Fresh, not frozen produce — that is the promise of Spice World Hot Pot (香天下火锅). With over 500 outlets worldwide, Spice World Hot Pot aims to set itself apart from the competition by becoming a steamboat restaurant that uses fresh beef, pork and lamb air-flown several times per week.
You’d feel “hot” upon entering the restaurant — the interior is dominated by hues of red and black, giving off a fiery vibe and putting you in the mood for an equally fiery meal.
It was my first hot pot experience in Singapore. Each table has a “ying and yang” steamboat pot (S$22.90) with one half being the teddy bear or Hello Kitty submerged in mala soup and beef oil (+S$9.90, limited to eight per day). For the other half, the broth would be one of your choice. Based on recommendation by the waitress, we chose the Wild Mushroom broth.
The mushroom broth proved to be a right choice; it helped to put out the intense heat from the mala broth. The broths are made without any additives. For the mala broth, it is first brewed in Sichuan, China. The peppercorns are sourced from Hongya farmlands and while the chilies are from Guizhou and Sichuan. There are six other flavours of broth, ranging from mild to hot.
Still think there is not enough kick from your mala broth? A can or two of Zanthoxylum is your answer in giving your soup the ultimate numb factor. Add it to your sauce if you prefer a controlled level of numbness. Though I have not tried it, I can imagine the impact it will have on my sensory tastebuds.
To add some spice – figuratively, speaking – to your food, you can choose from a variety of dipping sauces. For the uninitiated, there is even a guide on how to make the best dip for the range of dipping sauces available.
I got to take my hat off to Spice World for their presentation. Their thinly sliced Australian M8 Wagyu beef (S$38.90) is served as the skirting of a Chinese doll — perhaps an inspiration from Lady Gaga’s meat dress? Served on a metre long plank, the Australian mutton slices (S$28.90) looked like an edict. And, let’s not forget about the teddy bear or Hello Kitty in the mala broth. Gimmicky, some might say, but I can bet photos of them would be making their way to Instagram.
Spice World Hot Pot 香天下火锅
Clarke Quay, 3B River Valley Rd,
#01-06/07 Singapore 179021
Tel: +65 6265 9777
Opening hours: Sun to Thu – 10.30am to 4am; Fri and Sat – 10.30am to 6am; Opens daily including public holidays