Contrary to popular belief, Hai Di Lao is not the sole proprietor of Mala Hot Pot. Though the trend only started getting mainstream attention in recent years, the traditionally-Sichuan cuisine traces back to the 19th and 20th century. Restaurants bearing these concepts have also been around for decades in our island nation. Gathered here is a list of the lesser-known Mala hotpot places in Singapore that are privy to the most devoted of steamboat fans.

1. Guo Fu Hotpot

mala steamboat singapore
Image credit: sethlui.com

If you’re a fan of small pots, deeming them more hygienic and personal, you’ve got Guo Fu Hotpot Steamboat to thank. The restaurant introduced Singapore to the concept of individual hot pots and popularised it in 2005.


Dining options at Guo Fu Hotpot Steamboat include Set Meal, A La Carte and A La Carte Buffet, the latter of which is the bestseller. Diners enjoy over a hundred steamboat ingredients on an all-you-can-eat basis, including premium beef slices and free-flow handmade xiao long bao – a highly appreciated bonus for such an addictive item. Choose from an array of thirteen different soup bases, many of which are infused with herbs and attractive benefits (think “Male Vitality Soup”). Do note that soup base and drinks are not included in the A La Carte Buffet package and will incur additional costs.

Highlights

  • Free-flow handmade xiao long bao
  • Thirteen different soup bases to choose from
  • More than a hundred steamboat ingredients, including premium beef slices
Address20 Cross St, #01-31 China Square Central, Singapore 048422
Contact number+65 6557 0906
Business hours11.30 AM – 10.30 PM daily

2. Ma La Hui Cui Guan

Image credit: Ma La Hui Cui Guan

Ma La Hui Cui Guan is a 3-minute walk away from Masjid Sultan. It is a Muslim-owned Sichuan restaurant with a contemporary oriental dining experience. As such, it features an exclusive Halal menu that respects the dietary needs of its neighbourhood. Customers are entitled to an individual pot that contains up to two soup bases: the Sichuan spicy soup and the green chilli soup are crowd favourites.

In addition to hotpot, Ma La Hui Cui Guan has a comprehensive menu of cooked food that spotlights Sichuan cuisines. Get a taste of unique dishes such as Century Egg with Green Chilli and a variety of chicken noodles. There is also a range of Sichuan Duck Rice, which is braised through an authentic Sichuan method and caramelized with a special sauce.

Highlights

  • Muslim-owned Sichuan restaurant that is certified Halal
  • Individual pots with dual soup bases
  • Comprehensive menu of cooked food
Address47 Arab St, Singapore 199744
Contact number+65 6612 8325
Business hours11.30 AM – 9.30 PM

3. Hai Xian Lao

hai xian lao mala steamboat
Image credit: HungryGoWhere

Apart from the Sichuan Spicy Soup Base, Hai Xian Lao specializes in locally-inspired soup bases, such as Tom Yum, Laksa and Sour Vegetable Pork Bone. Among them, Laksa stands out with its rich, distinct taste and creamy consistency. For something more premium, try the Prawn Soup Base, heavily infused with the briny flavours of fresh prawns. Alternatively, there is a Healthy Collagen Soup Base to coat your lips with an endearing stickiness that promises an extra beauty boost.

Indulge in a large selection of steamboat ingredients, which include a wide variety of seafood like Alaska King Crab Legs, Live Tiger Prawns and Cod Fish. There are also various handmade items, ranging from bouncy meatballs to generously-stuffed dumplings.

Highlights

  • Locally-inspired soup bases, among which Laksa is favoured
  • Wide variety of seafood
  • Handmade steamboat ingredients
Address8 Wilkie Road, Singapore 228095
Contact number+65 6509 6194
Business hours11 AM – 5 AM daily

4. Shang Pin Hot Pot

Image credit: Shang Pin Hot Pot

Shang Pin Hot Pot doesn’t skim on the soup bases: they are made with more than 25 herbal ingredients and slow-boiled for over three hours. Using quality chilli and chilli peppers, the Sichuan spicy soup base is tantalizing with a satisfying kick. Sample up to three soup bases in one sitting, and embark on a gastronomical journey with exotic items such as the beef tongue, sea urchin balls and bullfrog meat.

For something more filling, order the hand-pulled noodles, which are made in a spectacular fashion that rivals Hai Di Lao’s performance. Otherwise, savour the sour spicy glass noodle, a Chongqing speciality. If you’re new to this, overcome the initial stink to unlock your brand new addiction.

Highlights

  • Chongqing hand-pulled noodles
  • Exotic food items such as sea urchin balls
  • Mala soup base made with over 25 herbal ingredients and slow-boiled for over three hours
Address6 Raffles Boulevard Marina Square #02-102, Singapore 039594
Contact number+65 6238 7666 
Business hours11.30 AM – 11.30 PM daily

5. Upin Hot Pot

upin hot pot
Image credit: Upin Hot Pot

Rumour has it that Upin Hot Pot was established by a former Hai Di Lao employee, but it may just be a comparison drawn over their similarities in concept. Nonetheless, Upin Hot Pot is a mid-range restaurant that is not only a lot friendlier on the budget, but also the waiting time. Plus, if you visit the original Clarke Quay Central outlet, you get a picturesque view of the Singapore River to go with your meal.

In terms of food options, ingredients are ordered on an a la carte basis. A sumptuous range of proteins awaits, such as Black Pork, Japanese Kurobuta Pork and Australian Marbled Beef. Hotpot enthusiasts are no stranger to the soup bases, which include house-made tomato stock made of fresh, tangy tomatoes. There is a relatively rare Sichuan Boiled Fish Pot, as well as a Vegetarian Mushroom Pot for the veggie lovers.

Highlights

  • Vegetarian Mushroom Pot for veggie lovers
  • Mid-range hotpot restaurant that is comparable with Hai Di Lao
  • Premium proteins such as Black Pork, Japanese Kurobuta Pork and Australian Marbled Beef
AddressClarke Quay Central: 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, #03-87 Singapore 059817
Orchard Gateway: #04-19 Orchard Gateway, [email protected], Singapore 238858
West Coast Plaza: 154 West Coast Rd, #01-02 Singapore 127371
Contact numberClarke Quay Central: +65 6221 5550
Orchard Gateway: +65 6288 5550
West Coast Plaza: +65 6258 5550
Business hours11 AM – 12 AM daily

6. Shi Li Fang

shi li fang mala steamboat
Image credit: Shi Li Fang

While the consensus is that steamboat is best enjoyed with company, there are still some who prefer dining alone. In that case, Shi Li Fang is highly commendable. With their vast collection of set meals, they cater to groups of all sizes – starting from one pax. These bundles typically include a meat dish, an assortment of vegetables, up to four soup bases, drinks and sauces.

On top of that, Shi Li Fang offers gratifying, properly spiced Mala soup bases. The ingredients are fresh and varied. Customers choose either a la carte or set meals, the latter of which offers up to 50% off items and come with free-flow drinks. Their reasonable prices and appropriate portions easily turn hotpot lovers into loyal customers.

Highlights

  • Mala hotpot that is certified Halal
  • Suitable for solo or small-group diners
  • Budget-friendly with generous portions
AddressRefer to website
Contact number+65 6870 8888
Business hoursRefer to website

7. Tong Xin Ru Yi Traditional Hot Pot

Image credit: Tong Xin Ru Yi Traditional Hot Pot

Located on the fringe of Singapore River, Tong Xin Ru Yi Traditional Hot Pot has a pleasant setting: the interior prominently features natural materials like wood and rattan, which are set against a palate of neutral shades and oriental ornaments. The soothing environment stands in contrast to the saturated colours and strong flavours of the food.

Seafood like crabs and mini lobsters swim in broths of blazing colours. The hotpot soup bases – the most sought-after being the Stewed Marinated Beef with Spicy Soup – signal the fiery challenge ahead at first sight. Gourmets can sit in comfort while they take their tolerance towards spiciness to the edge. Need a time out? Chew on some fried mint leaves to take a break and tame your tongue.

Highlights

  • Pleasant and soothing dining environment
  • Signature Stewed Marinated Beef with Spicy Soup
  • Unique snacks such as fried mint leaves and lotus root stuffed with sticky rice
Address6 Lor Telok, Singapore 049019
Contact number+65 6536 8058
Business hours11 AM – 11 PM (Mon – Wed, Fri)
11 AM – 10.30 PM (Thu)
12 PM – 11 PM (Sat – Sun)

8. Longqing Steamboat

longqing steamboat mala
Image credit: Longqing Steamboat

Longqing Steamboat prides themselves on soup bases that are free of additives. The broths are slow-boiled for more than 10 hours to extract flavours from the herbs, bones and condiments used. In particular, the Mala and mushroom soup bases are the crowd-pleasers. The former possesses all qualities of a good Mala stock, while the latter uses premium mushrooms, cordyceps, and other herbs to achieve a luscious earthy taste.

Ingredients at Longqing Steamboat can be ordered a la carte or through set meals. There are some inventive handmade items, including a chunky Handmade Pork Balls and a prawn paste accented with crab roe. End your meal on a high note with delectable desserts, like a deep-fried taro ball that oozes with a sweet, gooey yam filling.

Highlights

  • Soup bases are free of MSG
  • Broths that are slow-boiled for more than 10 hours
  • Inventive handmade food items and delectable desserts
Address18 Hongkong St, Singapore 059661
Contact number+65 6533 1618
Business hours6 PM – 11 PM (Tue & Sun)
12 PM – 2.30 PM, 6 PM – 11 PM (Wed – Sat)
Closed on Monday

9. Jinshangyipin Hot Pot by Asian Spyces

Image credit: Eatigo

Another eatery where Muslim gourmets can safely declare their love for hotpots: Jinshang Yipin Hot Pot is certified Halal! Established by a Muslim revert from China, soup bases from the restaurant are all Muslim-friendly. The options include Tomato, Mushroom, Herb Chicken, Sour Vegetable and the signature Mala. Despite its scary appearance and a distinguished peppery aroma, the broth remains tasty and manageable.

Besides hotpot, Jinshang Yipin Hot Pot provides BBQ options to elevate your dining experience. Operating on an all-you-can-eat basis, customers can help themselves to an extensive spread of ingredients. Satiate your hunger with unlimited refills and enjoy the best of both worlds.

Highlights

  • Certified Halal hotpot restaurant
  • BBQ option available
  • Manageable, aromatic Mala soup base
AddressEastpoint Mall, 3 Simei Street 6 #01-20 Singapore 528833
Contact number+65 6909 7355
Business hours11 AM – 3 AM daily

10. Shi Jian Hot Pot

shi jian hot pot mala
Image credit: Shi Jian Hot Pot

Similar to Shi Li Fang, Shi Jian Hot Pot is friendly to small groups and solo diners. Customers can opt for single or double set meals, featuring meat, assorted vegetables, sauces and drinks. Do note that the soup has to be ordered separately. On the other hand, there are family packages starting from S$68 that are suitable for larger groups.

Shi Jian Hot Pot has four popular soup bases, including the signature Red Oil Mala. It incorporates a fragrant red oil for an extra flair on top of the original tang. Besides, there are healthier options like the collagen-rich Signature Pork Bone, Beauty Tomato and Healthy Mushroom. The broths go exceptionally well with the variety of steamboat ingredients.

Highlights

  • Mala soup base imbued with fragrant red oil
  • Single or double set meals for solo or small-group diners
  • Family packages for large-group diners
AddressJCube: #02-19, 2 Jurong East Central 1, Singapore 609731
Suntec City Mall: #B1-146, 3 Temasek Blvd, Singapore 038983
Contact numberJCube: +65 6909 6368
Suntec City Mall: +65 6909 8306
Business hours11.30 AM – 10.30 PM daily

Venture beyond the popular choices and try these outlets that may help cut your bills and queuing time in half. After these demanding challenges for your tastebuds, calm your senses down with some exquisite desserts.

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