Hai Xian Lao (海鲜捞) is a new Chinese steamboat restaurant at Wilkie road. It offers Szechuan-style steamboat and Szechuan traditional dishes in both indoor and al fresco settings.
Fancy Interior Design
We were most impressed by the fancy interior design. Hai Xian Lao has plush leather chairs with dark leather upholstery and comfortable arm rests, along with luxurious marble tables and elegant chandeliers.
The menu offers a large variety of steamboat items as well as traditional Szechuan dishes. We were a little fazed by the many options and decided to make our lives easier by ordering some sets.
For our soup bases, we ordered the Chicken Soup and the “mala” Sichuan Soup ($13.80 for both) – our preferred broths for Szechuan steamboat feasts.
For those who prefer something different, Hai Xian Lao offers a variety of other soup bases: Laksa Soup, Collagen Soup, Tomato Soup and Tom Yum Soup
The Chicken Soup had a light savoury taste that was punctuated by a fragrant herbal flavour.
The “mala” Sichuan Soup was spicy with a nose-searing fragrance distinctive of Szechuan cuisine flair. As the name goes (“mala” literally translates to numbingly spicy), it definitely left our mouths and tongues numb!
Kurobuta Pork Belly
We decided to splurge on the Kurobuta Pork Belly ($13.80), the premium “black hog” pork that comes from the famed Berkshire pig.
The pork was sliced so thin that we had trouble picking it up with our chopsticks. And because it was so thin, small bits of it kept being torn off.
Nonetheless, the meat was juicy and succulent with the distinctive sweetness of Kurobuta pork. Well worth the extra moolah we paid!
Meat Platter Set
Hai Xian Lao’s meat platter consists of three meats: chicken, dory fish, and pork. We dumped this galore of meat and fish into the boiling broths and couldn’t wait for them to be cooked so we could start feasting.
The chicken and pork were fresh and tasted decent.
I enjoyed the succulent dory fish, which were served in generous thick slices. They were juicy and sweet and went well with the mala soup base.
We have tasted fish paste, pork paste, and prawn paste before, but this was the first time we tried Seafood Paste ($9.80).
The friendly Hai Xian Lao staff helped squeeze the paste into our broths.
The cute little oodles of paste swelled to large fluffy-looking pieces after they got cooked. This was a satisfactory item for the steamboat.
Finger Food Platter Set
This platter consists of small pieces of hotdogs, crab sticks, luncheon meat, fishballs and meatballs, and costs just $9.80.
These ingredients filled up the pot to create a sumptuous steamboat with lots of food.
The finger foods tasted decent and (did I mention this earlier?) went well with the mala soup base.
Well, I guess you can’t really go wrong with mala soup for steamboat!
Al fresco Szechuan Steamboat
We had an enjoyable meal at Hai Xian Lao. The staff were all prompt and professional. Some of them were not 100% clear about the menu items when we asked them questions, but this is understandable considering that the establishment is still quite new.
The quality of the food was decent though we felt the price point was a tad high. On the whole, this is a nice joint to enjoy sumptuous Szechuan steamboat in an Al fresco setting while people-watching in bustling downtown Singapore.
And the restaurant opens till 5am daily so it’s a great place to have supper too!
Directions for how to go Hai Xian Lao
Hai Xian Lao is located on the first floor of Wilkie Edge Shopping Mall, near Selegie Road. It is a short ten minutes walk from Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. Click here for directions.
Hai Xian Lao
Address: 8 Wilkie Road #01-21 Wilkie Edge Shopping Mall Singapore 228095
Opening Hours: Daily 11am to 5am
Telephone Number: +65 9112 8910