Singapore’s best steamboats
Steamboats are the staple for family cohesiveness – nothing spells kinship like having to shoulder-rub over a bubbling hotpot at a table with endless amounts of food to be cooked, with grandma putting another piece of meat on your plate every 5 minutes, telling you to eat more.
These are Singapore’s 10 best steamboats for family gatherings, serving 10/10-would-recommend pots for sharing. Good luck winning the fight for the bill at the end of the meal!
1. Whampoa Keng Fishhead Steamboat
“BEST IN SINGAPORE… AND SOME SAY BATAM!” This is true for Whampoa Keng Fishhead Steamboat, which has expanded beyond Singapore’s shores to the Indonesian isles (Batam) in 2015. You’ll know why when you taste the soup, which is rumored to be made from no less than THIRTY herbs and secret ingredients, including some very appetite-whetting sour plum and chunks of deep fried yam.
Steamboat refills use the same intense stock Source
You’ll have multiple choices with the type of fish for your soup – pomfret, grouper or batang – where you’ll get fish slices and fresh fish head. Quick tip: Boneless batang filets are perfect for those with kids.
Complete your meal with a plate of har cheong gai ($12) or cereal prawns ($20), both of which come highly recommended!
Ps: if Whampoa Keng sounds familiar, it’s because the were in the news in 2015 for their willingness to hire a staff member with a skin disease.
Whampoa Keng (Main) – Balestier
Address: 556 Balestier Road, Singapore 329872
Hours: Monday – Friday | 11AM – 3PM & 5PM – 11PM
Weekends & Public Holidays | 11AM – 11PM
Whampoa Keng (Branch) – Rangoon
Address: 116/118 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218396
Hours: Monday – Friday | 11AM – 3PM & 5PM – 11PM
Weekends & Public Holidays | 11AM – 11PM
2. Crystal Jade Steamboat
Crystal Jade’s Chinese fare well-known for being the go-to in Singapore, but few know of the existence of their all-day steamboat outlet at Zhongshan Mall that opened in 2013. With 7 soup bases, 11 shellfish and seafood items, 28 vegetables, roots, and mushroom items, 14 fresh meat and poultry items, 5 bean and gluten items, 8 rice and noodle items, and over 20 sauces, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Highly recommended is the Tomyam Soup, which has the right balance between sweet and sour, and packing a strong lemongrass flavour. Alternatively, the Superior Broth is made by simmering lean pork, pork bones, and whole chicken for more than 12 hours, producing a flavourful punch.
There are 9 steamboat sets you can pick from, costing between $28.80 to $38.80, with ala carte items costing from $3.90 to $5.90. Ala carte items you can’t miss are the handmade balls (prawn balls, meat balls, fishballs in Teochew style, and squid ball in Teochew style), which will bring your steamboat to the next level.
Crystal Jade Kitchen
Address: Zhong Shan Mall, #01-18
Hours: 11.30AM – 3PM & 5.30PM – 2AM daily
Here are other Crystal Jade Steamboat outlets to check out:
Crystal Jade Kitchen (Plaza Singapura)*
Address: Plaza Singapura, #02-32 (walk-ins only)
Hours: 11AM – 10PM daily
*Offers 90 minute steamboat buffet from $24.90
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao*
Address: 2 Lor Mambong, Holland Village, Singapore 277671
Hours: 8.30AM – 11PM daily
Reservations: 6463 0968
*Offers a 90 minute steamboat + xiao long bao buffet. Enjoy 20% off when you dine during the 1st (5pm – 6.30pm) or 4th round (10.15pm – 11.45pm) till 31 October 2016
Ps: Charge to your DBS/POSB Card with Crystal Jade Jadeite membership to enjoy 12% rebate on ala carte food bill.
3. Nan Hwa Fishboat*
Nan Hwa Fishboat has a secret family recipe that dates back to around 1927 – that’s almost 90 years old! Using moat-style aluminum pots loaded with glowing hot charcoal, their signature Teochew style Fish Head Steamboat is served with pomfret or grouper in a bubbling silky soup that takes over 5 hours to cook.
Mum will have zero complaints about the freshness of the Red Grouper ($38 /$48/ $68), Chinese Pomfret ($38 /$48 /$68), or Red Snapper ($28 /$38/ $58) simmering in a broth made from the essence of fish bones, twelve quality ingredients and secret components.
Crisp-Fried Prawn in Golden Pumpkin Sauce (S$18.80 / $28.80) Source
Complement your hotpot with hearty zhi char dishes – Claypot Drunken Rice Wine Clam ($15.80 / $20.80), Champagne Pork Ribs ($12.80 / $18.80) or their Crisp-Fried Prawn in Golden Pumpkin Sauce – we’ve heard that Nan Hwa has made some secret tweaks to that last one.
Enjoy these dishes in air-conditioned bliss at Nan Hwa’s newest Owen Road outlet. Source
Nan Hwa Fishboat – North Bridge Road
Address: 812/814/816 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198779
Hours: 4PM – 1AM daily
Nan Hwa Fishboat – Owen Road
Address: 93/95 Owen Road, Singapore 218907
Hours: 5PM – 11.30PM daily
Ps: Charge to your DBS/POSB Card and get 10% off with min. spend of S$50 or 15% off with min. spend of S$100. Visit the DBS Lifestyle app for more information.
4. Emperor Pot
Emperor Pot’s signature three-tiered steamboat is ruling the steamboat scene from an unassuming kopitiam in Jalan Besar. Boil, grill or steam your choice between meat or seafood, and you won’t even have to fork out pretty pennies for this majestic spread!
The Mix Combo Set ($49.90) feeds 3-4 and offers fresh meat, seafood and vegetables.
The seafood platter comes with bamboo clams, crayfishes, scallops and abalone.
Emperor Pot offers 4 soup bases ($5.90 each), 9 dipping sauces and 2 choices of dried sauces, so no two meats will taste the same.
If you’re going solo, they’ve even got a single-eater Prince Pot ($5.90) with an option of meat or seafood and it’s a real steal for a very filling meal! Check out our video when we visited Emperor Pot here:
Open till the wee hours of the morning (2.30AM on weekdays), family suppers can be made into grand latenight affairs at Emperor Pot.
Address: 100 Tyrwhitt Road, Broadway Food Centre, Singapore 207542
Hours: Monday – Friday | 11:30AM – 2:30AM
Saturday | 11:30AM – 10:30PM
Sunday | 11:30AM – 1:10AM
5. Hai Xian Lao Restaurant
Hai Xian Lao brings you Szechuan-style steamboat and traditional dishes in trendy indoor and al fresco dining areas featuring marble tables, plush chairs with arm rests, all beneath some elaborate chandeliers.
HXL features a spectacular range of meats from Spanish Pork Collar ($6.80), 150 Day Grain-fed Angus ($9.80), Berkshire Kurobuta Pork Belly ($13.80), US Wagyu Beef Striploin ($24.80) and even Deer meat ($20.80).
Choose from seven soup bases – Laksa, Mala, Tomato, Tom Yum, Mushroom and Chicken ($13.80 each) or try chicken collagen ($16.80), which is good for your skin and hair!
Fresh oysters, Alaskan King Crabs, Tiger Prawns, Boston Lobsters, Bamboo Clams – all served fresh from HXL’s fishtanks. Source
Hai Xian Lao
Address: 8 Wilkie Road, Wilkie Edge, #01-21, Singapore 228095
Hours: 11:30AM – 5AM daily
6. COCA Restaurant*
COCA’s been showing Singaporeans the best of Thai hospitality since 1987 with “Suki” steamboat served a la-Carte or buffet style ($27++ for lunch and $43.80++ for dinner). The standard soups are Clear Chicken and Tom Yum Soup but for your wrinkle-conscious sisters and mums, you might consider COCA’s Healthy Chicken Collagen Broth.
Go with the buffet and an ingredient spread is served even before your orders are taken so you won’t get too hungry perusing the extensive buffet menu.
Famous for their fish glue and legendary COCA Restaurant Special Dipping Sauce made from coriander, Thai sweet chili, sugar and splashes of pungent fish sauce. perfect dip for all kinds of food balls – Cuttlefish, Fortune Fish, Special Pork, Chicken, Beef and Special Shrimp Ball.
COCA with a chance of meatballs. Source
Address: Ngee Ann City | 391 Orchard Road #04-23 | 11.15 AM to 10.30PM daily
Resorts World Sentosa | 26 Sentosa Gateway #01-215 | 11.15AM to 10.30PM daily
Kallang Leisure Park | 5 Stadium Walk #02-01 | 11.15AM to 10.30PM daily
Last Order for Lunch @ 3.45pm | Last Order for Dinner @ 9.45pm
Charge to your DBS/POSB Card and receive a complementary S$10 return voucher (min. spend of S$80) or complementary S$20 return voucher (min. spend of S$160)
7. Shang Pin Huo Guo
Get three soup bases for the price of two. Source
Rumored to be started by former Hai Di Lao employees, Shang Pin Huo Guo is the place to go for the same delicious spread without the ridiculous queues. Expect to pay up to 25% less at this no-frills joint – significant savings if you’re bringing the whole family.
There are 3 soup bases available here: black chicken, tomato, and Sichuan Mala. If you’re here for the first time and can’t decide, go for the black chicken, which is their most popular choice. The tomato base is strong without being too sour, and the Sichuan Mala is only recommended for spicy food lovers.
Marbling level: Asian – Shang Pin Beef ($14) Source
Kungfu Noodles ($3) – Soft and smooth noodles made right in front of you by the shifus Source
There are the same theatrical performances with noodles made in front of you, as well as free flow sauces and drinks.
Shang Pin Hot Pot (尚品火锅)
Address: 9 Bras Basah Road #02-02, Singapore 189559
Hours: 11AM to 12AM daily
8. Beauty In The Pot
We know that suppers are inherently unhealthy, but make yourself feel better and satisfy your midnight cravings with a healthy late-night family supper at Beauty In The Pot at ONEKM. Their rich and creamy signature Beauty Collagen Broth ($20 per pot) is good for your skin, brimming with the collagen-y goodness of shark’s cartilage that’s been boiled for 8 hours straight.
On the other hand, the Spicy Nourishing Broth ($20) is concocted with pork bones and immunity-boosting Chinese herbs like red dates, wolfberries, ginseng, dang gui and dang shen. The Szechuan chilli oil is all it will take to awaken you with three levels of spiciness (from mild to extra spicy). Good luck agreeing on a spice level across your family!
Choose from a selection of Specialty Homemade Pastes – Pork ($12), Dried Scallop Fish ($12), Ebiko Prawn ($12) and Century Egg Fish Paste ($10). Source
Beauty in the Pot
Address: 11 Tanjong Katong Road, OneKM #02-21, Singapore 437157
Hours: Monday – Thursday | 11AM – 3PM & 5.30PM – 1AM
Friday – Saturday and Eve of PH | 11AM – 3AM
Sun and PH | 11AM – 1AM
9. Golden Mile Thien Kee Steamboat
Thien Kee’s Steamboat with Traditional Chicken Soup comes in different sizes from small to large ($40 onwards) Source
You don’t have to go to an international buffet to get steamboat, chicken rice, and pork satay all in one place – Golden Mile Thien Kee Steamboat has got you covered since 1952. Located at Golden Mile Plaza among all the Thai food places, it retains a distinct Hainanese nostalgia.
There’s no buffet option here – all the items are ala carte so picky eaters are able to customise everything to their satisfaction. Loads of leafy vegetables for the health conscious? Check. No vegetables at all for the picky eater? Not a problem.
One item on the menu that you need to try is the Hainanese pork chop, each piece sliced thick and crispy, served in sweet and sour sauce.
Parents can eat in peace because the gas for the steamboat stove is piped directly from the ground, so kids are spared tripping over any pipes and electrical cords. Source
Golden Mile Thien Kee Steamboat Restaurant 黄金端记餐室
Address: 6001 Beach Road, #B1-20 Golden Mile Tower, Singapore 199589
Hours: 11AM – 10PM daily
Closed on certain Chinese festivals
You’d think a place like JPOT would specialize in megasized steamboats – they’re part of the JUMBO group after all – but JPOT will surprise you with individual hotpots that come with personal tongs. Remember: the tongs are for raw food and chopsticks are for cooked food!
JPOT at Vivocity has tables that sit up to 16, so big families with individual pots will get to try ALL of their 7 Singapore specialty soup bases: Superior Broth, Herbal, Bak Kut Teh, Silky Porridge, Laksa, Tom Yam or Vegetarian ($6.80 to $11.80).
iPad menus at the tables conveniently calculate the total spending, an essential feature for those on a budget – JPOT only does ala carte.
JPOT’s 90-item menu offers premium ingredients like Grain-Fed Ribeye ($12.80) and even Iberico Pork Loin (S$16.80) or Iberico Pork Collar ($12.80)*
*Going at 50% off from now till 31st August 2016!
Help yourself to soft drinks, coffee, homemade barley and luohan longan tea – going free flow at only S$3.80++! Source
JPOT – Hotpot
Address: Vivocity | #01-53 | 12PM to 11PM daily
Tampines 1 | #03-16 | 11AM to 10PM daily
Parkway Parade | #B-17 | 11AM to 10.30PM daily
Steamboat deals you can’t resist
Each family has their own style of steamboating – whether it be all-you-can-eat Szechuan hotpots, insane 3-in-1 Emperor Pots or traditional Teochew fish head steamboats.
If these steamboat places don’t tickle Grandma’s fancy, there are tons of delicious alternatives – from Chui Huay Lim’s Teochew Cuisine, the freshest seafood at Jumbo Seafood to scrumptious local delights at J Cafe – where you can get up to $50 off (in return vouchers), on top of your 9% dining rebate when you pay with your DBS/POSB debit and credit cards.
Plus, pay for your steamboat with a DBS/POSB Everyday card and get up to 9% off! Just gather a few friends and get almost 10% off your meals for the month!
This post was brought to you by DBS.