Having lived in Singapore for most of my life, I never really appreciated the true value of a steamboat till I went to study in New Zealand. You see, in Singapore, it’s tropical weather all year long. I used to eat steamboat whenever (albeit usually in an air conditioned room).
However, I moved to NZ for about 4 years of my adult life. The country had the 4 seasons and cold and chilly weather. In the middle of winter season one year, I was invited to a friend’s house for hotpot. And there it was, we walked in from the chilly weather to a warm house with a steaming hotpot in the middle of the kitchen right next to the patio door. The motivation and lure of steamboat was immediately apparent. It made so much more sense to have it in the cold weather.
It’s tough to replicate the same atmosphere in Singapore, given the tropical weather. The closest we get is during the monsoon season, when the afternoon torrents of rain make the evenings cooler.
While not deliberately planned, it was during the monsoon month of December that the girls suddenly decided to go for steamboat dinner. Quick google search and we were heading to Guo Fu steamboat.
As with many steamboat places, a huge variety of soups is available for customers to choose from. I must say that these places are quite ingenious, they come up with interesting names such as beauty soup, elderly tonic soup, male vitality soup etc…
We decided to go with 4 soups – spicy soup (ma la), beauty soup (chicken soup), vegetarian soup, herbal soup.
One can order a la carte, but it is highly recommend (and perhaps more value for money if you’re a big eater) to go for the buffet ($24.90++). Huge variety – all types of meat, seafood and vegetables. We absolutely went berserk on the beef and pork. For vegetables, chinese cabbage is the absolute recommendation for steamboat, really soaks up all that lovely stock.
Among the four soups, my favourite was probably the spicy soup (ma la), followed by the beauty (chicken soup).
Needless to say, we ate till we were stuffed. While this restaurant may not be as popular as Hai di lao, where queues are a common occurrence, Guo Fu steamboat does offer an alternative solution to anyone wishing to fulfill their craving.
Add: 20 Cross Street, #01-31 China Square Central