Posts Tagged ‘hot pot’

Spice World Hot Pot opens in Singapore–Fancy a meat dress doll or a mala Teddy Bear / Hello Kitty?

It’s no joke, the number of hot pot restaurants that have been opening in Singapore of late. Just this week, I attended 2 media tastings of new hot pot restaurants. Well, Spice World Hot Pot from China will certainly make you sit up, not least from the spiciness of its mala hot pot broth. If it doesn’t creep you out, order the barbie doll dressed in wagyu beef, or how about a mala Teddy Bear / Hello Kitty sitting in your soup broth?

Spice World Hot Pot, founded in 2003 is one of China’s top 10 global hotpot brands. The Sichuan mala broth is its signature soup broth. No artificial flavouring, MSG or flavour enhancers are used, and instead, the soup bases are first brewed in Sichuan China using deep forest peppercorns from Hongya farmlands, chillies from Guizhou and Sichuan, before being further processed in Singapore.

Spice World Hotpot Singapore (2)

Yes you eyes are not fooling you, that’s literally a Teddy Bear shaped out of mala soup and beef oil. For the luxury of watching Teddy or Hello Kitty slowly melt into the broth, it will cost you an additional $9.90. Might be worth the price if you have many Instagram followers, and let’s be frank, it’s actually quite fascinating to watch poor Teddy plop into the soup and dissolve away….

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Whirlwind 5D4N trip to Taiwan

If you have been following me on Twitter or Instagram, you would probably have realised that I was missing in action last week in the Blogosphere and was instead very active on Twitter and Instagram!

To cut the long story short, I was invited by the Isee Taiwan Foundation to visit Taiwan and blog all about it. Actually, when I first received the email from the Isee Taiwan Foundation, my first reaction was….”Is this a spam??” The entire email was in Chinese, and TRADITIONAL CHINESE for that matter! Reading simplified Chinese characters is already a monumentous task for me, what more TRADITIONAL CHINESE. I asked a few of my friends to help me translate, and more than one told me to be careful.

In the end, it all turned out to be totally fine. The 5 Day 4 Night Taiwan trip was very well planned to the extent that even a tour guide was hired to accompany us to almost all the places that we had to visit! We visited numerous restaurants and eateries ranging from skewered innards to intricately presented Ma La Hot Pot to atas Zha Jiang Mian. In Taichung, we also tried our hand at roasting our own coffee beans all the way to brewing them; and making our very own Taiwanese Bubble Tea. We got to speak with numerous proprietors who shared with us their vision in setting up their own businesses. We even traversed from Taipei to Yilan, braved a 4 Wheel drive up a steep hill to visit the Bulao Buluo Aborigine Tribe.

It was definitely a trip to be remembered and for the 1st few days upon returning to Singapore, I actually kinda missed Taiwan a little! For some reason, I had this huge urge to try GongCha or Koi again, just to consume something of Taiwanese origins! Prior to this, I had never stepped foot in Taiwan, and I made an effort not to read up on Taiwan either, so as to be able to be totally surprised when there.

And indeed, if there’s one thing that amazed me the most there, it’s that there are SO MANY cafes and eateries all over the place, down back alleys and in almost every corner that you turn to! And for this, I hope to return again soon with more time to spare to sample more of the cafes around Taipei and Taichung!

Watch this space for more updates on what I did in Taiwan!

Chiso Zanmai

*Media Invite*

Another restaurant bites the dust. Remember Fisherman’s Market Seafood Buffet Restaurant? That no longer exists, but the good thing is, another restaurant that is EVEN BETTER, has taken its place. Actually Chiso Zanmai is owned by the same people. Guess they must have realised that the prices that Fisherman’s Market charged made it really uncompetitive. Chiso Zanmai doesn’t look any different from Fisherman’s Market. The decor is the same, and even the layout of the various food sections. However, the food is modelled after its Osaka counterparts.

The key point to note is that Chiso Zanmai is nearly HALF THE PRICE of the old restaurant. At SGD$24.90++ per adult for a Japanese Buffet, is that a steal or what? And let’s be frank here. A lot of people like to attack the sashimi counter when gorging at hotel buffets, as everyone knows that sashimi is expensive. Now here’s a buffet where you can do away with the other frills (ie the food items that people hardly touch but hotels find it necessary to include in their buffets in order to impress you with variety), and pay less!

Chiso Zanmai Menu

Chiso Zanmai’s Menu. Click on it for a larger version

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Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant at Raffles City

Watami is another one of those Japanese casual restaurants so prevalent in Singapore. Their special niche is that they offer up quite a number of interesting hot pots. They also have some Korean dishes such as Bi Bim Bap! The restaurant at Raffles City is pretty big, but you don’t find it cavernous, as it kinda occupies a long and narrow strip, previously occupied by Kushiya. It’s right next to Din Tai Fung. I find the lighting a bit too stark bright. As you can see, my photos have suffered due to the harsh lighting.

Croquette

Watami - Cream Croquette

Cream Croquette Balls $6.80 – These came piping hot and were so delicious. I loved the creamy inner core while the outer shell was crispy. They were excellent while hot. Unfortunately I left 1 on the plate while I devoured my mains. When I got back to it again, the inner core had sort of mushed together with the outer skin such that it was no longer liquidy inside.

Watami - Gyu Eringi Kushi

Gyu Eringi Kushi $4.80 – Mushroom stems wrapped in thin beef slices. Very tasty and the mushrooms had a good crunch. I wonder who first developed the idea to wrap meat or bacon around mushrooms. Seems to be a match made in heaven.

Watami - Mixed Sashimi Rice

Mixed Sashimi Rice $13.80 – This was an absolute star. Firstly, the sashimi rice was flavoured with some sweet vinegar so it was more tasty than usual. Just eating the rice alone without anything else was already quite fabulous. 2ndly, they were quite generous with the amount of seafood provided. There was salmon, squid, sweet prawn, egg and something else which I forgot. Absolutely loved the prawns, they were so flavourful and I could just taste the strong “sea” flavour in them. Still dreaming about it now actually. If there’s one thing wrong, it’s that I would have liked just a little bit more rice since it was so nice.

Watami - Unagi Pot RiceWatami - Unagi Pot Rice (2)

Unagi Pot rice $12.80 – The Partner ordered this. The waitress asked us if we minded waiting 25 minutes. It was a bit long but we said okay. After 15 minutes, they brought out this contraption. We thought, “hey that didn’t take too long after all”. To our horror, the waitress proceeded to tell us to THEN wait 25 minutes for the rice grains inside to cook from scratch! While the unagi pot rice did taste very good in the end, I wouldn’t want to have to wait 40 minutes just for this! Is this some new tactic to save on employing extra chefs?

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