There are 2 main things that define Singaporeans when it comes to one of our favorite National Past-time, Eating. Good Food and Quality Customer Service are of paramount importance, and it is not uncommon for Singaporeans to go for a particular stall even if one of the 2 criteria is not fulfilled. However, when we have both qualities co-existing in one establishment, then be prepared to QUEUE. Yes. Queuing is yet another of Singaporeans’ favorite Past-time as well.
Welcome to the King of HotPots – Hai Di Lao. Hai Di Lao (HDL) was established in Sichuan 20 years ago in 1994. Having to survive in a massive market like China, HDL chose to emphasis on fresh, quality raw materials and superior customer service.
There are currently 2 branches of HDL in Singapore; first one in the touristy Clarke Quay, and some years later at the newly renovated 313@Orchard. We (the Metropolitant Editors) first took our queue number at 430pm, and it was not until 3 hours later (at 730pm) before we were ushered to our seats for dinner! Despite the long waiting, the M-Editors were well-entertained with a variety of goodies, drinks, and even manicure for ladies.
Free flow of goodies, and even manicure for the ladies!
Rubber-band for ladies with long hair, micro-fiber cloth for bespectacled customers. Ridiculous.
There are a mixture of soup bases to choose from, ranging from the standard Sichuan “Mala” type, to the soul-nourishing Chicken Soup. Of course for the M-Editors (Jason, Steffan and Michelle. Wilsurn was not invited cause he needed to diet), we opted for both. Spoilt for choice literally.
The spread of fresh Kurobuta pork, US Angus Beef and Frozen Bean Curbs. And yes. Red Tilapia.
HDL is open daily till 4am. So for those late night cravings of quality hot pot, you must definitely give them a try!
A glimpse of the Hand-made noodles done live. (Shot with iPhone 6 plus in Slow-Mo)
Story by Steffan “CrossFit” Fung