Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Xiao Ping Hotpot, Temple St, Singapore

This is basically a reply to the comment Angie left in my previous post but of course anyone is welcomed to have a read too!

Before stumbling upon Xiao Ping, I've actually tried a lot of other hotpot joints including those along the hotpot street near Bugis and Beach Rd and the one along Food Alley at Maxwell as well.

Before we begin, just to set some things straight. There are some things that you should not expect at Xiao Ping. They are:

1. Excellent service
2. Highclass decor
3. Comfy chairs and tables
4. A strong local crowd

Ok, now that we've got the disclaimers out of the way. Let's go.

The selection here is not massively expansive but it is decent. They do not even have that processed pork meat ball which I love but they make up for this deficiency with the quality and freshness of their ingredients. I'm not a fan of shrimp because I'm too lazy to shell them but the ones are here are so sweet and crunchy that I normally can't resist ordering a serve.

Although I used to order the mixed (yuanyang) version, I've recently graduated to the pure hotpot (mala) version. For those who want to enjoy a normal steamboat, feel free to order a whole bowl of their non-spicy broth but really, give the spicy version a chance, it kicks so much ass!

They use an electric heater here so it does take awhile for your broth to boil but electric heating elements have the advantage of maintaining a steadier temperature as compared to their gas counterparts.

These homemade dumplings are stellar, the filling is tasty and the skin does not go soft and mushy when boiled. I've heard from a friend who went there just a few days ago that these were taken off the menu. I hope that was only a temporary measure because this is one of the main reasons why I dine here.

If you enjoy meat like me, Xiao Ping will be your haven. These thin slices of beef are so finely sliced that you can cook it shabu shabu style by just swooshing it in the broth for a few seconds.

Sliced belly pork. Yet again the freshness of this produce is evident in the pale coral pink color of the lean meat and the marble-white fat interlaced throughout this cut.

Mutton accompanies hotpot broth very well. No faults here, the freshness and quality of the mutton is quite second to none.

The buffet style here is "a la carte" as well which is a big big plus. I am a huge advocate against trough style buffets and especially when we're dealing with raw meat here. Nothing is a bigger turn off than a trough of stale, brownish looking meats.

Well Angie, I hope this has satisfied your query. Xiao Ping is definitely not "high-end" per se but I don't really care about decor, class or even service sometimes as long as the food is good. I don't mind even squatting on a street corner eating from a chipped ceramic bowl if the fare is tasty. For an average price of about 18-20SGD nett per person, Xiao Ping definitely gives you your bang for buck.



Unknown said...

Hey D, you're a gem! Thanks so much for this review, I shall give it a try real soon. Now I know who to go to for reviews of makan place :)

Sammy said...

Hey D, any ideas where I can get GOOD tiramisu at an afforadable price? below $6 a slice maybe?

Shionge said...

Is it like mah-la soup? Always wanted to try that...shall give it a good too.

:D Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I've NEVER had hotpot in my life! ;-;

Hehe, chocolate biscuits are addictive.

D said...

angie: No worries, hope you enjoy it. I seriously hope they have not phased out their dumplings though, I've not felt so anxious for quite some time now....

YD: Hmm, Tiramisutra is a good shot (I think you even have the link on your site!) but they don't do individual serves. I remember the ones at Casa Roma and Menotti were decent but not ultra-flash either. I normally make my own if I have a craving heh.

Shionge: You should, it's quite a hot experience. Maybe you should take "Girl" with you since she hasn't tried before either haha!

BBG: I know! Chocolate biscuits can be sooooo addictive... *frantically searches for another box of choc biscuits*

Anonymous said...

I've tried this place recently and although it isn't the best but being above average and a buffet and value for money...I felt very happy eating there. Ordered lots of pork belly...damn shiok lah I can have this the whole day. Plus having these meats with raw eggs is simply heavenly. Pity they ran out of mutton, those were good. The beef was so-so only. The gyoza is quite unique, the skin got a chewy texture and the fillings inside were not bad. Nice =)

Downside of this place is the waiting time for the orders to come...soooo bad. Spent like 3/4 of the time waiting for food to come and only 1/3 of the time eating.

Tips of drinking the mala soup. Scoop the soup out from the bubbling spots as the top layer of chilli oil is "bubbled away". Or the soup outwards until the chilli oil dissipates from the spot then take a little soup. ^^