Eating alone? This Johor hotpot restaurant can 'matchmake' you with a stranger

PHOTO: Facebook/Ku Hui Qi

You neither have to be lonely nor hungry anymore because this Malaysian eatery has got you covered.

Hotpot restaurant Xing Fu Xiao Guo is making a name for itself online... not exactly for its good food, but something else on the side.

There's nothing sketchy about it, though. Xing Fu Xiao Guo is marketed as the first 'matchmaking' steamboat restaurant (in Malaysia, at least), where single customers can walk out with a full belly and…a potential partner?

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This plausible but highly unlikely outcome is facilitated via a table with a single divider between the two sides, which can retract with the touch of a button. Thus revealing the diner sitting on the opposite end.

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Specialising in mini-hotpots for individuals, prices start from RM21.90 (S$7.20) for a set, with choices including satay and laksa broths, as well as their signature Sarawak white peppercorn soup base.

However, the restaurant's concept that's getting eyeballs online is actually not that new. Back in 2015, a video featuring diners who declared themselves as single being given a 'romantic surprise' during their meal went viral. 

The restaurant in Korea launched the big reveal in similar fashion, by retracting the divider on their diners mid-chomp.

While their reactions seemed genuine, it was later revealed that some of the people featured had been lured into the restaurant with the offer of free food, so the video could have been nothing more than a publicity stunt or a prank.

While we're not saying Xing Fu Xiao Guo's gimmick is a ruse, we believe there's a more practical reason for the unusual construction of their tables — to maximise the use of space, since one table can effectively be used for two single diners when the divider is in place.

And if the two individuals sharing the table happen to be particularly social (or needy) animals who don't mind meeting someone new over a steaming pot of soup, why not?

For those interested, the restaurant is located in Kulai, which is about a 45-minute drive from the immigration checkpoint in Woodlands. 

Address: 幸福小锅 (Xing Fu Xiao Guo), 62&63, Jalan Kenanga 29/5 Indahpura 81000

candicecai@asiaone.com