You should know by now, steamboat is practically my go-to lunch and dinner cuisine. At the risk of overeating, I could practically have steamboat every day, but that’s story for another day. Recently I was introduced to Manle (满乐 ) hot pot at the newly renovated Downtown East complex and boy was I blown away.
My partner stays in the deep East and being steamboat fans, we’ve been lamenting the lack of a good steamboat joint in the area. The best substitute would have been Shabu Sai at Changi City Point and the pricier Jpot at Tampines One. The new steamboat restaurant by the Astons group filled this sore gap.
Manle has an interesting concept; it is a Taiwanese porridge buffet restaurant in the day for lunch, and a steamboat buffet for dinner. Their concept is modelled after a market with open-concept food prep area and live tanks for their shellfish. Fish and seafood are kept cold on ice, not unlike your neighbourhood wet market. With an open concept food prep area, you can be sure the ingredients are clean and fresh.
The selection of items are also among one of the best I have seen for a buffet of such price point: there are exotic shell fishes like flower crabs and hum, and even sea cucumber. The meat is also great with thinly sliced beef short rib and chicken thigh.
Apart from steamboat ingredients, there is a good selection of cooked food such as curry chicken, fried mantou and noodles.
Included in the reasonable adult price of $24.80++ is also free flow soft drinks, soft serve ice cream and dessert – on the day we went, there was red velvet cake, red bean soup and cheng tng, although I suggest spooning your dessert soups early; the pot was empty when I tried to take some at about 9.45pm.
Nonetheless, this is fast becoming my favourite steamboat buffet in Singapore and the distance is almost no object to me.
Man Le Hot Pot