Have a ball of a time with family and friends at these great steamboat restaurants in Singapore that offer superb broths with premium ingredients.
Hotpot, steamboat, mookata – whatever it’s called, we just can’t get enough of this piping hot delight that’s perfect for a cold, rainy day. For the uninitiated, steamboat is a popular (and fun) cooking method in East Asian households where the cooking is done at the dinner table. A boiling pot of soup stock is placed in the middle of the table with a variety of raw meats, seafood, vegetable, noodles and dumplings. It may be a Chinese New Year staple but most of us in Singapore like to have steamboat all year ’round.
Of course, dining rules have changed thanks to the pandemic. Buffet style steamboats are a no-go due to safe distancing measures and hygiene reasons. Most, if not all, restaurants have updated the style with a la carte buffets (so all dishes come to you). And of course, not more than eight people per table.
Best steamboat in Singapore
This well-known stalwart has been around since 1957 so really, they must be doing something right. We particularly like the good ol’ clear chicken broth (Double Boiled Treasure) as a soup base but you can choose up to four soup bases with the quadruple pot. For maximum pleasure, dip your favourite cooked ingredients in Coca’s fiery homemade chilli sauce. All three outlets are usually crowded so book ahead to avoid disappointment.
Coca Restaurant, multiple locations including Suntec City, Ngee Ann City and Kallang Leisure Park
City Hot Pot
For those who are fussy with what goes into their hotpot, this spot is right up your alley. Even though everyone has their own pot for cooking, you’re still seated as a group. And from the variety of choices above, we reckon you’ll be staying here for hours. There are just too many soup bases you can choose from, including the flavour-packed special fish soup, as well as freshly sliced shabu-shabu, wagyu beef rolls and a whole lot of seafood!
City Hot Pot, multiple locations including One Raffles Place and Guoco Tower
Little Sheep Hot Pot
Don’t be alarmed by the peculiar name, this hot pot chain hailing from Mongolia has more than just lamb. It gained popularity by being one of the first hotpot restos to do without the classic dipping sauce. We can only imagine how flavourful the broth must be. Meat lovers can chow down on tender lamb, mutton, beef and pork skewers dipped in various soup bases. We hear that the mala option isn’t too spicy and has just the right kick too. Going for mutton? It pairs well with the signature white soup packed with spices.
Little Sheep Hot Pot, multiple locations including Esplanade, Geylang and VivoCity
San Laksa Steamboat
Love laksa and all its creamy, spicy goodness? This outlet on Telok Blangah Road is one of the few places in the country that offer laksa as a steamboat base. The laksa gravy isn’t too thick so you won’t feel jelak after piling on the ingredients. If you still want the good ol’ chicken broth, the pot can hold two different kinds of soup, so order away.
San Laksa Steamboat, 404 Telok Blangah Road, Singapore 098840
Upin Hot Pot
Aside from the flavourful soup bases and unique dishes (patin fish slices and black truffle ham), Upin Hot Pot regularly holds promos that are too good to resist. And if you’d rather stay in, Upin also brings the steamboat experience to you home, complete with the hot pot and all its trimmings. But if you’re at one of the outlets and craving for a side of entertainment, you can enjoy live hand-pulled noodle and Sichuan opera-face changing performances.
Upin Hot Pot, multiple locations including Clarke Quay Central, Orchard Gateway and West Coast Plaza
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao
Few places do traditional Chinese fare better than Crystal Jade. It’s been a family favourite for the longest time and better yet, you can order a round or two of dim sum to accompany your soupy main at this outlet. Choose from six different soup bases (pork’s bone, tomato, curry, miso, superior, and spicy mala) before helping yourself to whatever ingredients you like at the buffet-style spread.
Crystal Jade Steamboat Kitchen, Holland Village, 241 Holland Avenue, Singapore 278976
At Tsukada Nojo, you can get your wonder protein fix in a pot with their super famous Bijin Nabe – a collagen-rich creation featuring organic chicken broth and fresh ingredients like shrimp, mushrooms and chicken meatballs. It’s literally beauty in a pot. Hailing from Japan, this steamboat restaurant exclusively serves organic and free-range Jitokko chicken from the Miyazaki Prefecture. Enjoy great savings with the set menus, and don’t leave without trying Japanese side dishes like nikumaki onigiri (rice balls wrapped in pork) and chicken nanban.
Tsukada Nojo, multiple locations including Plaza Singapura and Chinatown Point
Xian De Lai
A regular spot for ardent hotpot lovers, don’t be surprised to see queues during peak hours. Xian De Lai also offers Korean BBQ and chongqing grilled fish (in five delish flavours). Spice lovers, you have to try the spicy chicken – definitely packs a punch! Steamboat essentials include daily brewed soup bases as well as an array of handmade food and impressive side dishes.
Xian De Lai, 18 Liang Seah Street, Singapore 189039
Be warned: it’s a long wait to dine at this Sichuan-based restaurant (mostly over an hour), ever since it blew up. Don’t worry about waiting in line though. Believe it or not, you can get yourself a manicure and help yourself to free fruits and popcorn while waiting. Another highlight? Chefs showing off their kneading skills as they knead hand-pulled homemade noodles right at your table. If you can handle the heat, choose the fiery Sichuan soup base.
Haidilao, multiple locations including Clarke Quay, [email protected] and Vivocity
New Udon Mookata
What makes mookata so awesome (and different) is that you get the best of both worlds – a barbeque steamboat where one grills meats on a metal skillet in the middle. The metal skillet has grooves on it that lead into the “soup moat”. The juices you get from grilling the meat then flow into the soup, giving it that extra flavour. Oh, and did we mention that it’s open 24/7? Perfect for a cheeky late-night supper!
New Udon Mookata, #01-66E, Golden Mile Complex, 5001 Beach Road, Singapore 199588
Cheese Story Mookata Buffet
If you like a serving of gooey melted cheese with your mookata spread (think a seafood style cheese fondue), Cheese Story’s got enough cheese refills to go around the group. If you’re a seafood lover, go ahead and pile on the flower crabs, clams, scallops, mussels, prawns, crayfish and salmon. There’s also a mix of marinated pork, chicken and beef. End your meal with a scoop of ice-cream cause there’s always room for dessert.
Cheese Story Mookata Buffet, #02-01, Golden Mile Complex, 5001 Beach Road, Singapore 199588
Imperial Treasure Steamboat Restaurant
Imperial Treasure is the kind of swanky place you’d choose if you need to impress the in-laws. Signature dishes include the four treasure ball platter – a combination of prawn, cuttlefish, pork and canton specially prepared by the chef and the Imperial drunken chicken soup that’s prepared with Shaoxing rice wine, ginseng, wild yam, wolfberries and red dates. The satay, seaweed and kelp, and century egg and parsley soup bases are a cut above the usual Szechuan, pork bone and chicken soup flavours.
Imperial Treasure Steamboat Restaurant, multiple locations including Ion Orchard and Great World City
Beauty in the Pot by Paradise Group
This hotpot by Paradise group offers a perfect mix of beauty and the beast of some sorts. Indulge in a pot of beauty collagen soup packed with nutrients and a nourishing spicy soup with a choice of three levels of Szechuan spices to put your tolerance for mala to the test. Robust soup bases aside, premium and homemade ingredients like melt-in-your-mouth fish tofu and fried beancurd skin are some highlights.
Beauty in the Pot by Paradise group, multiple locations including The Centrepoint, Vivocity and Kinex
Guo Fu Hotpot Steamboat
Ready to explore beyond the usual soup bases? Guo Fu Hotpot in Chinatown has 10 bases for you to try – interesting flavours like elderly tonic soup and curry beef soup definitely pique interest. Each person on the table gets a pot to themselves so don’t hold back on your choices. And did we mention there’s free-flow of xiao long bao? Now, that’s what we call a bang for your buck.
Guo Fu Hotpot Steamboat,#01-31/32/33, China Square Central, China Court, 20 Cross Street, Singapore 048422
Pot Yummy Yummy
Hotpot for one? Pot Yummy Yummy is a haven for introverts – or if you’re picky about what goes inside the pot. You get a mini hotpot to yourself with a choice of over seven soup bases. The ingredients are placed on a conveyor belt so just patiently wait for your faves and plonk ‘em in the pot. The set lunch and dinner deals are definitely a bang for your buck.
Pot Yummy Yummy,#01-01, 80 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 048466
Whampoa Keng Fishhead Steamboat
From hawker stall to full-fledged restaurant, this dining spot (and household name to many locals) has come a long way since setting up shop in 1990. The main star of the steamboat is fresh sliced fish with bits of cabbage and seaweed, but do order some side dishes like the prawn paste chicken wings, braised pig trotter and prawn rolls.
Whampoa Keng Fishhead Steamboat, 556 Balestier Road, Singapore 329872; 512/514 Geylang Road Singapore 389468
Shang Pin Hot Pot
Go for the mala soup base and pick your level of spiciness (there’s mild, standard, and spicy). It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet concept here so select what you like, from pork balls to dumplings. There’s also plenty of vegetarian selections, seafood and cooked food.
Shang Pin Hot Pot, #02-102/102A Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039594; #01-10, Parkway Parade, 80 Marine Parade, Singapore 449269
Brace yourselves, you’re in for a massive feast thanks to these steamboat restaurants in Singapore.