Its 2017, yea, but “steamboating” seems to be steadily maintaining their popularity well into the new year. With the steamboat trend popularised by Hai Di Lao 3 years ago, young adults continue to look onto steamboat restaurants for a good place for food and meet ups. It doesn’t even matter how its a tad bit luxurious and expensive- its about quality living these days anyway.
By now everyone would have heard and perhaps tried Hai Di Lao, especially since their expansion into our beloved town area: Somerset 313. However, as Hai Di Lao continues their expansion project, a new competitor is creeping into the town scene. Hello Beauty in the Pot (Centrepoint) 美滋鍋!
If you haven’t even heard of Beauty in the Pot, they’re a steamboat brand under (humongous and very very rich) Paradise Group, and have been doing very well in the East Side (OneKm Mall). They’ve got their own specialities and its been difficult to book for dinners cause they’re almost always very packed. Yes, they are VERY popular. Beauty in the Pot (Centrepoint) is their second outlet and is what I would call, an improved version.
Beauty in the Pot (Centrepoint) features another 4 new soups, in addition to the previous popular 2 they have. Other than the Beauty Collagen Broth (use of Shark Cartilage and Pork Bone) and Spicy Nourishing Broth, the outlet at Centrepoint offers the Herbal Drunken Chicken Broth , Longevity Wild Pine Mushroom Broth (a Vegetarian broth), the Cooling Coconut Broth and the Tomato Sweet Corn Broth.
I managed to try all the different broths but the Vegetarian one. I’d highly recommend the Herbal Drunken Chicken Broth to try if its your first time to the Centrepoint outlet. There’s enough herbal taste without the soup going too bitter and it kinda tastes “Chinese-medicine authentic” (not the msg and powdery kind). Oh and there are big chunks of chicken drumsticks that comes in the soup too. YAY for value.
Honestly, if you’re a big fan of the tomato soup at HDL then you can give the tomato soup here a miss unless you like tomato pastas and spaghettis. As compared to the tomato broth at HDL, the one here tasted strongly of Italian herbs and was kinda too sweet to my liking. It was more “angmoh” than the normal soups we eat for steamboats.
I didn’t really like the coconut broth either cause I don’t really like coconut-anything. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you might just wanna try it once. There’s real coconut meat and white fungus inside. Its more sweet than salty but it does taste healthy. Couldn’t imagine any meat cooked in it though, feels weird. I think it would have tasted better should it have a clear soup base (清湯) cause its like neither here nor there now. Yea, its refreshing but ermm not refreshing enough due to the texture but Im guessing that daddies and mummies might find this soup pretty interesting.
Similar to HDL, Beauty in the Pot offers a wide range of sauces. I really like their chili there and the staff made me a special sauce (with vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, fried garlic and at least 5 other mixes) which tasted so damn good. I asked for the ingredients in the sauce but… its kinda complicated and I gave up so… Haha.. you can always ask the servers to make or recommend a sauce for you when you visit. 🙂
Not sure if its for better or worse but the Centrepoint outlet did away with the free flow of white rice and is offering free flow of fruits instead.
Just before I even get started on the steamboat food ingredients, if you’re getting some drinks there, please do go for the mango juice instead of everything else. These tasted AWESOME!
Beauty in the Pot (Centrepoint) features an improved range of steamboat ingredients as compared to their previous outlets (They’ve got more types of meat available and they even have… pigbrains now.. gosh.. probably to target the China crowd.. but I’ve got friends who loves them too.. heh..)
Here’s one of my must order- The Ebiko Prawn Paste. Its not easy to find nice prawn pastes in steamboat restaurants these days. Though its offered everywhere but finding one thats got a bouncy texture, have crunchy prawn bits and tastes good like the ones here just ain’t that easy. The only comparable ones would be well, the prawn paste at HDL…
These Fried Beancurd Skins (炸響鈴) is definitely a must-eat at Beauty in the Pot outlets! The crisp texture allows you to soak them in the soup for 3 secs for flavour without losing its crispy bite. Couldn’t find any comparable ones anywhere.. and nope HDL ones aren’t even good enough to qualify for competition.
If you’re a pork lover and would like to try some tender pork meat thats not too porky (沒有那麼重的豬肉味) , then please do try this new dish – Marinated Tender Pork Meat. These meat slices are so tender, slippery and easy to chew. They tasted close to minced pork meat without them being minced. YUMZ.
Other food that I’ll normally order other than the ones above includes: Drunken Live Prawns (Very fresh, succulent and rich in wine flavour), Sweet Potato Vermicelli (Chewy and goes very well with the Spicy Nourishing Broth), Chicken Sausages (Unlike some places that serve those cheapo ones, the sausages here has a crunchy exterior that reminds me of a good sausage for breakfast), Sliced Chicken Thigh meat, 菠菜 and 油麥菜.
Beauty in the Pot (Centrepoint) boasts not only of its new soup broths, improved food selection but also its classic and comfortable overall interior. The restaurant is now more brightly lit, more spacious and has a better ambience.
They’ve also added 3 VIP rooms and they’re pretty nicely decorated (though the naming of the rooms after 3 of the 4 beauties in China History is just a tad bit cliche). Hah.
Gosh, I love the painting on the walls. I dunno why but I see Disney’s Mulan….
Good news for daddies and mummies! If you’re visiting Beauty in the Pot (Centrepoint), there’s an awesome playground here to keep your kids entertained. So YAY to no more worries about tired and impatient kids during long hours of steamboating! Maybe you’ll end up worrying more about how to get them outta the colourful ball pit!
Don’t forget to ask for desserts before your bill! You definitely wouldn’t wanna miss out on these Yuzu Ice Blend! Not only are they refreshing to end off the dining but its supposed to neutralise some of the unhealthy oils and fats from the steamboating!
Overall, the dining experience at Beauty in the Pot (Centrepoint) was a good one. Price-wise, its pretty much similar to how much a meal at HDL would cost. However, Beauty in the Pot offers a 20% discount for supper dinings (after 10.30pm) making it GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY (if you’re a late night person that is).
I’d actually prefer the food here at Beauty in the Pot though HDL’s Tomato Soup Base, Sour Veg Fish Soup Base and Homemade Noodles continues to entice me back A LOT. If you’re looking for better ambience, better food, healthier soups then, Beauty in the Pot would definitely work for you (since they’re like the “healthier choice” or rather “beauty choice” while doing unhealthy dining). However, I’ve got to admit, HDL’s well-known high quality servicing, extensive deserts + snack add-ons and rocket-high popularity is definitely still holding up strong against many of its competitors!
Verdict: Both Beauty in the Pot (Centrepoint) and Hai Di Lao are definitely on par! Dining choice would depend on who’s got a shorter or even POSSIBLE queue I guess..
Beauty In The Pot (The Centrepoint)
176 Orchard Road #05-15/16 Singapore 238843 (Somerset MRT)
Tel: +65 62353557
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 6:00am Daily
-This is not a sponsored post-