Tian Wai Tian Fish Head Steamboat
We hear it gets really crowded here, but if you don’t mind dining amidst a bustling crowd in an open-air hawker centre for some old-school charcoal-heated steamboat, go to Tian Wai Tian.
The pomfret steamboat costs from $22 and the smallest portion feeds 2-3 people.
The portions of tender sliced fish are generous, and there’s plenty of yam, seaweed and greens that soak in the savoury broth.
Tian Wai Tian Fish Head Steamboat is at 31 Kaki Bukit Road 3 and 1383 Serangoon Road.
Laksa’s one of those dishes that is either a hit or miss. Good laksa is intensely rich with a good blend of spices and herbs, and enough coconut milk to be indulgent, whereas average laksa is just bland.
The laksa at King’s Laksa is rich and addictive, with many online reviewers commending the broth. The best part? The ingredients for the steamboat are free flow. Yep, it’s a buffet with all your typical steamboat ingredients and it costs just $20.80++ to $25.80++ depending on when you go. (The cheapest option is during weekday lunch from 11am – 2.59pm.)
And the har cheong gai (prawn paste chicken wings) are fried-to-order! Abuse this as much as you want for piping hot winglets that are still sizzling when they reach your table.
Make your reservation in advance. This cosy little shophouse is sure to get packed during dinner time.
King’s Laksa is at 17 Teck Chye Terrace.
Hua Ting Steamboat
For some atas steamboat hit up Hua Ting Steamboat. The dishes are pretty pricey to match the atas level — expect to pay around $40 to $70, assuming you’re ordering for a big group. But the good news is, if you make a reservation at Eatigo at off-peak timings you can slash the prices 50% off.
The must-order is the Superior Fish Soup With Winter Melon & Conpoy ($34, $17 after discount). This fish soup comes with a hollowed out melon that’s stuffed with lettuce, wolfberries, and shredded conpoy.
The melon makes the soup get sweeter and tastier the longer it cooks. Try it for a new and interesting flavour profile.
Hua Ting Steamboat is at Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road.
Despite its sort of ulu location, on the third floor of Clarke Quay Central, Upin Hot Pot is fairly well known. It’s often compared to Hai Di Lao as the chef is said to be from there.
The food and types of soup bases have a number of similarities, but Upin Hotpot has much more reasonable prices.
Order the much raved about tomato broth — it’s a crowd fave, and is made from fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones.
We also like how you can customise your mala broth down to the spice, oil, and thickness levels. It’s a nice detail that makes your experience a little more pleasant.
A twin pot costs around $14 – $16. Combined with the a la carte dishes, expect to pay around $35-$45 per pax.
Upin Hot Pot is at Clarke Quay Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street.
You collagen junkies can get your fix at Tsukada Nojo.
The Bijin Nabe, is a $25++ set that comes with a skewered prawns, chicken chunks, fresh vegetables and noodles to accompany the collagen stew.
The collagen comes semi-solid and looks silky like beancurd. After it gets boiling with water, this collagen ‘pudding’ made by boiling Japanese chicken bones for over eight hours, will dissolve, infusing the ingredients with all its healthy properties.
Tsukada Nojo is at 133 New Bridge Road.
Wen Wen Pork Rib Big Prawn Mee
This popular steamboat hawker stall at Old Airport Road specialises in seafood and pork steamboat ($50). It’s filled with offal like pig’s tail and intestines, meatier parts like pork ribs, and seafood like prawns, clams, and a crab.
And you get a side of cooked noodles with lard and chilli, too. Feeds two people well, but if you’re peckish (and a little shameless) you can buy some more ingredients from the nearby NTUC and add it to your pot.
A food reviewer has tried it before, and the uncle was sweet enough to accommodate.
Wen Wen Pork Rib Big Prawn Mee is at 69 Geylang Bahru, #01-22.
Thien Kee Steamboat Restaurant
Chicken rice with steamboat? Yes, please!
The soup is a big factor that affects how tasty chicken rice is, so imagine how much better this dish is going to be with a flavourful broth made richer with the essence of the prawns, beef, pork, and cockles that are added to the pot.
And unlike your typical chicken rice you get huge portions of leafy vegetables to add to the pot as well. Wholesome and delicious.
The steamboat costs from $36, and half a chicken costs $10.
Thien Kee Steamboat Restaurant is at Golden Mile Tower, 5001 Beach Rd, 6001 #B1-20.
Text and photos originally from Sara Mahendran/Herworld