The recent dip in temperature has been making me long for a hotpot meal.
If you feel the same, head to Hotpot Kingdom at Marina Bay Sands, one of the latest entries in the hotpot market.
Singapore has hotpot places.
From the luxe (Hai Di Lao) to the hotels (M Hotel's long-standing The Buffet) to the many places around Bugis and Chinatown, there is one to match any budget.
Hotpot Kingdom is MBS-cheap, meaning that while it is considered pricey for quite a few people, it is one of the better-value eateries there.
It offers a few broths and you add the ingredients you want, a la carte.
There is a set meal version, with a limited choice of broths and a set of ingredients.
Those start from $29.80.
I ate there twice and both times, the accompanying items were fresh.
And a round of applause for the service.
While it's not as maniacally efficient as Hai Di Lao, it's friendly.
You will not feel like royalty, but you will feel like a friend.
The backbone of a hotpot place is the soup base.
Here, you get to pick two types. The mala and the Macanese pork bone are two of the most popular.
The pork soup is sweet and almost creamy.
It should complement most dishes.
The spicy soup can be a bit overwhelming.
I love the pork tripe with pepper soup and the interesting Korean kimchi soup.
And importantly, I did not get the post meal MSg-induced fuzzy tongue.
SIMPLE BUT TASTY
A meal at Hotpot Kingdom is not just about the hotpot.
It has a nice menu of starters.
My favourite is the oyster sauce with three kinds of mushrooms ($6.80). It's a simple but delicious dish.
Another winner is the pan-fried cuttlefish cake ($9.80).
It's also a simple dish but on the salty side.
The strong flavour complements your soupy meal.
Hotpot Kingdom offers a dim sum menu between 11am and 5pm daily.
The sauteed carrot cake with XO sauce ($6.80) is too sweet and the cake almost mushy.
SKIP THE BUNS
The steamed custard bun ($5.80) was a complete disaster.
The filling tasted almost like condensed milk.
The steamed barbecued pork buns ($6.80) fared better, with a sweet centre but it was slightly dense.
Best to skip the buns.
This article was first published on December 24, 2014.
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