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Hai Xian Lao - 1st Oct 2018

Hai Xian Lao

A 3-sided pot

It was a rather chilly evening by Singapore standards and so we decided to have Chinese hotpot for dinner. Some readers will recall we did a review on Hai Di Lao a while back and this time round I went to an unrelated restaurant with a similar name, Hai Xian Lao. The restaurant is aptly named as it specialises in live seafood for hotpot. There are six soup bases offered by the restaurant which is always so difficult to choose as everyone has their own preference. Thankfully they offer a 3 sided pot so we the parents could have our spicy soup base while the kids have a non-spicy one. We ordered the collagen, prawn base and Sichuan soup. When I tasted all the soup bases before cooking, the collagen had a thick consistency with a fair bit of depth to it thanks to the generous use of herbs in the base. The prawn soup tasted like prawn mee soup and was mildly spicy and delicious on its own. The Sichuan soup base was spicy but not as numbingly spicy as other hotpots.

Wagyu sirloin

Wagyu Karubi plate

Spanish Duroc pork belly

The restaurant provides rather affordable buffet options but we went for the a la carte option. After ordering I went to get the various sauces which is rather extensive. My favourite combination is just sliced red chilli with lots of garlic, soy sauce and coriander. I ordered a variety of meats such as the wagyu sirloin, wagyu karubi plate and the Spanish duroc belly. The meat was presented beautifully on a plate and looked really appetising. The thickness of the slices was perfect although for wagyu it almost feels too thin because the meat is soft and it melts away so quickly. The Spanish duroc belly was fatty as expected but sinfully good if you are fine to consume fat.

Hand-made meatballs, dumplings, prawn paste,
stuffed beancurd and stuffed tofu

The handmade meatballs here is soft with a slight mushroom flavour. The highlight though was the handmade dumplings with a soft skin encasing a full flavoured minced pork stuffing with nuances of garlic. The prawn paste came in a plastic bag that was piped into the soup by our friendly waiter. The stuffed beancurd skin and stuffed tofu was more your standard fare.

The vegetables here are fresh and came in rather generous portions. The Tang-O, spinach and lady’s fingers all went well with my favourite being the spinach in the prawn soup. Again we had trouble deciding on the choice of noodles so we ordered the udon for the kids, Hongkong crispy noodle for myself and the instant noodles for my wife. The crispy noodle took slightly longer to cook but my patience was rewarded with tasty egg noodles that had a slight chewy texture.

Hai Xian Lao may not have the additional frills like the free snacks, noodle spinner or mask changer that its competitor offers but the service here is good and it provides a more affordable experience with soup bases that hold their own.

Hai Xian Lao
8 Wilkie Road#01-21, Wilkie Edge Singapore (228095

Make a reservation here


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