My bro told me about Upin Hot Pot before he left for his exchange in Seoul and mentioned that the concept was very similar to Hai Di Lao but at a fraction of the price and without the queue! Love Hai Di Lao (especially the fresh ingredients and the yummy tomato soup base) but always felt it was a little too expensive and the queue was just too long, so I was really looking forward to trying Upin.
Made a reservation for Friday dinner with Zg, Tx and Ben and the place was full. No long queue at the door but there was a healthy crowd in the steamboat restaurant. We ordered the tomato soup base, the seafood soup base and the pork bone soup base. My all-time favourite was definitely still the tomato soup base, although I was also very fond of the seafood soup base. The pork bone soup base had a slight herbal taste so you either hate it or love it. We ordered a lot of ingredients (black pork, chicken, vegetables, mushrooms and assorted balls) and all of them were so fresh. The bill was approximately $35 per pax.
Service was great. The staff was attentive, helpful, and provided very good information when we asked about the various soup bases. They may not be hovering around all the time, and when it gets busy, it might take a while to call for a waiter or waitress, but generally I have no complaints. There was also a 变脸 performance halfway through the night!
Returned for lunch with friends from the office. Upin was extremely empty during lunchtime. In fact, I think we were one of two tables during that lunch. Great place for a quiet, peaceful chat over lunch. We tried the mala soup base, tomato soup base and seafood soup base. My friends enjoyed the mala but I am afraid of the spiciness so I did not take too much of it.
Returned a third time with my aunts for lunch on a Sunday and, similarly, it was so empty! We ordered the tomato soup base, pork bone soup base, and mushroom soup base this time. The mushroom soup base was clear and fragrant, quite a good choice!
I am so happy with Upin Hot Pot. Finally a place with great steamboat (quality ingredients, thick delicious soup base), good service, and reasonable pricing. Also helps a lot that we did not have to brave the crowd to enjoy such good steamboat!
#03-87 Clarke Quay Central