Rain or shine, it's always hotpot time

Call it what you want—Chinese fondue, hot pot, shabu-shabu—but this communal way of devouring ingredients like seafood, sliced meat, leafy vegetables and wontons while a bowl of stock is left to simmer in the middle of a dining table, continues to be a top Singaporean pasttime. Here's where to get your fill.
 

Beauty In The Pot


Ladies come a-flocking for the famed collagen broths at this hotpot concept by Paradise Group. Unlike its competitors, Beauty In The Pot has just two nourishing soup bases; but it’s a case of quality over quantity here. Promised within the flavorful broths is shark’s cartilage boiled for more than eight hours daily, completed by a full menu of fresh ingredients and homemade offerings—like the melt-in-your-mouth fish tofu that can surely rival Hai Di Lao’s. Legend has it the waiting list requires a month’s notice when you call in. #03-38, 11 Tanjong Katong Rd., 6284-8820.
 

Hai Di Lao


Since its entry into our local market in 2010, the Sichuan hotpot chain has indisputably claimed its position as King of Hotpot. Is it the gimmicks we keep returning back for; the free manicures and noodle-dancing? Ultimately it has to be the seven savory soup bases, including the popular yuan-yang double flavor that splits a trough of mala and herbal chicken stocks; and the comprehensive (and tasty!) list of hotpot items like their famous mashed shrimp and homemade tofu. #02-04, 3D River Valley Rd., 6337-8627.
 

Imperial Treasure Steamboat Restaurant


The first thing they do when you're seated is plonk down a 12-condiment rack so you can create your own dips. Here, you can also get double soup options with broths like Imperial drunken chicken and pork bone. The menu is equally dizzying with ingredients like homemade cuttlefish noodles, Kurobuta pork belly, beef prime rib, sweet prawns and an assortment of meatballs. Offal lovers will appreciate the pork liver and kidney options on offer too. #04-09/10 ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, 6636-9339.
 

JPOT


It may come as a surprise, but JPOT at VivoCity has nothing to do with Japanese cuisine. On the contrary, they’re a "Singaporean style hotpot concept" complete with locally inspired soup bases like laksa, bak kut teh and tom yum. Ingredients include fresh seafood, meats and even dim sum bites like fried mantou. Picky eaters will appreciate individual pots (split-soup pots are available too), but the whole group will love the relaxing boardwalk dining experience. #01-53 VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk, 6273-3536.
 

Shi Li Fang


Notorious for its free (pirated) soft toy-with purchase policy, this hotpot chain from Beijing has quickly sprouted in nine outlets across the island. Choose from a selection of soup bases that include tomato, chicken stock and mala (our personal favorite); the ingredients too are plentiful with marinated pork, marbled pork, tender beef and more. The $9.90 lunch deal has got to be Singapore’s best hotpot steal—it comes with a personal pot of soup, two choices of meat, and a generous basket of vegetables (and an egg!). #07-10/11 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Rd., 6238-0800.
 

Shabu Sai


You may have noticed Shabu Sai if you’ve ever queued for the infamous Kiseki buffet right across, at Orchard Central. For Japanese hotpot lovers, this shabu-shabu buffet restaurant offers a range of meat, seafood and vegetables (there are around 60 different items on the menu) to be cooked in seven soup bases that include tomato and sukiyaki flavors. Each meal ends with soft serve ice-cream and a variety of toppings—like golden raisin and old-school sprinkles—dispensed from a self service machine. One of the more affordable shabu-shabu restaurants around, it offers lunch priced from $16.99 and dinner from $24.99. #08-09/10/11 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Rd., 6884-6760.
 

Shabuya and Shochu Bar


The place to be for a leisurely steamboat meal, if you work in the Harbourfront area. There are two types of stock (kelp-based and shoyu for meats), tender Wagyu beef, US pork loin, as well as seafood combos that come with prawns and scallop, or cuttlefish and scallop, amongst others. A definite bonus: The restaurant offers a sushi buffet from $18.90 too. #01-102/103 VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk, 6377-0070.
 

Spice World Hotpot


Lauded as one of China’s top 10 global hotpot brands, Spice World Hotpot brings even more hotpot options to the Clarke Quay area. In the 200-seater outlet on River Valley Road, choose from seven different soup bases—pork belly and chicken, three-delicacy (pork, chicken, duck), wild mushroom, tomato, tom-yum, curry and mala, in three varying degrees of spiciness; and fresh premium meats that include Australian M8 wagyu beef and Australian mutton slices. #01-06/07, 3 River Valley Rd., 6265-9777.
 

Suki-Ya


Suki-Ya is that reliable hotpot chain you can turn to when in doubt and in a mall. For $18.90 (lunch) or $24.90 (dinner), you can pick from six soup bases, including sukiyaki, shabu shabu and kimuchi. Buffets on weekends and public holidays cost an extra $3. #02-183B/C Marina Square, 6 Raffles Blvd., 6337-9969.
 

The Magic of Chongqing Hotpot


A pioneer in the hotpot scene (they’ve been around since '94; even before the hotpot craze), this stalwart located in Tanglin Shopping Centre makes for a nice quiet alternative to some of the more boisterous places in town. The magic here lies in their soup bases—particularly the herbal and rich chicken stocks. Expect a modest but classic selection of fresh ingredients like sliced beef, fish paste, and golden mushrooms. #04-06/07 Tanglin Shopping Centre, 19 Tanglin Rd., 6734-8135.
 

Tsukada Nojo


A cozy 30-seater specializing in bijin nabe, or "beauty pot" in Japanese, this place prides itself on the provenance of its high-quality chicken. The hotpot comes with white, collagen-rich pudding pieces that once heated, create a creamy golden broth. Additions include chicken meatballs, zucchini, prawns and enoki mushrooms. #03-81 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Rd., 9129-0244.