Monday, September 23, 2013
Hai Di Lao Hotpot @ Clarke Quay
Hai Di Lao, the latest name to takeover the hotpot scene in Singapore and dominate it with super service and food. The list of freebies given away was alarming from the moment we stepped in. Located in the same block as Satchi and Satchi, these folks are lucky to have the most coveted hotpot just downstairs!
Snacks on the house for those who have the wait since reservations are not accepted after 5pm on weekends and 6pm on weekdays. Think popcorn, peanuts and crackers to accompany games of chess. For the vainpots, there is free manicures available but the waiting line is long for this.
Crowds like these last through the night, from the moment they open their doors through dinner hour.
Plastic satchets are handed out to store our prized mobiles to avoid accidental deaths in hotpots.
Bibs tossed in to ensure our clothes are kept spotless and cloths for the arm candies too.
Did I mention the hospitality hardly stops there - attentive service throughout the experience and nobody ever rushes you through your meal despite the burgeoning queues outside.
Napkins to clean your hands before the meal starts - the last time I experienced such thoughtfulness was actually in Japan.
The only and possibly main grouse is the touch screen menu. The system does not work that well, keying in orders and locking them in is a hit and miss - to solve all problems just submit them through the waiter to avoid orders being missed or systems cranking up on you.
Table full of condiments and snacks. Condiments are chargeable at $4 per pax but a friend who went claims it is free.
Nuts from the counter to fill the hunger pangs.
Tomato Soup ($14)
Chicken Soup ($20)
We opted for two broth types to get the best of both worlds - one for their signature tomato soup and the other for chicken. The former was robust, tangy and the ideal minestrone.
Green sprigs tossed in.
So good, I helped myself to several bowls even before the meals started. Chicken soup on the other hand, was milky and less hearty even with black chicken chunks strewn in. Even with mushrooms and fishballs tossed in, it still failed to outshine the tomato soup.
Beef Platter ($22)
Well marbled curls served in a platter that made us all belly happy.
Now you see it pink.
And then it comes out cooked.
Vegetable Platter ($18)
Pricey vegetable platter though it may seem more worthwhile since ala carte vegetable pots were going for $6 onwards each.
Bamboo Shoots ($6)
Adored these! Each bite was fragrant and had a lovely juicy bite.
Pork Balls ($5)
Just be careful of their longer than necessary cooking time, mine were barely a third cooked when I sunk my pearlies into them, otherwise really awesome meat balls.
Black Pork Belly ($6)
So good, I had them fats and meat all.
Handmade Noodle ($3)
The theatrics that goes behind the noodle display is worth the 3 bucks - the dude comes around with dough, flips and flaps and swings it all over, pray hard his grasp of distance is accurate else end up with a powdered face.
Oodles of delish.
Fried Rice ($3)
Well just egg and rice fried in the wok, not for the picky.
Following the Fish and Co experience with complimentary mints. Loved these touches!
So long, my return will not take long! A completely new dining experience with fresh ingredients and delicious food, worth a visit for sure.
Hai Di Lao Hot Pot
#02-04, Clarke Quay
3D River Valley Road