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Friday, May 1, 2015

Hai Xian Lao 海鲜捞

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For any Singaporean, a good hot pot meal is definitely on our lists of satisfying comfort food. Communal styled fare is very popular among asian culture and with hotpot/steamboat meals, it's probably the epitome of such. 

There has been a lot of hype going on for a long time with steamboat restaurants here in asia. It's not hard to see why with such a comforting and satisfying plus sometimes healthy kind of fare. Japanese Shabu Shabu, Chinese, Thai styled mookatas ( even though mookata focuses more on the grilling/bbq side)....

 I was a fan of Crystal Jade's steamboats since years back.. Back then before MBS was built Marina had a huge ass stretch of steamboat places. Bugis/beach road now houses a shitload of them , I've been to one on beach road few years back but I'm not a fan because their chunks of frozen meats and seafood thawing their ass off in metal containers was fucking revolting to me. I'd rather pay more for quality than 15, 17 dollars just to satisfy a steamboat craving with horrible quality meat in unhygienic conditions. 

I've never been to Hai Di Lao unlike half of the Singaporean population and 101% of the Singaporean basic bitch community (hahahahahaa you know its true ya) because cheapo me doesn't believe in spending >$60/$70 on steamboat. Unless you're offering me kobe. Hello 60 bucks can get me a good dry aged steak PLUS a glass of wine...????? and steak for the win ALWAYS........ sooooo... Since Hai Xian Lao seems pretty similar to Hai Di Lao and with a lighter price tag to boot, I decided to give it a try.



HXL also does Buffet but we went for ala carte.


BUFFET- 

Lunch
12-5pm
$21.80++ 

Dinner 
6pm-10pm
$32.80++


While most of the items on their regular menu are also available on the buffet menu, they sadly do not provide beef for buffet. But if you don't eat beef then this is quite a steal..




Hai Xian Lao offers 7 Soup bases,

Laksa
$13.80

Ma La
$13.80

 Collagen
(Do note that soup refills if you pick Collagen is topped up with chicken soup and not collagen soup. Don't ask me why. I also cua tio then the server told me that.....) 
$16.80

 Tomato
$13.80

Tom yum
$13.80

Mushroom 
$13.80

 Chicken
$13.80 


And of course like most hotpot places you can get a combo of any two... So we decided go go for the Ma la and Collagen soup ( I wanted to try the tomato but one of my dining partners hates tomato.. asshole)



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I love love love Sichuan food and Mala, so I was very excited to try the soup.. Ive been to a few china styled hotpot restaurants before and one of them that I went to along bugis had quite a kick ass mala base so I was setting the standard on that.. In all honesty I wasn't very blown away by HXL's Ma La base, it sure did have the spices of a typical ma la tang but it was just lacking that oomph that makes ma la so damn addictive even though half your mouth is already numb and on fire. The collagen soup was defo a winner among the two.



So steam boat fares typically offer pretty much the same things...

Seafood- Prawn, scallops, fish, clams, crabs, lobster if you fancy schmancy
Meats & Offal - Pork, Chicken, Beef, Liver, Tripe, Tongue,
Vegetables- Mushrooms, root vegetables, Leafy vegetables
Carbs- Noodles, Tang hoon, etc
Mock stuff- Fishball, sausages, mock crab sticks, beef balls, etc


MEATS

For Pork lovers, Choose from Kurobuta Belly ($13.80) or regular pork belly and Collar ($6.80 each)
Other meat items offered on the menu are Deer ($20.80) Lamb shoulder ($12.80) and for offal fans, Pig's Kidney and Liver are at $6.80 and $2.80 respectively. Beef is at $24.80 for US Wagyu Striploin and $9.80 for Angus.



I'm a carnivore, I love love love red meat ( But I stopped eating lamb with hotpot because the heavy flavours of lamb get into the soup and the whole soup just tastes like dead lamb. I love lamb though. Seared, just not piping in broth.. But kamping soup rocks.) and the main star for EVERY time i eat hotpot is always meat. More meat than veg. Number 1 Rule. beef. Especially Beef. If you invite me over for steamboat and you have just 1 tray of beef please delete me from your life.



US Wagyu Beef Striploin 
$24.80

These were sliced super thin. I dont even want to say sliced, its more like shaved. hahaha. Carefully pick them up with your horrible chopstick skills and once you have successfully clamped them inbetween your plastic sticks, dip them in broth for a few seconds. I yelled at my friend cos she left hers in the broth to die to a well done. Waste!!!!!!!!!!!


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Blackshire Kurobuta Pork Belly
$13.80

Kurobuta Pork is one of the higher grades of pork from Japan. Im very picky with pork, I only love bacon, ribs, pulled pork and anything that's done really good and tender so I can't really comment on this. It was ok, but like I said, not a pork fan..


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Spanish Pork Collar
$6.80


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Angus 150days Grainfed
$9.80


HXL Offers wagyu and Angus beef cuts. While the very thinly sliced of wagyu meats might not be the most pocket friendly, The well marbled angus was satisfying enough. So don't worry if you aren't willing to splash double for the wagyu, settling for the $9.80 Angus is good enough. :)

P.s: Do note that the meats are frozen and not fresh, if you look closer at the photos below you can actually see the ice crystals.

 I know alot of people think that HXL's meats are all fresh, this is the importance of presentation my friends ;p


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Looking at the sausage and luncheon meat in the picture still haunts me... Need to choose better dining partners already.. 


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Live Oyster
 $12.80/ 2 pieces

Seafood fans will be delighted to know that HXL offers Live Seafood... They actually have tanks housing live oysters, crabs, lobsters, shrimp etc..

Oysters were fresh and generously sized..


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Fish Skin
$5.80

Always loved this, its like fish version of chicharon/Kaap moo AKA pork rinds.
It's really good when you dip it in a quick bath of mala, just for a short while though, coating the skin with ma la broth.

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Sliced Dory
$5.80

I'm not much of a fish fan, I almost never order fish mains unless its sashimi so when I saw that one of my friends ordered 3 plates of fish I was like WHAT THE FOOK. But this was actually really good! ended up throwing everything in the mala portion. For beef and veg I like it in more plain soups, for fish, noodles and anything else that could do with a little bit of a kick on flavours I like them in the Mala.


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Scallops
$9.80


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Fish maw
$6.80


Pumpkin
$3.80


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my stupid friend who ordered luncheon meat -_-

$3.80


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Beancurd Skin
$4.80



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Lotus Root
$3.80


Tang Hoon
$3.80



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Overall I think my experience at HXL was pretty alright. We certainly did over order and as compared to Hai Di Lao which I've never been this is definitely more pocket friendly. So I guess this would be a good enough alternative if you want Hai Di Lao but don't want to blow 60 bucks? For all the food that we had for all 6 of us it amounted to 300. ( Do note we ordered like 10 over plates of meats/fish and we also had oysters and everyone had 2 rounds of drinks...) Plus they're opened till 5am daily, so it's a perfect supper spot..

While some items on the menu aren't really exactly reasonably priced, *cough the veg and mushrooms COUGH*  I thought that the meats were the latter. Beef and pork are less than 10 bucks a per portion and they were pretty good. I'd recommend the Angus!


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Hai Xian Lao 海鲜捞
8 Wilkie Rd, 228095 
(It's at Wilkie edge right next to starbucks, opposite peace centre)
Tel: 65096194
5pm-5am Daily



1 comment:

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