A popular steamboat chain from Sichuan China known for its out of this word service! Queues are very long but while waiting you can treat yourself to complimentary drinks, food and even a manicure. Either book or come before 6.30pm.
Hai Di Lao Hot Pot
Hot 6914 26 0
Everything about this restaurant is amazing. The second you step into the 5 metre radius of the outlet, a bubbly staff member approaches to offer you a queue number. Before entering, you will be ushered to a waiting area where complimentary prawn crackers, watermelon, cherry tomatoes and winter melon juice magically appear on the table as you place your orders on an iPad. If you are lucky, you might be able to get a free manicure too!
As you enter the dining area, a steady pom pi pi staff offers you warm towels, drinks, aprons and even plastic covers for your phone. I deemed the apron unnecessary but this decision blew up in my face as my skirt was drenched in chicken soup by the end of my meal. But other than that, the food was still extremely satisfying and comforting. The Tomato Soup Base and Kurobuta Pork ($16.00) are hands down the MVPs of the place.
But be warned: Food here is ridiculously expensive and easily $30 - $40 per pax. It doesn’t help that the waiting time can go up to 2 hours during peak periods. Remember to make a reservation first or risk wandering around aimlessly for ages with a growling stomach.
There’re plenty of the fish in the sea. So if you’re leaving the club at 4 AM with your nets empty, there’s always Hai Di Lao Hot Pot at Somerset 313. Open from 10.30 AM - 6AM, offering comfort food for bottom feeders, this place gives Swee Choon a run for its supper crowd money.
If HDL were a species of fish, it’d be an anglerfish. Being the only beacon of light in the entire mall, you will subsciously gravitate to its bright red velvet chairs, marble flooring and fancy carpeting. Their atas decor doesn’t have to fish hard for compliments.
Spirits were high in the private hotpot room and elegantly clad staff were always giving us the “high-class” treatment. HDL even provides the dice for your drinking games! Midway through a game of Chinese Liar’s dice there was a surreal sense that we’d teleported into a hei se hui dinner gathering on a TVB drama scene.
What snapped me back to reality was their tomato based hot-pot soup. Tangy but not Tom Yam level spicy, we literally spent hours fishing for meat and mushroom morsels. The bottom line is HDL is the reel deal.
The customer service at Hai Di Lao is legendary. You don’t just get to have a hot pot, it is a complete experience. From the moment you step-in till the time you leave, they will do everything they can to make you feel like a king.
If you are a walk-in customer, the queue might get up to an hour long. Fret not, Hai Di Lao has got you covered. They have tables and chairs prepared, where you can have free flow tea, popcorn and ice cream. If you so desire, you can even get a manicure while waiting or eating.
The main attraction of the whole meal is the la mian. The chef comes to your table with a ball of dough, and in the next two exhilarating minutes morphs it into a ball of la mian right before your eyes. The freshly pulled noodles then go straight into your hot pot.
Just in case the Ma La hotpot does not have enough spices for you, there is a huge sauce bar with every sauce imaginable, free flow.
Hai Di Lao serves more than just delicious food to happy customers, their service is almost exceptional and unique compared to other places (In a good way, duh) But with ridiculously outstanding customer service, one should expect to get a ridiculously long waiting time as well.
Reservations are recommended, or you can expect the waiting time to go up to 2-3 hours on weekends and during peak hours. If the queue is really too long, distract yourself with some free snacks provided at the counter. There is also a free manicure service counter and a playhouse for kids.
Hai Di Lao is definitely a restaurant that has exceptional awesome customer service that makes us satisfied not only on our stomach but our heart as well. The portion served was substantial and delicious but I would not recommend ordering much of the vegetables and assorted meatballs as you can get those at any other hotpot restaurants at a much lower price. I believe many patronise Hai Di Lao not only for its food quality but to be pampered by their great service. I wouldn't deny that the food and ambience is a great place for dining, but there is a hefty price that comes along with it.
I frequent Hai Di Lao in China, so when a branch opened in Singapore, I was so excited to see what it had to offer. Hai Di Lao is definitely way better than the usual steamboats that other restaurants offer.
This outlet didn't disappoint. Even though there was a queue, we didn't queue for very long. Ladies who are bored can check out the free manicure services offered by the restaurant. The restaurant staff were really attentive, which made our dining experience much more pleasant. Hai Di Lao's food isn't THAT great, but I'll have to say that it's definitely better than most of the other steamboat restaurants. Also, I like how we get to mix our own dipping sauces according to our own preferences.
Many Singaporeans and foreigners have been visiting this place, so the queues are much longer than when it first started out. Even though the food and service is great, I wouldn't want to queue for so long. So my advice is, wait for the craze to die down before you visit the place for their great steamboat food and impeccable service.
This is not a cheap "china bugis steamboat" neither is it a buffet. Hai Di Lao is a mass market mid-end ala-carte steamboat that serves up sichuan style hot pot so note - the 'Ma La' here is actually very spicy! Being their specialty, it also goes for $20. Yes that's right, you have to pay for your soup stock here.
The ambiance is very family / group friendly. With about 6 seats around a large table. It doesn't look like they have smaller tables for couples so if you come as one you will just be given a 6 person table. The seating here is very spacious and comfortable with plush seats and aprons provided so you don't get your clothing or their furniture dirty.
To me, the soup and sauce are very important components in steamboats and this place nails it completely. Its also because I like my Ma La very spicy. Add in the dou hua, comfortable spacious seating and ambience and I think the extra premium is worth it considering all of this. Definitely not because of the ingredients though.
The most important consideration should be having to wait in the queue. I would not come here again if I had to wait for 1.5 hours. So do remember to call them up in advance to try and get a queue number in advance.