Tag Archives: steamboat

Shang Pin Hot Pot, Marina Square and Rendezvous Hotel

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Step out of the comforts of Hai Di Lao and Beauty in the Pot. Shang Pin Hotpot at Marina Square and Rendezvous Hotel is arguably the most affordable alternative to the two big players. As a bonus, there’s hardly any queue especially at the Marina Square branch because the floor area is huge!

I’ve visited both branches and there’s a stark contrast in ambience and service between both branches. Go for the Marina Square branch if you can.

I’ve included pictures from both Marina Square and Rendezvous Hotel just to show you the contrast.

Exterior and interior of Rendezvous Hotel branch (my pictures look better than the reality!):

Exterior and interior of Marina Square branch, so huge that they have a children’s play area:

Below pictures are a mix from both branches; quality is similar with some differences which I’ll mention.

(L) Tomato Soup, (R) Pig Stomach and Chicken Soup, (M) Mushroom Soup.

The price of the soup is dependent on the most expensive soup you’ve selected. It doesn’t matter if you select one, two or three soups, they charge you only for one soup base. In this case, the pig stomach was the most expensive at $20.

Meat Festival, $24.

I giggled at the name of the dish. At one point the service at Rendezous was so slow that I had to ask the staff “is my Meat Festival coming soon?” Apart from that, good quality slices of beef, mutton and pork. The beef was really fatty though.

Fish Egg Ball (half portion), $6.

Ordered this in lieu of fancy pastes. Unlike HDL and BITP, Shang Pin’s pastes are rather ordinary and common. This was the most interesting fresh paste ball out of the entire selection.

(L) Mushroom Platter (half portion), $7. (R) Cabbage (full portion), $4.

I thought the mushroom platter was value for money. 5 different types of mushrooms for $7! The mushrooms here are about $5 to $6 for full portions so the amount you pay for variety is well spent.

Fried Beancurd Skin (full portion), $6.

I ordered this dish at both outlets but somehow it seems like ordering the half portion is more worth it. The above picture has 6 rolls (Rendezvous Hotel) but when I ordered the half portion for $3 (Marina Square), I got 4 rolls! So I should be getting 8 rolls at Rendezvous but somehow only got 6. Hmm.

Shrimp Paste (half portion), $7.

This is a must order when you’re here. The shrimp paste was crunchy and fresh.

Shang Pin Beef, $16.

The Rendezous Hotel one came rather frozen, causing its texture to be a little rough after cooking. The Marina Square (above) came thawed and fresh looking.

US Beef (half portion), $7.

My advice is to skip this and go straight for the Shang Pin Beef. The difference is only $2 for the full portion but the quality is so, so different.

US Black Pork (half portion), $6.50.

Look at the balance of fats to lean meat! I only thought it was slightly unsightly that the meat was cut in half. Doesn’t have that shiok feeling if you know what I mean.

Chinese Dumplings (half portion), $2.50.

The dumplings were normal tasting. What caught my attention writing this part was that I realised I had 6 dumplings for $2.50. Not sure if they had mistakenly given me the full portion but if not, $2.50 for 6 dumplings is so worth it!

Overall, you can expect the price per pax to be about $40. It’s still not really within the budget of an everyday hotpot meal, but it’s slightly cheaper than HDL and much cheaper than BITP. There’s no fancy waitressing or gifts at all, but the amount of food you get here is definitely more than the other two places. The variety at Shang Pin honestly is not as great, but it suffices. Best of all, NO LONG QUEUES!

Marina Square

6 Raffles Boulevard, #02-102, S(039594)

+65 6565 7666

Daily: 11am to 12am

Rendezvous Hotel

9 Bras Basah Road, #02-02, S(189559)

+65 6238 7666

Daily: 12 noon to 12am

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Imperial Treasure Steamboat, Ion Orchard

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Having tried big hotpot brands like Beauty in the Pot (BITP) and Hai Di Lao (HDL), how does this good ol’ skool steamboat compare?

For starters, the sauce station is brought to you.

You can mix your own concoction, or have them mix one for you depending on your preferred level of spicyness. I recommend getting them to do it!

Doesn’t look appetising here but trust me it’s superb! I was shocked at the amount of sauce initially but by the end of the meal I was down to less than half.

For soup bases, they don’t have fancy flavours of the likes of HDL and BITP. Since I’ve decided to go old skool, I chose a familiar broth — Healthy Chicken ($17).

Spread of dishes plus more (below).

Four Treasure Ball Platter ($14).

Kurobuta Pork Belly ($14).

Beef Brisket ($20).

Deep Fried Beancurd Skin ($6).

Assorted mushrooms ($8.80).

Fresh Prawn Paste ($14).

Assorted Vegetables ($6.80).

For the above, my total bill came up to $140 for 2 pax. I would say for the standards, quality and amount of food, the price is justified. The meats were really fresh and of good thickness, while the handmade balls were flavourful and bouncy! I also loved the fresh prawns paste and definitely the fun of squeezing it into the soup.

The $140 bill is not a good reflection of what you will spend for 2 pax. I definitely over ordered. At the end of the meal I was left with at least half of the fresh meat. That said, I totally skipped the part of the menu with the fresh seafood (think: Boston lobsters going for $13/100g). I can imagine big families with rich grandparents eating here for their birthdays.

2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard, #04-09/10, Singapore 238801

+65 6636 9339

Daily: 11am to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm

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Upot, Singapore Post Centre

Worth a try.

The newly renovated Singpost Centre just opened for business and like any other Singaporean that loves checking a new mall out, I paid a visit on a Saturday evening. 

Taiwan’s famous hotpot chain Upot opened a branch here so without a doubt I had to try it out. When I reached there at 630pm the queue was super long. Likely because they were having a promotion (more details below).

Tip: Make your reservations ahead of time! The kiasu me had already made my reservations earlier in the day. 


The food is served on a conveyor belt. There’s something about clocking up as many plates as you can when dining at a conveyor belt restaurant. Challenge accepted.


The good thing about this place is that you have your own personal hotpot. You can choose your own soup base, and put in whatever items you want. You’re your own chef. 


There are six varieties of soup for you to choose from. Xiaolongkan Old Hotpot ($9.80), Japanese Kombu and Bonito Soup ($7.80), Thai Tom Yam ($7.80), Tomato Soup ($7.80), Taiwanese Herbal Pork Rib Soup ($8.80) and Wild Mushroom Soup ($7.80). 

The food items are classified into different coloured plates. Green ($0.99), Orange ($1.99), Blue ($2.99) and Red ($3.99).


I tried the Tomato Soup. Every pot of soup comes with a bowl of vegetables and mushrooms. I loved my tomato soup. It was so sweet and addictive that I drank as much of the soup as I could. My party of six tried the other soups including Xiaolongkan Old Hotpot, Taiwanese Herbal Pork Rib Soup and Wild Mushroom Soup. No complaints, except for the Xiaolongkan Old Hotpot where there was too much zha within. I also saw a couple of patrons scooping out the zha halfway through their meal. 

While the soups were rather tasty, the food items were a major downer. Essentially, what you see on the conveyor belt is what you get. There’s no universal menu to refer to, so you don’t know what you don’t know unless you ask the staff for it. For example, I had to ask the staff what sort of staples they offered (for info, rice, udon and dong fen). To add on, imagine my regret from stuffing myself silly earlier in the meal with all the meats when the mushrooms and meatballs suddenly appeared at the end. Also, it didn’t occur to me that I had forgotten to ask about fish slices until I had left the place.

The upside of it is that the meat slices are sliced shabu-shabu style so it’s quite shiok to eat. If you visit from now till 11 Nov 17, they are having a 1-for-1 promotion on all red plates (all meats). In my opinion, it’s not that worth it to eat without the promotion. Look at my plate of beef above — 4 to 5 slices for $4? Don’t forget the GST and service charge. 


There’s a charge of $2 if you want the sauces. Honestly, their sauce variety is not anything out of the ordinary so I really can’t reconcile them charging me $2 just to have soya sauce with garlic and spring onions. 

40 plates for a company of 6. The bill came up to $160 (about $26 per person with the promotion. Without the promotion it would have cost about $32 per person). Talking about the plates, this place is way too cramped. It was a challenge to maneuver my space with my pot of soup, cup of drink, bowl of vegetables, bowl of cooked ingredients, and the pile of plates which can’t be cleared because they need to count the number of coloured plates for you to make your payment. One way is to pile them on top of the conveyer. Unglam, but you have no choice.

Definitely not that worth it compared to other steamboat places like Beauty in the Pot and Shi Li Fang. Won’t be back here again, but you could try this out for the novelty. 

10 Eunos Road 8, #01-137/138, S(408600)

+65 6741 6666

Daily: 1130am to 3pm, 530pm to 10pm

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Shi Li Fang, City Square Mall

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Edit 21 Dec 17: While I highly recommend the branch at City Square Mall, my friends who visited the Orchard Central branch didn’t have a good experience. Firstly, the staff insisted on selling them the Christmas set, saying that set menus are not available for dinner. I know this to be not true, because I visited Shi Li Fang City Square Mall again recently and could totally purchase the non Christmas set menu. Secondly, the staff didn’t allow them to top up $1.60 for free flow drinks, citing that it’s only for people who purchased the Christmas set. Now again I know this to be not true, because free flow drinks from the set menu costs $0.60. Ala carte free flow drinks costs $1.60. So rightfully my friends should have been able to top up $1.60 for free flow drinks. Instead, the staff kept trying to sell them canned drinks. Shi Li Fang if you don’t get your act right you are going to lose a lot of customers.

Original post below:

It took me a lot of courage to walk into this restaurant. The outlook totally looks like it’s meant for kids and that everything within would be a gimmick. Even the staff puts on a Pikachu cap. Gosh, super hard to take this place seriously.

I finally decided to try Shi Li Fang at City Square because I figured that if they could not only survive for that long but also open branches in places like Orchard and Tanjong Pagar, it shouldn’t be that bad right? Also, I googled and found out that they’re a Taiwanese steamboat chain. That explains the cutesy outlook of this place.

They seem to have a perpetual 50% off all ala carte dishes.

They have set meals which I thought made my life so much easier. One thing about having steamboat is that you’ll want to have a basket full of vegetables or a platter of assorted meat so having to pick out your dishes one by one is a no go for me.

You’re allowed to choose two soup bases. I picked the tonic chicken soup as well as the tomato soup. The pot came with a “pocket” where you can cook your meat without losing them into the big pot of soup. Awesome!

Boutique Set Meal for 2, $46.80 + $1.20 for free flow drinks. 

The set meal consist of Japanese Kurobuta, Japanese Wagyu, fresh pork tenderloin, Australian beef and vegetable platter. I was pleasantly surprised that the meat was fresh (I.e., not frozen) and the quality was really good. My only qualm is that the meat was too thinly sliced.

Little Boutique Set Meal for 2, $35.80 + $1.20 for free flow drinks.

The little boutique set meal consist of chicken, pork and seafood. The prawns were really fresh and the scallops were of satisfactory size. The meat however, wasn’t quite to our liking. The chicken is seasoned with some spicy marinate, and the pork slices were not as delicious as those in the Boutique Set Meal.

Vegetable platter with assortment of vegetables and an egg.

拉面! Which they will pull in front of you sometime halfway through your meal (see below).

Don’t expect it to be pulled into fine strands of noodles. It’s more like a long strand of Mee Hoon Kuey.

Shi Li Fang has a pretty decent sauce counter with the usual condiments.

 Free flow of drinks. Shi Li Fang takes this whole cartoon thing very seriously. Even their drinking cups are kiddish. Mine was minions I think.

Overall, I think Shi Li Fang is worth the money. Granted, it’s not as atas or high standards as Hai Di Lao or Beauty in the Pot, but  it serves as a quick fix for your steamboat crave. The price is very reasonable for the quality you get. The staff aren’t really the most friendly ones around like you see in Taiwan, but that’s a small issue.

And oh, every $38 spent at Shi Li Fang gets you one stamp. The stamps can be accumulated and exchanged for stuffed toys. A giant stuffed toy requires about 10 stamps.

180 Kitchener Road, #02-53/54, City Square Mall, S(208539)

+65 6636 7899

Daily 10am to 10pm

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