I was surprised with myself when I accepted my friend, Maureen Ow, a notable food blogger’s invitation to join her at Hotpot Kingdom for dinner. To begin with, I’ve never been a fan of hotpot and I hate to work up a sweat when I’m eating. Having said that, the temptation of dining at a newly opened restaurant at the swanky Marina Bay Sands was just too strong to reject.
Open for slightly more than a month, Hotpot Kingdom is the latest entrant to romance Singaporeans’ love over hotpot. Unlike other hotpot places, which are filled with people piling their plates with raw ingredients, dining at Hotpot Kingdom is a much pleasure affair. More importantly, everything is done with much finesse and the food quality is also much better than those run-of-the-mill hotpot eateries.
Hotpot Kingdom at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
First of all, the different condiments are prepared in-house using the best ingredients. And that alone is sufficient to impress those who like to dip their food in their own sauce creations. Personally, I’m not a big fan of dipping sauces because fresh food should taste great with minimal seasoning. And at Hotpot Kingdom, I wouldn’t recommend you dipping your food with too much sauce.
The wide range of condiments
The range of soup bases is extensive at Hotpot Kingdom. There are more than eight different soup bases such as herbal chicken, Korean kimchi, spicy Szechuan (aka Ma La), Macanese pork bone, beef consommé and pork tripe with pepper. We didn’t manage to try everything but my personal favourites are the herbal chicken and Korean kimchi. I like the herbal chicken because the herbal taste is light and yet flavourful. It tasted even better after we cooked the Hua Tiao marinated chicken in it. The Hua Tiao wine really enhanced the chicken soup. The Korean kimchi soup base is a nice in-between for those who prefer a stronger yet spicier flavour to their soup. Personally, I find the spicy Szechuan was too overpowering. And I was not overwhelmed with the Macanese pork bone base, although that’s a hot favourite for most of the Hotpot Kingdom’s customers.
The delicious soup bases
But it was the hotpot ingredients that stole the limelight. I enjoyed the hand-made meatballs tremendously. My favourites are the fresh beef balls, Dace fish balls and fresh cuttlefish balls. Although they are not pretty, their taste and texture are divine. They are light and airy in texture. Without a doubt, their flavours were excellent too. The seafood such as lobster and prawns were super fresh too. And the well-marbled wagyu beef is outrageously good. This is why I stressed earlier that it’s best not to use too much dipping sauce. You wouldn’t be able to taste the natural flavour of these top-quality ingredients if you dip too much sauce.
Sale & Pepper Golden Mushrooms
the fresh lobsters and prawns
In addition to the regular hotpot dishes, Hotpot Kingdom serves a good selection of dimsum as well. If you love truffle, you will probably enjoy the decadent Siu Mai with Black Truffle ($8.80 for 4 pieces). The Steamed Mix Vegetables Dumplings are equally good especially when the mixed vegetables retain its crunchy texture with its thin and soft flour skin.
Siu Mai with Black Truffle
well-marbled wagyu beef
If you are willing to indulge yourself, order a bottle of 2013 Mapu Sauvignon Blanc. This well-balanced and light wine pairs with the hotpot perfectly.
However, one might get a shock when you see the price of the hotpot dishes. Yes, they do not come cheap but considering the ingredients they used, it’s money well spent. For those who are more price conscious, there are two value-for-money set menus, starting from an affordable $29.80++ for lunch to $49.80++ for dinner.
the wagyu beef tastes so good
the beautifully wrapped wantons
The food at Hotpot Kingdom is pretty good and I can’t wait to return to try the other soup bases. And with the current cool weather, the trip should be soon.
2 Bayfront Avenue #B1-01B
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Tel: +65 6688 7722