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“Good Food, Good Service, Worth Paying For.”
Review of Hai Di Lao

Hai Di Lao
Ranked #81 of 10,934 Restaurants in Singapore
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Chinese
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Singapore, Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Good Food, Good Service, Worth Paying For.”
Reviewed July 28, 2014

First time was on Valentine's Day 2014 for lunch.

There was no queue at all. Upon arriving, we were whisked to our reserved table immediately and I noticed that the restaurant was only at about 50% of its capacity. Small zip-lock bags were given to us for our handphones - first time experiencing this! The waitress helped put on our aprons for us and even kindly provided me with a rubber band to tie up my hair even though I did not ask for one. Orders were taken via an Ipad and it took a short 5 mins for the first dish to be served. All throughout our meal, the waitress was very attentive and was always nearby ready to serve or accede to our requests. It was as if we had our very own personal butler. I reckon that was possible also only because the restaurant was not busy at that moment. HDL was also sweet enough to gift us a towel set and a stalk of rose to celebrate V-Day. What a nice gesture!

Second time was in July 2014 for dinner.

Everyone has heard that the food is good but what stood out for me is the unique concept that the restaurant has for people waiting-in-line for their tables. There are ample tables and stools at the waiting area for guests to sit while waiting. Some light drinks, fruits and pop corn are also available for you to keep your mouth busy. Complimentary manicures for ladies is definitely a good tactic to keep their minds off the long waiting time. Also, apparently, every 30 folded paper cranes gets you a free dish off your order (lowest value). We were getting restless so my friends and I googled on "How to fold a paper crane" and started folding while chatting at the same time. Our waiting time took about 1 hour and we successfully folded 60 paper cranes - yay to free dishes!

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank msjulieng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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234 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    114
    99
    18
    3
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Nice choice for ala carte steamboat ”
Reviewed July 22, 2014 via mobile

We have all heard about the horrible waiting time. However, 1 tip that might come in handy. They do take weekdays reservations by 6pm and weekends by 5pm. So, if you are ready to dash out of office by 530 on weekdays, chances are you can secure a table fairly easily.

Mala soup base actually tasted very good when mixed with the mushroom soup base or Chicken soup base. Mixed soup base ($16) It doesn't taste as numbing (for the folks that doesn't like the hot and spicy base) but gives enough kick to your soup.

I like the fried pumpkin cakes($4) that aren't too oily. I gave the sauces a miss as it costs additional $4 each pax (thou it came with fruits buffet as well)... as I am contented and stuffed with the steamboat spread.

Spent $175 for 4 adults and 2 kids. Worth it!

Helpful?
Thank Kenji0710
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
545 reviews
414 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
“Dine like an Empress - Hai Di Lao at 313@Somerset”
Reviewed July 17, 2014

Having heard many good things about Hai Di Lao Steamboat Restaurant, the extremely long queues, and the complimentary manicure services while waiting, *Charmaine and I decided to give it a try, and satiate her steamboat cravings. Note that Hai Di Lao is an ala carte steamboat restaurant and not a buffet concept. They have a very wide variety of quality meats, seafood, vegetables and other unique items (cooked and uncooked) to suit every individual's unique preferences.

We got there at 7.00pm, took a queue number, and were informed that there would be an hour's waiting time. So we killed time shopping and then settling down upon one of the tiny tables set up outside for patrons to await their turn. Fret not that one would be bored, hungry or thirsty to death - because there's servings of fruits, popcorn and herbal tea for the taking.

*Charmaine and I ordered a Chicken Soup Hot Pot (which had a delicious herbal flavor, cooked with black chicken, mushrooms and fishballs) and the Spicy Szechuan Hot Pot (ma la - which we were asked if we wanted very spicy, medium or light - it was palatable!), so that we'd have a balance of flavors. They helped us ladle the soup so we didn't have to do it ourselves.

We started with some Black Pork slices- tender, scrumptious and thin slices of sweet-tasting sweet pork, going especially well in the spicy soup base.

The Scallops were huge, juicy and simply marvelous - having these plump darlings rolling about in the mouths was simply a real treat.

This is truly a very amazing place with great, thoughtful service and lovely food. *Charmaine and I each spent SGD$53.00 and left the place feeling very satisfied.

For more detailed information and photos, please feel free to visit:
http://thearcticstar.blogspot.sg/2014/07/dinner-at-hai-di-lao-steamboat.html

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TheArcticStar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Just the food, since serviced is covered”
Reviewed July 13, 2014

It's been awhile since I do food review.
Ok firstly service is covered by every other person writing a review. I will just touch in the food.

Basically, steamboat is quite a traditional food for chinese people as well as japan and korea. For Singaporeans, the focus of steamboat factors
1.. Soup based
The soup based here has that unique chinese style touch that is rich but not too heavy. Especially the chicken soup that uses dates and black chicken with mushroom to enhanced the base. The szechuan style is great but might be too overwhelming for foreigners.
2. Freshness of the food for steamboat
Very fresh is what I see here and the prawn is exceptionally fresh and had that bite in it even though it's slightly small. As for the rest, basically you don't see any bad leaves or meats that is pale in color. Try the meatballs and my favourite is the dumpling. :)
3. Sauce
Hundred and one way to make your sauce on the buffet style sauce area or bar. Even includes a lot of unique sauces that I can't find else where.

Summary
Worth the time if you have the time. Not worth the time if you can't wait. Go on a relax mode as waiting is an issue. Get a queue number and wait for a call 2-3 hours later might be a good idea. Reservation on weekends seems like 1 mth ahead.. Thus.. Haha don't think I can wait..

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jervis_shen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
96 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Really fun experience and good food!”
Reviewed July 12, 2014 via mobile

We went about midnight and the waiting time was about 20 minutes. The number coupon mentioned that there were 4 ppl in the q in front of us- quite an interesting feature which I thought only happened in clinics and service centers :) offered liang Cha and snacks while waiting. Very thoughtful.

The eating area was clean and cool despite all the hotpots. It was my first time eating steamboat in an air conditioned environment so it felt different. Service staff were very prompt and helpful. Orders taken through an iPad app which was realky interactive and user friendly.

Thoroughly enjoyed the mala and tomato soup! Not too oily yet flavorful! There is a small fruit buffet on the side - watermelon and hami melon, peanuts and radish salad.

Worth the money :)

Helpful?
Thank Wyverns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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