Raevian and I are huge fans of Chinese hotpot. And so we were really excited when we heard about the new Shang Pin Hot Pot (尚品火锅) at Rendezvous Hotel Singapore (a five-minute walk from Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station). Rumour has it that Shang Pin is managed by ex-staff members of the popular Hai Di Lao franchise, and so it offers similar food and service but at a significantly lower price. Hai Di Lao standard but at a lower price? We’re sold!
No-Frills Hot Pot Restaurant
We eagerly made our way to Shang Pin Hot Pot on a Saturday night. As we entered the restaurant, we realized that there was a marked difference between Hai Di Lao and Shang Pin’s interior design. Hai Di Lao has an extravagant oriental design that radiates luxurious splendor, while Shang Pin is more of a no-frills hotpot restaurant. With that said, Shang Pin is still a decent joint with a clean and spacious design where customers can indulge comfortably in Chinese hotpot. As for service, it was definitely up to the mark. The staff were all quite helpful and prompt, and we did not have trouble getting their attention most of the time.
3 Soups Bases for The Price of 2 ($14)
Shang Pin offers 3 soup bases for the price of 2 ($14). We went for Chicken Soup, Sichuan Spicy, and Tomato. However, we did not use the Tomato base to cook our food and just drank it on its own. The soup tasted pretty good with a pleasant tangy flavour.
The helpful staff scooped the Chicken Soup into two bowls for us to drink. The hot soup had a light savoury taste which we enjoyed. The neutral quality of the chicken soup made it a good soup base to enjoy the original flavours of the foods being cooked.
Feeling brave, I decided to try one spoonful of the Sichuan Spicy soup. I cautiously took a sip and man I was not disappointed! This was authentic mala (literal translation: numbingly spicy) soup with the nose-searing fragrance distinctive of Szechuan cuisine flair. So spicy but so shiok! I took a few more sips and started coughing because of the spiciness – and that’s the way it should be!
Let the Hotpot Feast Begin!
We ordered the Pork Slices ($8), Fried Fishskin ($6), Shrimp Paste ($12), Crab Stick ($6), Fried Tofu Skin ($4), and Kungfu Noodles ($3). I put the raw foods into the boiling soup bases and waited impatiently for the food to be cooked.
Fried Fishskin ($6)
While waiting for the food to cook, we helped ourselves to the Fried Fishskin. This was a great appetizer to whet our appetites before indulging in the actual foods. It was savoury and crispy, and any guilt we had from eating such a sinful snack was drowned out by the crunch of the fishskins in our mouths.
Pork Slices ($8)
The rest of the foods were cooked after a short while. I quickly picked up a slice of pork from the Sichuan Spicy soup and put it in my mouth.
The meat itself was tender and savoury. Combined with Shang Pin’s Sichuan Spicy soup, it had an irresistible feisty taste. The meat from the Chicken Soup base was decent, however we definitely enjoyed the Sichuan Spicy soup base more. But we will always order the Chicken Soup because it serves as a nice balance to the spiciness of the Sichuan Spicy. As much as we love spicy food, it would probably be too much for our stomachs to take if we ate everything with the Sichuan Spicy soup base!
Shrimp Paste ($12)
Next up was one of our favourite dishes: Shrimp Paste ($12). The Shang Pin staff helped to scrap the paste into the soup base with her deft hands. All the paste fell nicely into the soup bases in a matter of seconds. After a short while, the shrimp paste became thick little oodles that looked super tantalizing. Similar to the pork meat slices, I enjoyed the shrimp paste with the Spicy Soup soup base more. The shrimp paste oodles were thick, succulent, and feisty – so shiok!
Kungfu Noodles ($3)
We ordered the Kungfu Noodles ($3), which was prepared by a Shang Pin Hot Pot staff who performed fancy moves with the noodles. We enjoyed the short performance, but we were looking forward to eating the noodles even more.
After letting the noodles cook for a short while, we eagerly tasted it. The first impression was that the noodles were a little too thick and not tender enough. We decided to cook the rest of the noodles for a while more to see if it would become better-tasting. True enough, after cooking for about 15 minutes more, the kungfu noodles became extremely soft with a wonderfully smooth texture. In fact, we had difficulties scooping up the noodles because they were so smooth! The noodles almost seemed to slip down our throats. Definitely a must-order if you’re at Shang Pin Hot Pot.
Fried Tofu Skin ($4) and Crab Stick ($6)
For sides, we had the Fried Tofu Skin and Crabsticks. These tasted fresh and delicious. We have had bad experiences with Chinese hotpot restaurants where some of the foods actually tasted stale and sour. At Shang Pin Hot Pot, you can be rest assured that the ingredients are all fresh!
Affordable and Delicious Chinese Hot Pot!
On the whole, we had a pleasant dining experience at Shang Pin Hot Pot. The ambience and food quality may not be as excellent as Hai Di Lao’s, but the price is significantly cheaper by about 20% to 25%. If you are craving for Chinese hot pot, remember to consider Shang Pin Hot Pot as one of your options!
Shang Pin Hot Pot (尚品火锅)
Address: 9 Bras Basah Road #02-02 Rendezvous Gallery Singapore 189559
(Inside Rendevous Hotel, 5 min walk from Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station)
Opening Hours: | Daily 11am to 12am |
Phone Number: +65 6238 7666