter who attended to us also took initiative to orientate us to the restaurant. It’s been a long while since we’ve received such exceptional service at a dining establishment and we were completely won over. We forgot to mention there is a playroom (complete with a small selection of toys and cartoon screening on TV) where kids can be deposited so you can take time to savour your steamboat. Another big plus for families!
|Rainy day + Steamboat = Perfect Family Dinner!|
Our bill tonight came up to S$120 for 2 Adults and 1 Kid (we had Meats, Seafood, Tofus, Vegs and their exclusive Gongfu Noodles). It’s a little pricey but a well-spent one for good food, great ambiance and excellent service. We’ll be back! If you know of any other good Steamboat places, do leave a comment to let us know!
Hai Di Lao Hotpot Restaurant 海底捞火锅
Address: 3D River Valley Road
Clarke Quay (above Hooters) #02-02
Tel:+65 6337 8626 or 6337 8627
(Advanced reservation strongly encouraged)
Opens 10.30am to 3am daily