5 Hot Pot Alternatives To Haidilao – Xiao Fei Yang, Beauty In The Pot & More
I felt a little happy when I read the recent news about food critic Chua Lam getting flamed for his blasphemous remarks (“no cultural significance”) on the culinary genius that is hot pot. The fella deserves it! I LOVE the bubbling dish so much so his criticism felt like a personal attack, okay.
Ideally, I’d like to eat hot pot all day, every day, but I obviously cannot afford to eat atas steamboat too often. If you’re limited by your budget as well, read this article on the affordable steamboat options in Singapore.
Today’s price guide covers the other end of the spectrum, focusing on the legendary Haidilao and 5 alternatives. Because, you know, that place is always full.
Price guide to the best hot pots in Singapore (2019)
Let’s start with the most well known Haidilao first.
Haidilao – $45 to $55 / pax
Haidilao is known for their free manicures and handphone ziplock bags, but don’t let that fool you: When it comes to food, Haidilao is the hot pot king of hidden charges. Access to the dipping condiments costs $4 per pax and tea is $3 per pax (refillable). You also need to pay for the soup base ($20+).
Assuming you order a sensible, balanced meal with meat & veggies instead of a potential heart attack (read: expensive, cholesterol-laden seafood), a meal at Haidilao should cost you around $45 to $60 per pax.
The meats are about $15 to $20 per plate for full portions, and there are mixed meat platters for slightly more. The premium cuts cost about 20% to 30% more than the basic ones, and chicken and fish are more affordable than beef, lamb and mutton.
Veggies and miscellaneous ingredients like tofu, meat balls and flour cakes are mostly under $10 for half portions. Yup, half portions are available for all ingredients, which means the option for more variety – yay!
Haidilao full house? Here are 5 alternatives
As we know, getting a last-minute seat at Haidilao is close to impossible. You almost always have to book in advance, or be ready to queue up for an hour or two. If you have serious cravings and can’t chope a seat at Haidilao, here are some other restaurants to consider.
They’re in the same price range so you get the same royal treatment.
|Hot pot restaurant in Singapore||Price per pax|
|Bijin Nabe by Tsukada Nojo||$35 to $45|
|Shang Pin hot pot||$35 to $50|
|Haidilao||$45 to $50|
|Beauty in the Pot||$45 to $55|
|Little Sheep hot pot (xiao fei yang)||$50 to $60+|
Bijin Nabe by Tsukada Nojo (Beauty in a Pot) – $35 to $45 / pax
Bijin Nabe by Tsukada Nojo is collagen hot pot, but Japanese style. Bijin Nabe’s soup uses chicken bones that are stewed for over 8 hours. It comes served as a pudding, and there are 3 flavours – original, curry and spicy.
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The pricing mechanic here is slightly different: You order a set meal ($25 to $38 per pax) which comes with the soup, noodles or porridge, and ingredients like meat, veggies and seafood. You can stop there or you can order additional dishes at extra cost.
You can get meat (chicken $8, pork $15.80, beef $25.80), vegetables ($3 to $4) and other common ingredients (under $5) like tofu, boiled egg and prawns (2pcs).
Because it’s a set meal + add-on thing, it’s cheaper than the other ala carte hot pot options in this list.
One thing to note though: The soup is not free-flow. If you’ve slurped up your beauty broth before demolishing your “liao”, additional servings are $3.80 for 250ml and $7 for 500ml.
If you order the most basic set meal ($25), you can easily dine for under $35 (after taxes and maybe a drink). However the portion is really little, even for a small eater like me.
$40 per pax is a better estimate.
Shang Pin hot pot – $35 to $50 / pax
Shang Pin has quite the reputation. It’s said that the founders were once upon a time part of the Haidilao family, which explains why everything looks strikingly familiar.
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And when I say everything, I mean it. Everything seems copied, from the signature handmade noodles and soup base flavours right down to handphone ziplocks and square pots.
Shang Pin is, however, slightly cheaper than Haidilao. Most of the soups are under $20, while the chicken and pork platters are under $15. The other red meats, premium cuts and mixed platters seem similarly priced though. The handmade noodles are $3, which is cheaper than Haidilao’s $4.
You are charged for sauces and drinks too, but all in, an average meal here costs less ($35 to $50).
Beauty in the Pot – $45 to $55 / pax
Not to be confused with “Beauty in a Pot”, which usually refers to Bijin Nabe (see above), Beauty in the Pot is a collagen hot pot chain under Paradise group. The signature collagen soup base ($20) is apparently chockfull of nutrients and made with shark bone (uhm, #mixedfeelings).
But make no mistake, the real reason why people flock there is not to keep wrinkles at bay. It’s to Instagram the cool soup, which comes served as a kind of white jelly in a glass bottle before it’s poured into the hot pot, where it slowly dissolves.
Price-wise, it’s very similar to Haidilao. Meats are mostly $10 to $25 for full portions, save for a few exceptions like the wagyu ribeye beef. Compared to Haidilao and the other Chinese hot pot restaurants, Beauty in the Pot has a wider seafood selection, including abalones, prawns and various seafood pastes ($20 to $30+).
A typical meal here will cost about the same as Haidilao ($45 to $55 per pax). Sauces are still chargeable, but cheaper than Haidilao ($2.80).
Little Sheep Hot Pot (Xiao Fei Yang) – $50 to $60+ / pax
Little Sheep (Xiao Fei Yang) is the newest (and most expensive) kid on the block; located at the atas Fullerton Hotel. I’m not surprised, considering it’s the fancy No Signboard Holdings that brought the chain to Singapore.
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Little Sheep is known for its lamb-based house soup that’s made with 36 different ingredients like goji berries, ginseng and more. It’s available in original and mala flavours, and costs $20 for a sharing pot. The other soups are $16. Dual-flavour pots are $18 to $22.
If you didn’t already guess, Little Sheep’s specialty is lamb. The signature soup is lamb-based, and the best-selling platter features lamb rolls and beef. They also have more cuts of lamb than any other meat ($18 to $36).
The chicken, pork and beef are marginally more expensive than Haidilao ($12 to $32). Little Sheep has small and large portions, like Haidilao’s half and full sizes. Condiments are $4 per pax, same as Haidilao.
Which is your favourite hot pot restaurant? Tell us in the comments below!