Having something numbing, hot and spicy has never been on PB’s menu but mala steamboat/hotpot was where we headed to today since this place fits all his three criteria – has air-con, accepts credit cards and does not charge GST! A further plus is parking was really easy, or rather, there is a carpark right beside the restaurant but parking the car is not really that easy has the lots are quite tight! 😛
Ma La Hui Cui Guan is located along Middle Road, beside Aroy Dee which a lot of thai food lovers would know.
Featuring Chong Qing Steamboat feature at $25/adult and $13/child. They also serve ala carte si chuan dishes which are pretty popular with many of their patrons too!
View of interior (taken when we left way past midnight)
It looks just like any other Chinese restaurants with round tables with lazy susan, nothing resembling a hotpot place.
Another view of the interior
The best part about these round tables is that they have individual induction stove for heating up your hotpot!
The induction stove beneath the glass panel on the table.
Simply love how it is flushed beneath the surface and I was joking with PB that I can consider making one if I get a new house! When you do not need it, it does not obstruct you too for there are no protruding parts. And when you need it, simply power it up and touch the relevant “buttons” and viola, you have a stove on the table for your steamboat!
We were given a ipad to place our orders and this got PB and me pretty lost as we did not know how to go about ordering as the description is quite vague and also the ipad interface looks like a display menu and not a ordering pad. 😛
For those who are lost like us, there is an option of either 1 or 2 hotpot soup which, after enquiring with the staff, means that you can have 1 or 2 different soup bases in one hotpot per person or you can have a shared pot with 1 or 2 different soup bases! All at no extra charge! Yeah! Single pot means one soup base and double pot means 2 soup bases so you click according to what you want and select from the list of soup bases available like Sze Chuan Spicy, Green Chilli, Tomato, Chicken, Tom Yum and Preserved Salted Vegetable Soup.
Next, pick your hotpot buffet ala carte items from cold dish, meat and vegetables/noodles by touching the item and selecting the quantity you want. They will adjust the order according to the number of persons at the table so if you specifically want a reduce portion of certain items, please tell the service staff when they are verifying your orders.
The seafood, snack and side order menu.
Side order of Premium mushroom, japanese mushroom, fresh eel, sea cucumber and beef tripe can be ordered for an additional $6 – $8 per item
They also do set lunches from 11am to 3 pm which looks pretty value for money! Best of all there is no pork or lard for the health conscious and those eating with no-pork eating friends.
Our order – 1
Our order -2
Summary of what we ordered!
One page is not enough! LOL
For the cold dishes, you basically help yourself to it from the chiller near the cashier
More cold dishes
This is one item that you must eat when you are here!
Spicy Dry Chilli Chicken 辣子鸡 – it is crispy, a little spicy and a little numbing when you bit on the sze chuan peppercorns! PB love it so much that I had to fight with him! When you are done with the chicken, you can dunk the chillis into your soup to get a stronger mala flavour.
Even before we start, we already prepared our drinks. LOL. PB’s Ice Lemon Tea, $2 and my Jia Duo Bao Herbal Tea, $3.50.
PB’s yuan yang hotpot with Chicken and Tomato Soup.
My Hotpot with Sze Chuan and Chicken Soup.
From the Vegetables, we had
Enoki Mushrooms (aka Golden Mushrooms)
From the Meat, we had
Mutton and Beef Slices
From the Seafood, we had
PB ordered the Deep-fried Steamed Bread (aka Deep fried Mantou) from the snack section which I did not try as I was too full then.
Our table full of the ingredients and really to cook!
For steamboat, you always need some sauce to dip your meat in. Some sauce containers were taken to refill hence the empty slots but since what I wanted were all there, I concocted my special sauce pretty quickly.
My special dip made with lots of coriander and spring onions, topped with plenty of white sesame for the crunch and for the sauce portion, 1:1 portion of vingear and soya sauce, a bit of sesame sauce and a drizzled of sesame oil and finish off with some red cut chilli for the kick. 😉
Our second portion of the delicious Spicy Dry Chilli Chicken 辣子鸡.
We were too busy eating and hence no pictures of our cooked food except the below:
Lovely fresh prawns cooked in my mala soup which was actually drinkable but that mala taste in the prawns probably got PB to down just a little bit more water! 😛
Potato noodles which is my best order as I love the bouncy texture of the noodles. Look how translucent it has become after almost cooking it to death in my mala soup.
Comparison of the potato noodles cooked in Mala soup on the left and the one cooked in chicken soup on the right.
Checking out the induction stove after my meal. Love it that nothing hinders the leg room and there is nothing that will burn my legs.
Overall, we spent $58.50 for our meal and 3 drinks, just a fraction of what we would have to fork out had we gone to those chain steamboat places. I find that Ma La Hui Cui Guan is a hidden gem for very affordable and delicious mala steamboat. Dishes are plentiful and fresh and the soups are good. Both of us love the tomato soup as it has just the right tang and sweetness. I love my sze chuan spicy soup as the flavours are perfectly balanced and totally drinkable! It does not get too spicy/numbing even after prolong boiling! The chicken soup is simply the one for you to toggle out to re-balance your palate. 🙂 For people who worry about food hygiene when having steamboat with people you do not really know, this is one place that you can cast your worries aside as you can have your individualised hotpots so that you will only be eating/drinking your own saliva! LOL. Do try it out and did I mention that they are open till late late like 5.30am? If you are looking for supper places or feeling hungry after clubbing or simply cannot sleep due to an empty stomach, this is the place to head to!
Ma La Hui Cui Guan 麻辣薈萃館
260 Middle Road
Tel: 63335535 or 63335254
Opening hours: 11am to 5.30am
Photos taken with Iphone6