Hai Di Lao Hot Pot

The temperature has been solidly in the mid-20s (celcius!)  the last couple of weeks, and in Singapore, this is relatively cool weather. We headed off to eat hot pot to celebrate “winter” in Singapore.

When you check in to get a table (they don’t take reservations), you will most definitely have to wait in line, but fret not, Hai Di Lao makes the wait very enjoyable! We were told the wait would be 1.5 hours long. The “waiting room” of Hai Di Lao has free wifi, tea and snacks, and board games. There’s also a manicure station, but the wait for manicures is almost as long as the wait for the table!

The food was delicious! We only had to wait for one hour before we were called up and I personally think the wait is worth it. As a whole, Hai Di Lao is more expensive than the typical hot pot restaurant, but they are also known for great customer service. Our server was very polite and attentive. We were given aprons (definitely a must for the Van family), a plastic bag for our cell phones, and constant refill of drinks / soup / hot towels.

We only ordered two soups but Hai Di Lao allows up to four soups per table. Here are the food highlights you don’t want to miss:

  • Gongfu mian: hand-pulled noodles. Your noodle master will do a little dance as he pulls and flicks the noodle in the air. If you’re like me, you’ll sit in wonder of how the noodles defy gravity while simultaneously concerned the noodles will touch the floor (don’t worry it never does!)
  • Fishballs made with spinach sauce was actually quite delicious and a fishball with fish roe as well
  • Sauces: I’ve never had so many sauce options before! There are over 20 different sauces with flavors I’ve never had before such as ground beef and mushroom sauce

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Photo credit: Wall Street Journal

Hai Di Lao originated from Sichuan in China and has since opened up plenty of locations in China and abroad. Check their website for the location nearest you!


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