I am undoubtedly a fan of steamboat and hotpots. Steamboats always conjure the best memories of my family reunions during Chinese New Year which is nothing short of fun, laughter and copious amounts of homecooked food.
Recent years saw the boom of a la carte steamboat joints in Singapore. This, to me, signifies a shift in spending habits of Singaporeans and the willingness to pay for premium quality. When I was a child, steamboat were always all-you-can-eat smelly oily BBQ-steamboat combination affair at the now defunct Marina Bay area and the likes of Seoul Garden. It is only in recent years we see the rise of restaurants like Imperial Treasure, Beauty In A Pot and Hai Di Lao. But this post is about something else – Shang Pin Steamboat.
Word has it that Shang Pin at Rendezvous Hotel is an offshoot of Hai Di Lao, conceptualised and operated by their ex-staff. I haven’t been able to verify that, because apart from the handmade noodles, soup bases and sauce bar, there are few similarities in the teo restaurants.
Shang Pin feels a little no-frills to me; the decor of the restaurant isn’t luxurious like Hai Di Lao, nor is there the reputation of queues so long their start to feed you or paint your nails. In fact, Shang Pin welcomes reservations.
That said, Shang Pin is a good steamboat restaurant by itself. I particularly enjoy their pork bone soup which is a milky white broth cooked from bones, perfect for dunking fresh meat and drinking. I have friends who prefer their version of tomato soup, but I can’t comment much as I’m not a big fan of either. The a la carte dishes are similar to other restaurants, but the items are fresh and the serving size idea for 3-4 pax.
I highly recommend trying Shang Pin the next time you find Hai Di Lao queue daunting.
Shang Pin Hot Pot