My first hotpot/steamboat!

Heylo folks!

Ever since I have been in Singapore, I have always witnessed atleast one steamboat restaurant per day – either to work, or from work, or in between work when I am doing a home visit or when K and I are just loitering about. I was really curious the first few times and always asked K what they were all about. And he used to tell me this –

“Basically hotpot is where they give you some soup/water and veggies or some meat slices and you can cook your own dish. there is a burner at the centre of each table. You can choose your veggies or meat and just go crazy cooking it and using the sauce to dip it in.”

This used to make me want to try it always for reasons more than one.

1. I love the fact that you can cook up your dish on the table – so I imagined I can actually cook anything I want! And no, I did not think “Why should I cook and pay for it” because I just wanted to experience it!

2. It looked crazily healthy.

3. I like boiled veggies. Yes, I do. (If you keep that look on for a minute more, I am afraid it may kind of stay there for the week).

4. It looked like so much fun!

5. How could I NOT try it being in Singapore?

6. Imagine cooking it up on your own – such fun! (oh, I already said that, didn’t I?)

But K used to always add with a tinge of regret – “I am not so sure if the soup is veggie” and so I had to make do with salivating excessively while watching families having fun.

But heard that about “this too shalt pass”? I tell you, it is SO true!

Coz’ about a week back, the day after I returned from India, I had my first hotpot! Yay! Yay!

Once back from India, I am in a mixed mood – feeling fresh and happy and inspired to make my home as ma does, all the while getting pampered by K and on the other side moping about the fact that everyone cannot stay in the same city.

Thank God for amazing friends and an awesome K ! O and L (remember them from the trip?) wanted me to join them and O’s younger brother for souvenir shopping and a dinner. O’s brother, Mango, was going back to Spain after a short visit and so L wanted to gift her in-laws some presents. K had to meet a friend and would be joining us later on.

After saying hi to the Merlion , we met up with K and shopped like crazy at Chinatown and Bugis Village.

In Chinatown, all the looking around made us ravenous and while we looked around for some nice little place to have dinner, we thought of hotpot. Actually, O and K thought of it. Mango, L and I just decided to eat like good kids. So when we found this little hotpot restaurant called “Xian Fu – Si Chuan steamboat restaurant”, boy! were we glad!

I was glad because K and O said that they would ask if a veggie soup was possible. And no suspense there – they said it very much was! 🙂

Before we knew it, we were seated at the table and looking at the burner being lighted and the vegetable and chicken broth being brought to boil.


As you can see, the nearer half is the vegetarian broth while the other half is the chicken broth. We chose the buffet priced at SGd 28 per person. The only condition is that you have to pay (extra?) for any veggie/meat you order but waste. Quite a cool way to ensure minimal wastage right? 

Very soon, we got the menu that listed the different vegetables and meat options and all our heads were bent in obedience while we ticked pretty much everything off that we could find and eat.

I chose potato, pumpkin, toufu, button mushrooms, cabbage, brocolli, cauliflower, lotus root, baby corn, yam, black mushroom, spinach, kailan – see I told you I ticked off pretty much every veggie I could find!

We did not really have to wait that long. With me pestering everyone and stating the obvious that I was having my first hotpot and asking L to guide me choose the sauces, I am sure everyone was just praying hard that the food arrives soon.

I clicked the picture of the sauces and seasoning but looks like I haven’t transferred the file correctly. I am so eager ot share this with you all today that I am going to send any trace of perfection back home and do with a google image.


They had sesame oil, chilli, spring onion, more chilli, Chinese parsley, some sour thingy that we mistook to be plum sauce etc etc. I just took everything that looked familiar and made my own sauce. I can be boring like that. I dislike sweet-sour of some sauces with my food unless I am in a mood for it (that happens really rarely- not the mood for food but the sweet sour thingy). Ultimately, I concocted something like this that I showed off to everyone as though I just invented the entire concept.

It looks so tempting that I want to have a hotpot right away!

We had ordered vegetables and meat and very soon, they made their grand entry.

to go with some noodles and dumplings —

And all we had to do was just put our choice of veggie or noodle or meat into the hotpot and have fun!

Trust me when I tell you this – This is a really awesome experience and if you have great friends and a lot of time, you can go on till midnight like we did! The restaurant staff were friendly and very generous with their fresh veggies and meat.

It may not be your delicious food per se but it is an experience to be experienced nevertheless. Not to forget the hygienic cleansed feeling you feel as you walk out after having about 2 kg of fresh veggies for dinner.


Some Wiki reference for your information –

{ Hotpot also called Chinese fondue or steamboat refers to the East Asian varieties of stew that consists of a  simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, and seafood. Vegetables, fish and meat should be fresh. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce. In many areas, hot pot meals are often eaten in the winter.}


  1. Phatichar · September 3, 2012

    See, see? Again, about food…. 😦


    • kismitoffeebar · September 3, 2012

      Hehehehe okay next one will be different, okay ? 🙂

  2. Atrocious Scribblings · September 3, 2012

    This literally seems like a food picnic :P.

    I wish Europe had more diverse vegetarian options.

    • kismitoffeebar · September 3, 2012

      Food picnic sounds fantastic 😉 oh K tells me the same about Europe as well, some Chinese place maybe ? Else just come off to spore 🙂

  3. Bikramjit Singh Mann · September 3, 2012

    ooooooooooohhhh that looks awesomeeeeeeeee 🙂 next time I am in singapore I will try going there .. the problem is each time i go all the time is spent in the cricket club partying 🙂

    • Bikramjit Singh Mann · September 3, 2012

      well i have only been twice 😦 I know the above comment sounded as if i do it regularly

    • kismitoffeebar · September 3, 2012

      Cricket wow ! Pls let us know when you are here next time. We can go together 🙂 okay?

  4. Privy Trifles · September 3, 2012

    Amazing concept Toffee…. it seems to be a never ending picnic with friends and the most superb thing is apart from being healthy its whole lot of fun too

  5. Destination Infinity · September 3, 2012

    I wonder if we can do this at home? We can buy sauces, buy fresh vegetables, buy noodles, heat the water in a bowl and put everything and cook… I am planning to do this hotpot at home, next 🙂

    Destination Infinity

    • kismitoffeebar · September 3, 2012

      Definitely can be done at home 🙂 we thought of it too. Having a burner on the table makes it a perfect hotpot 🙂 do let us know how it went 🙂

  6. Jas · September 3, 2012

    sahi hai yaar. I am really happy about that extra payment on wastage. The sauces look so so sumptuous.

    • kismitoffeebar · September 3, 2012

      🙂 hai na? People do waste a lot during buffet. Sauce was yummilicious 🙂

  7. Smita · September 3, 2012

    wow! this looks so very tempting re!

    • kismitoffeebar · September 4, 2012

      sach mein ! It was super tempting and am so glad I gave in 😛

  8. Lifesong · September 3, 2012

    This is a totally new concept to me. Never heard of this before. 2 kgs of fresh veggies for dinner?!?! Now that is really really healthy 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · September 4, 2012

      hehehehe I ate so much Lifesong 😛 well, I eat a lot anyways 😛 If you come here, we can try all this. But on one condition: Cheebu sits next to me at the table 🙂

  9. Scribby · September 3, 2012

    yumilicious 🙂 I want I want..parcel some for me KT 😀

    • kismitoffeebar · September 4, 2012

      hehehehehe sure Scribby! I could do that or tempt you so much that you will come here right away with Chirpy and your husby 😛

  10. pixie · September 3, 2012

    yummy!! it must have been a fabulous experience and such delicious food!! you made me hungry now!! 😛

    • kismitoffeebar · September 4, 2012

      Pixie, it was so awesome gotha? You must try it. Surely, there are authentic Chinese restaurants?

  11. My Era · September 3, 2012

    Great concept and I love the idea of healthy eating being promoted with food that tastes good and is lot of fun preparing with family 😀
    It reminded me of the stone grill cooking at the restaurant table 😀 😀
    Too good!

    • kismitoffeebar · September 4, 2012

      It is a lovely concept no? You said it bang on! It made fun because of the preparation with family and friends! Stone grill cooking sounds awesome – my next experience to catch hold of 😛
      psst. seeing you here after a while and it makes me so happy! 🙂

  12. Visha · September 3, 2012 acc to #3, the look may stay for a week is it? stayed for a sec wonly 😛

    The pics look mighty tempting, but veggies without masala 🙄 never tried, should do it some time

    Good concept 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · September 4, 2012

      hehehehe you are super and the exception that people talk of, to any rule 😛
      Try this Visha, do try it! It is such fun you know to just participate in the process.
      Also, it is not masala-less – there are some sauces to go with 🙂

  13. Arch · September 4, 2012

    Kismi, I have never done this at a restaurant!There used to be steamboat and barbeque dinner session at Uni, and I have been the sole crusader fighting with folks binging on prawns, shrimps etc.

    It’s kinda awesome you did it soon. Yaay! the pics looks superb.

    • kismitoffeebar · September 4, 2012

      Arch, I really thought of you when I did this. I was thinking that Arch and I must do it together 🙂 Oh, lets do it?
      Thankiee 🙂

  14. The Girl Next Door · September 4, 2012

    Loved the concept! It is so new to me! Would love to try it out sometime…
    I really liked the concept of charging extra for any wastage. That’s such a cool way of ensuring minimal wastage!

    • kismitoffeebar · September 4, 2012

      Totally love the concept 🙂 Maybe if there are soem authentic Chinese restaurants – probably really cold regions may have somethign similar though I wonder if they’d have it in a restaurant….
      Ya, it is a super cool way to control wastage!

  15. greenboochi · September 4, 2012

    Kismi…. You had a super duper time eh? I would love to experience the steamboat *the name itself is so tempting*. I love boiled veggies too.. (*now you dont look at me like that :P*) The pics are only adding to my temptation. How awesome it will be to cook your own veggies at the table.. I am already drooling at the idea!! 🙂 And that sauce.. or the concoction that you created… looks great too.. you have all rights to show off my dear 😀 2 kgs of fresh boiled veggies for dinner – can there be a better option?! You had an awesome time all in all yayyyy!! 😀

    • kismitoffeebar · September 4, 2012

      hehehehehe thankee Gb 🙂 for praising my concoction 😛 I love the name too and wow! You liek boiled veggies – awesome! I have a happy look 🙂

      It was super healthy and super fun Gb. we must do this sometimes, so totally must do! 🙂

  16. Aa's Mom · September 4, 2012

    It looks awesome!! Actually, we have a version of this in Calcutta, except that the veggies etc are put in as per your order and brought to you in a hotpot..because apparently, we’re too lazy to toss them in ourselves!

    • kismitoffeebar · September 5, 2012

      Ah, that sounds nice too ! I maybe visiting Kolkata this December and would love to try that out.. Can you help me out with the name of the place ? 🙂

  17. Pingback: Pots on Fire: Post about “Hot Pots”! « Oh Snap! Let's Eat!
  18. techie2mom · September 5, 2012

    Hey, this looks so much fun!!!
    And the payment for wastage is a great idea..
    the concept reminded me of Tandoori nation, where you have grill on the table. Though the hotpot is on a different level altogether!!!!

    • kismitoffeebar · September 7, 2012

      It was so much fun and totally agree reg the wastage concept 🙂 ah, tandoori nation sounds cool too.

  19. Amit · September 6, 2012

    This looks very very tempting. And great pics. I think there was a restaurant in Chennai where you could order the vegetables and they will make the dish in front of you. I loved it but none of my other chatpata friends liked it. 😦

    • kismitoffeebar · September 7, 2012

      Hey welcome here Amit 🙂
      Thankee ! Ah,I really get what you mean by chatpata friends not liking it. I loved this too. And that restaurant in chennai also sounds good. I will ask you for the name when I make a trip there 🙂

  20. Ritika · September 6, 2012

    That looks soooooo delicious ! I have never heard of this before . Guess now I have a very valid reason to go to Singapore 😀

    • kismitoffeebar · September 7, 2012

      Hehe ritika you have so many reasons to come down:) let me know when you do, okay?

  21. aame · September 7, 2012

    Wow the sauces are so tempting !!!! And to pay for extra is really a good way to avoid wastage ! Nice fun u had there ! We had a similar (BBQ) experience at the marriott recently…picking up ur choice of meat/sea food and doing it all urself ! Similar to this steamboat there is Nabe here in Japan…so are the varieties of soba quite famous here…though here it is next to impossible to find ‘veg’ food 🙂 🙂 Btw the broths didn’t get mixed up? u sure ? 😉

    • kismitoffeebar · September 7, 2012

      Hehehehetrust you to tell me about broths getting mixed up. They didn’t. I always had a vegetable for identification 😉 woohoo, your experience sounds cool. oh, I will manage with the umpteen Japanese cheese cake and fruits. Not fussy as long as I can find food. I eat eggs as well. Hehe. Nabe sounds like fun. We want to visit Japan as well. We have a few very close friends there:) I am beginning to like soba as I have written previously.
      I am seeing you here after a while and it feels so good to read your opinion 🙂

      • aame · September 8, 2012

        Oh i don’t know how i have been missing u posts…really 😦 doesn’t show up in my reader whenever i see…i guess bad timings but every time i make sure to visit ur site n see what’s cooking 😉 XOXOXO

      • kismitoffeebar · September 8, 2012

        🙂 he he wordpress upto it’s tricks. Thanks a lot dearie:)

  22. Pingback: Pots on Fire: Post about “Hot Pots”! | Oh Snap! Let's Eat!
  23. Pingback: Pots on Fire: Post about "Hot Pots"! | Oh Snap! Let's Eat!

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