This month, we suss out boiling steamboat buffets offering seafood specials and handmade meatballs.

Singapore Top photo: Bay Front Steamboat Buffet

 

BiTES guide:

Price guide (nett)
$ wallet-friendly (below $50)
$$ just can’t resist a splurge ($50-100)
$$$ a special occasion ($100-150)
$$$$ indulgence galore (above $150)

Certified halal [Halal]
Does not serve pork or lard [NPNL]
Kid-friendly facilities [Kid]

 

NORTH [$]

Chuan Wang Fu Spicy Hot Pot

This steamboat buffet ($21.80++, daily 12pm-12am) is decorated in a traditional Chinese style. Soup bases include their popular mala and herbal chicken, preserved vegetables with fish soup, and wild mushroom soup. Dessert is included, but opening hours vary, so do call first. 9 Teck Chye Terrace. Tel: 6284 5668

King’s Laksa Steamboat

Based in an air-conditioned, cosy shophouse, King’s prides itself on its eponymous signature laksa soup base steamboat–served alongside more traditional mala, chicken and seafood broths–and its a la carte buffet ($18.80+, Mon-Fri 11am-2.30pm, 5-11.30pm; $23.80+, Sat-Sun 11am-2.30pm, 5-11.30pm) which totals 60-70 food items, including cooked food. Visit for an efficient, no-frills experience. 17 Teck Chye Terrace. Tel: 6287 8010

 

EAST [$]

Fat Fish Steamboat

This Thai-Indochinese steamboat buffet ($26.90++, Mon-Fri 12-10.30pm; $28.90++, Sat-Sun 12-10.30pm) restaurant is helmed by a Thai chef with over 30 years of experience. You get an authentic tom yam base alongside handmade meatballs, shrimp dumplings, and wantons. Discounted student prices start from $15++ on weekdays and $17++ on weekends. #02-126 Ehub@Downtown East, 1 Pasir Ris Close. Tel: 6582 2922

Paradise On Earth Tianfu Hong Kong Style Steamboat

This steamboat restaurant, founded in 2002 with Hong Kong origins and inspiration, offers both indoor and al fresco seating. The buffet ($20.80++, Mon-Fri 5pm-2am; $23.80++, Sat 11.30am-2.30pm, 5pm-2am), a largely dinner affair, serves up a wide variety of soup bases including pig’s stomach soup, scallop soup, bak ku teh, and a unique satay soup, as well as fresh ingredients such as imported U.S. beef, Australian snowflake beef, and live prawns. 214 Tanjong Katong Road. Tel: 6345 9272

 

SOUTH [$]

Bay Front Steamboat Buffet

Enjoy the sea breeze and cheerful atmosphere near the Gardens by the Bay during the weekend ($25 nett, Fri-Sun 6pm-2am) when specialty seafood such as giant crabs and flower crabs are made available, and laksa and tom yam soup bases are added to the weekday ($20 nett, Mon-Thu 6pm-2am) broth selection of chicken and herbal soup. Crowd favourites here include their Korean marinated pork and barbecued beef– remember to place your last order by 11.40pm. 18 Marina Gardens Drive. Tel: 9030 4275

Polaris Gourmet

Named after the North Star, this clean, spacious a la carte steamboat buffet ($22++, Mon-Fri 6pm-10pm; Sat 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm) has offal such as pig organs, ox stomach, and pig’s skin to go with its fish, chicken, and kimchi soup bases, alongside the usual steamboat fare like fried beancurd skin and mushrooms. If you fancy something cold and sweet after a warm dinner, ice cream comes with the buffet. #B1-24 AXA Tower, 8 Shenton Way. Tel: 6220 6818

Street 50

One of the few steamboat buffets located in a hotel, this weekend-only hotpot dinner buffet ($38++, Fri-Sun 6.30-10pm) provides a selection of seafood, meat, vegetables and noodles; their signature soup bases include Imperial Chicken and Siamese Luck Tom Yam, and they have added Asia-centric bases such as Sarawak laksa and bakso broth. Each guest enjoys a personal Chinoiserie pot instead of a shared steamboat pot. Bay Hotel Singapore, 50 Telok Blangah Road. Tel: 6818 6681

 

SOUTH [$$]

The Buffet

Look out for the soup base of the month here, displayed on their website–in October it was imperial fish head– complementing their usual laksa, tom yam and chicken soup bases. Other than the usual ingredients, fresh seafood is served here, including flower crabs. The restaurant specialty of herbal drunken prawns and the durian pengat dessert are part of the dinner steamboat buffet ($53++, Mon-Thu 6-11pm; $63++, Fri-Sun 5-10.30pm) as well. M Hotel, 81 Anson Road. Tel: 6500 6116

HSBC CARDHOLDERS ENJOY:
? One dines free with three paying adults for buffet lunch and dinner. Valid from Sunday to Thursday.

 

WEST [$]

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao

Arguably one of the best-loved buffets, Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao draws a huge crowd every night for its free flow of the meat-filled soup dumplings. On the second storey, their steamboat xiao long bao buffet ($25.80++, Mon-Thu 5-10pm; $27.80++, Fri-Sun 5-10pm; $23.80++, Fri-Sun 10.15-11.45pm) will get you a yuan yang style pot with Sichuan mala and pork ribs soup for 1.5 hours, as well as dessert. Holland Village, 241 Holland Avenue. Tel: 6463 0968

Fatty Choo International Steamboat

Headed by Choo Kok Seng, former executive chef of Rendezvous Hotel Singapore, the steamboat buffets here are big on seafood, with the lunch buffet ($18.80++, Mon-Fri 11.30am-3.30pm; $20.80+, Sat-Sun 11.30am-3.30pm) featuring salmon sashimi and tiger prawns; and the dinner buffet ($25.80+++, Mon-Thu 5.30-9.30pm; $27.80+, Fri-Sun 5.30-9.30pm) starring the ever-popular snow crab. Soup bases include chicken, tom yam, bak kut teh and Japanese bonito; and buffet prices include cooked food and desserts. #02-25 West Coast Plaza, 154 West Coast Road. Tel: 6777 0126

Fu Qi Steamboat Eatery House [Halal]

As one of the few Halal-certified steamboats in Singapore, Fu Qi stands out even more with its soup bases such as soto ayam, which you can pair with chicken, herbal, or tom yam soup in their yuan yang pots. This affordable steamboat buffet ($20.80 nett, Tue-Sun 4.30-10pm) includes finger food and cooked food like lontong, mee siam and mee rebus. Help yourself to the free flow homemade drinks and ice cream. #01-256 Block 428, Jurong West Ave 1. Tel: 9621 6196

Le Le Pot

Situated opposite Tiong Bahru Market, this popular air-conditioned steamboat buffet ($21.80++, Mon-Thu 11am-3pm, 5-11pm; $22.80++, Fri-Sun 11am-3pm, 5-11pm) is no-frills but comfortable, offering laksa and tom yam soup stocks as well as fresh cockles and beef. Various dipping sauces and condiments can be mixed to go with the steamboat, and cooked food (such as fried wings and mantou) and iced desserts are included. 58 Seng Poh Road. Tel: 6222 9442

The Rajah Inn

This Indochinese steamboat buffet is available only during dinner ($19.90++, Mon-Fri 5-10pm; $24.90++, Sat-Sun 5-10pm) with last orders at 9pm. Chicken, tom yam, herbal and fish soup bases are provided, along with seafood balls and sliced meat. The Rajah Inn also provides its customers with iced tea, lime juice, and desserts. #02-13/14/15 Tiong Bahru Plaza, 302 Tiong Bahru Road. Tel: 6835 0080

Xian La Dao

Do you sometimes feel like having a manicure or pedicure while waiting for your turn to be seated at a steamboat buffet restaurant ($38++, daily 10.30am-3pm, 5pm-10.30pm)? Now you can! Newly opened in August, Xian La Dao offers fresh food such as handmade pork balls and shrimp glue, pork belly, mutton slices and short ribs, and seafood including shelled mussels and scallops, fish maw, and cuttlefish. With soup bases including mala and mushroom, and 19 types of sauces to choose from, sit back and enjoy this traditional steamboat with a new service experience. #03-08/09 The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road. Tel: 6463 8878

 

BUGIS [$]

Chuan Yi Pin

Unlike smaller restaurants, this no-frills steamboat buffet ($24.80++, Mon-Fri 11.30am-2am; $26.80++, Sat-Sun 11.30am-2am) occupies two units in Bugis and begins to fill up even before dinner time. After having the Sichuan-style appetisers, customers can enjoy seafood such as cockles and mussels, and pork and beef sliced to order by staff. With an optional BBQ element to the buffet, be prepared to walk away smelling of the grill! #01-01 Bugis Point, 530 North Bridge Road. Tel: 6884 4582

Royal Kublai Khan Steamboat Buffet & Seafood Restaurant [Halal]

A Halal steamboat with artificial flavouring-free traditional recipes and a name inspired by Genghis Khan, the Royal Kublai Khan serves up a hearty steamboat buffet ($25++, daily 11.30am-10pm), and offers a discounted student price of $20++. Other than seafood ingredients, dumplings and dipping sauces, they offer cooked food favourites such as cereal prawns and fried chicken in its buffet. #01-56 Burlington Square, 175 Bencoolen Street. Tel: 6836 2389

Tasty Mini Pot

If you love steamboat but dislike having to share, you’ll find the solution in the individual mini pots used here, where a weekday promotion applies for the buffet ($21.90++, Mon-Thu 11am-11pm; $23.90++, Fri-Sun 11am-11pm) until the end of the year. Tasty Mini Pot specialises in spicy soups such as mala, tom yam, laksa, and curry broths, with a focus on authentic Sichuan hot pot. For customers willing to spend extra outside of the buffet, they serve other specialty dishes such as dry spicy hotpot chicken as well. 268 Middle Road. Tel: 9395 6808

The House of Steamboat

Instead of the usual yuan yang metal steamboat pots, this steamboat buffet ($20 nett, daily 12pm-12am) uses a crystal steamboat pot for all their eight kinds of soups, including traditional ginseng chicken soup, fish bone soup, and sour and spicy soup. Other than the free flow fried food, free drinks and ice cream, a steamboat with BBQ buffet ($22 nett, daily 12pm-12am) is offered here. For the health-conscious, its soup bases are MSG-free. 7 Tan Quee Lan Street. Tel: 6336 2875

Thye Hong Casual Cafe

If Thye Hong sounds familiar, that’s because this outlet is part of the household name behind Singapore’s famous hokkien mee with over 40 years of history. The restaurant’s name is a little unusual for a steamboat buffet ($20++, Mon-Thu 12.30-11.30pm; $22++, Fri-Sat 12.30pm-12.30am; $22++, Sun 12.30-11.30pm), but you’ll find a well-organised self-serve buffet offering superior chicken, mala, tom yam, curry, and healthy herbal soup bases in a neat dining space. 32 Liang Seah Street. Tel: 6338 4148

Ting Yuan Hot Pot

The service staff can make or break a restaurant, and in Ting Yuan’s case the friendly crew definitely make it. This steamboat buffet ($19.80++, daily 10am-2am) is small but welcoming, with a fresh and clean selection of ingredients to go with their mala soup (spiciness can be varied), sour vegetables soup, tomato pork ribs soup or sour duck soup, among others. 22 Liang Seah Street. Tel: 6338 4755

Xian De Lai

Tucked away in an air-conditioned and comfortable space, this buffet ($19.80++, daily 10.30am-3am) boasts of its soup bases, including a duck soup supposedly brewed for six hours, pork ribs soup, and their signature spicy chicken, which serves as a side dish too. The buffet selection includes fresh shelled cockles, beef slices, meat balls and dumplings. Its JEM outlet offers an individual pot for each person as well. 18 Liang Seah Street. Tel: 6336 7505

Zhong Hua Steamboat Buffet

Step in front of this restaurant and the fragrant smell of soup immediately lures you in. Open well into the wee hours, this small but modern restaurant’s steamboat buffet ($22++, Mon-Thu 10am-5am; $23++, Fri-Sun 10am-5am) offers fried dumplings and free flow drinks alongside a variety of fish balls, seafood balls and seafood items, as well as many sauces. That fragrant smell? Might have been their superior stock, Sichuan mala, laksa, tom yam, or satay broths. #01-01, 95 Beach Road. Tel: 6337 1655

 

CENTRAL [$]

Chong Qing Liu Yi Shou Steamboat

An overnight steamboat buffet ($21.80++, daily 11am-3am) with yuan yang style pots that can be filled with mala, herbal chicken or fish head stock, Chong Qing Liu Yi Shou serves up cold appetisers as well as fresh crab and prawns and cooked food including chicken wings, dim sum, and fries. After your meal, have some ice cream or fresh fruit to cool down from the spicy steamboat. 76-78 Smith Street. Tel: 6835 7626

Crystal Jade Steamboat Kitchen

Crystal Jade may be famous for dim sum, but did you know they have an entire branch dedicated to steamboats? The 90-minute steamboat buffet ($20.90++, Mon-Fri 11am-9.45pm; $26.90++, Sat 11am-9.45pm; $26.90++, Sun 10.30am-9.45pm) offers six soup bases, including tomato and miso flavours, and homemade minced pork and chicken pastes as well as cooked food such as deep-fried fish skin. For a good deal, try their 80-minute lunch steamboat buffet offer ($14.80++, daily 11am-2.30pm) with an additional $1.90 top-up for free flow drinks and ice cream. #02-32 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road. Tel: 6336 2833

Guo Fu Steamboat

Herbal and tonic soups are the “in”  thing at this steamboat buffet ($21.90++, Mon-Thu 11.30am-3pm; $23.90++, Mon-Thu 3-10.30pm; $23.90++, Fri-Sun 11.30am-3pm; $25.90++, Fri-Sun 3-10.30pm), which offers cordyceps chicken soup as one of its steamboat bases. Seafood ingredients are prepared in-house, and cooked food (such as xiao long bao and shallot pancake) and desserts are included in the price of the buffet. #01-31/33 China Court, China Square Central, 20 Cross Street. Tel: 6557 0906

Hotpot Culture

Spacious and suitable for families. Go for the usual steamboat buffet ($18.80++, Mon-Fri 11.30am-10pm; $20.80++, Sat-Sun 11.30am-10pm) of seafood, mushrooms, tofu, sliced meat and assorted balls–or you could top up a few dollars for the full a la carte buffet ($20.80++, Mon-Fri 11.30am-10pm; $25.80++, Sat-Sun 11.30am-10pm), which will get you additional access to the cooked food buffet and chocolate fondue. #04-102A The Gallerie @ Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard. Tel: 6338 7873

Tanyoto

Originally established in Sichuan in 1996, Tanyoto has since opened 117 outlets across East Asia and continues to expand. Its only Singapore outlet operates a lunch buffet ($28++, Mon-Fri 11.30am-3pm; $30++, Sat-Sun 11.30am-3pm) and a late night supper buffet ($32++, Mon-Thu 9pm-12am, Fri 9pm-2am; $34++, Sat 9pm-2am, Sun 9pm-12am). The tomato soup base in particular is praiseworthy, and the restaurant offers a free fish head per table as well as free flow plum juice. #01-25/25A Liang Court, 177 River Valley Road. Tel: 6836 6839

The Magic of Chongqing

Named after Chong Qing, birthplace of the Sichuan mala broth, this restaurant offers the soup (at varying levels of spiciness) for both lunch ($21.90++, Mon-Fri 12-3pm; $23.90++, Sat-Sun 12-3pm) and dinner ($34.90++, Mon-Fri 6-10.30pm; $37.90++, Sat-Sun 6-10.30pm) buffets, along with special sauces to counter the flames in your mouth. On top of buffet offerings, a complimentary serving of handmade meatballs, fish nuggets, and savoury dim sum is included as well. #04-06/07 Tanglin Shopping Centre, 19 Tanglin Road. Tel: 6734 8135

The Mushroom Pot

Who goes to a steamboat buffet for the vegetables? The answer: More than enough people to fill the seats in The Mushroom Pot. The steamboat buffet ($21.80++, Mon-Thu 11am-3pm; $29.80++, Mon-Thu 5-9pm; $29.80++, Fri-Sun 11am-3pm; $32.80++, Fri-Sun 5-9pm) focuses on more than 20 types of wild mushrooms, including a shiitake mushroom with meat paste, and its six soup stocks feature a wild mushroom soup. Ladies, go for the buffet dinner from Monday to Thursday to enjoy a 20 percent discount. #04-00 Orchard Point, 160 Orchard Road. Tel: 6733 9910

 

CENTRAL [$$]

Coca Steamboat Restaurant

Known for its signature Coca sauce that goes with the steamboat buffet ($26++, daily 11.15am-3.45pm; $42++, daily 3.45-10.30pm), the restaurant chain has reopened with a revamp of its Takashimaya outlet. Fresh seafood as well as special items such as fish glue, sliced pork liver, shrimp balls and dumplings, amongst other tummy-filling ingredients, are provided in the buffet, which is available at their International Building and Resorts World Sentosa outlets as well. #04-23 Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road. Tel: 6734 7887

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