David and I both love steamboat. Over the years, our kids have grown to like it too. A steamboat (a.k.a hotpot) meal allows for jolly conversations with friends and family members over a nutritious meal. Recently we visited Beauty in The Pot 美滋锅 at One KM Mall, a relatively new hotpot restaurant opened by the homegrown Paradise Group.
Tucked inside Beauty in the Pot is the restaurant’s very own playground named ‘Angela’s Playground.’ This playground was purposefully constructed specially for their young diners!
Considering that this is situated within Beauty in the Pot‘s premise, the outdoor playground features an impressive range of playground equipment for kids ranging from 3 to about 12 years old. They include:
* Soft-padded flooring throughout the playground
* A small trampoline
* Low-rise slides for younger kids
* One-storey tall slide for kids 5 years and above
As expected, our kids were pleasantly surprised to see such a huge playground and went ‘crazy’ playing. Since Dana is old enough to take care of her 4-year old brother, we supervised them from our dining area within air-conditioned comfort of the restaurant. Once in a while, one of us would pop out to ensure no rough play. Do note there are no staff supervising the playground. For safety reasons, it’s advisable to have an adult or older sibling around to mitigate any risks or injuries.
Tips: Go early to the restaurant and let the kids play at the playground so that the adults can take time to browse the extensive menu. If the kids finish their dinner fast, they can hit the playground again while the adults enjoy their hotpot Why not? Anything for uninterrupted catch-up among the adults.
Beauty in the Pot‘s food quality exceeded our expectation in terms of freshness as well as presentation. We were particularly impressed with their handmade dumplings, meatballs and hotpot special pastes (e.g. Homemade Fish Tofu made with yellowtail fish, soya bean and egg white and Ebiko Prawn Paste shaped out of 100% prawn meat). These give the hotpot meal a very heartfelt, home-cooked feel. Meats and seafood are premium and fresh-tasting.
The highlight of Beauty in the Pot‘s menu here is definitely their soup bases, of which there are six. Yes, six! Diners are truly spoilt for choice!
Here’s what we think of the 4 soup bases we tried:
1. Signature Beauty Collagen Broth: A milky and thick soup, creamy to some extent. Bountiful in flavor. Goes very well with pork and seafood!
2. Herbal Drunken Chicken Broth: You can’t go wrong with this traditional favorite which is brewed with a generous serving of herbs, try it with chicken and pork!
3. Cooling Coconut Broth: My hubby the soup lover, was a bit skeptical initially. He was afraid that it may taste more like a dessert but he ended up loving it. This light and slightly milky soup base has just the right hint of coconut flavor that lifts the taste without being overpowering.
4. Vitamin C Tomato Sweet Corn Broth: This is the kids’ favorite! Rich in tomato taste and colour, this goes well with virtually all fresh ingredients, especially fishballs!
The other 2 types of soup bases are the Signature Spicy Nourishing Soup made up of stewed pork bone with a range of luxurious Chinese herbs to boost immunity and energy as well as the vegetarian Longevity Wild Pine Mushroom Broth. Price for a single pot starts from S$14 while a quarter pot size starts from S$5 each. Diners can request for multiple refills, which we did a lot as the soups are simply delicious.
Quite honestly, we did not expect much as most hotpot eateries are usually too crowded for personalised attention. But here at Beauty in the Pot, their service takes the cake! Prompt and personable, each request was accompanied by a smile and bow which translates into sincerity. Occasionally, teams of wait staff would break into a boisterous ‘Happy Birthday’ song heartily should a table be celebrating the occasion. It was quite fun to hear it.
Decorated in shades of girly pink hues, the décor here is meant to mimic sceneries of pink cherry blossom blooms accentuated by the random sparkles reflected off the pieces of quartz on the floor tiles. The ambience is warm and inviting.
On the same note though, it can get a tad overwhelmingly noisy when the restaurant is packed on weekends. On our visit, the overly loud piped-in Chinese/Cantonese music drowned out conversations. So if you are hosting a working lunch or quiet date, it would be better to dine there on weekday afternoons or late nights. After all, it opens till 3am!
Some Tips to Enjoy Your Steamboat
Soak the Soups:
Like in any hotpot eatery, soak the cabbages (and vegetables) into the soup for long so that they are completely drenched in those flavorful soup bases, then slurp them in in mouthfuls letting the flavors of the soups ooze into your mouth. Heavenly!
Remember the Cooking Time:
Do find a way to remember how long you should cook a food item in the soup base before eating. Listen attentively and write these down if you can as the wait staff will explain in Chinese how long you need to cook each dish for optimal results. Perhaps the restaurant should look into helping patrons remember the cooking time of the dishes via some form of differentiation on the plates served.
Bib, Don’t Dab:
The restaurant will offer you to don their bibs. It’s a wise decision to say ‘yes’ especially if you’re having the tomato-base stock so that you can focus on enjoying the meal and not be inhibited by the fear of staining your attire!
Talk, Dip and Eat:
Here’s a personal tip from the hotpot-loving hubby. Dip your raw ingredients in in one go, let them cook and boil while you engage in conversations. Then when they are done, take them out all at once, dip another lot in then slowly chat and savor the food as the ingredients boil and brew. Repeat.
We enjoyed the meal tremendously at Beauty in the Pot. The food was fresh and flavorful. The selection of hotpot items was wide, with unique handmade items not found in other hotpot eateries. The soup bases are so heavenly. Coupled with excellent service and the large kids playground, you bet we’ll be returning for 2nd, 3rd, 4th and many more visits!
BEAUTY IN THE POT 美滋锅 (ONE KM MALL)
OneKM, 11 Tanjong Katong Road #03-38 Singapore 437157 (Paya Lebar MRT)
Tel: +65 62848820
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 3:00am, Last Order 2:15am Daily