EDIT: REVISITING Xin Dian Pot in 2015! Click here!
When it comes to Taiwan, I generally don’t bother to go to restaurants to eat as the amount of food on the streets is more than sufficient to fill me up. I know this for sure for most of my friends ‘cos that’s what we do there – eat (FANTASTIC!!) street food or go to the nearest 7-11. However this time, we went to a particular steamboat restaurant due to Xinhui’s auntie’s recommendation, and we were definitely impressed.
Interior of Xin Dian Pot
The interior of this place was exceptionally clean, and the furnishing was exceptional. It was unlike any other steamboat place in Singapore; you were seated on cushioned chairs here. It was nice to see how this place paid attention to details like these to ensure the most comfortable experience. Even the waiting area was a luxurious sofa. This place made you feel like you’re entering a posh restaurant from the moment you entered, with the comfortable furniture, the colours of the restaurant and the lighting of the place. It was a whole new world of steamboat that I had never expected.
We waited for a bit before entering as there was a long queue and the place was fully booked. To burn some time, we went to the Ye Shi (night market) just beside it.
I was pretty impressed when I saw how the drinks were presented. They had drinks (coke/sprite/orange) bottled. Beside the fridge was a bottle opener and a container full of bottle caps. Their drinks here are not the usual watered-down crap you get in some steamboat buffets in Singapore, or even some restaurants. Freshly opened drinks, where you are free to help yourself to unlimited amounts of.
There was also a sauce station where you can make your own sauces, which had condiments like soya sauce, XO chilli sauce, chilli padi, spring onions, sesame oil etc. Very common ingredients but they were neatly presented, tempting you to just try your hand at creating your own sauce. We don’t have a pic of it, but I remember xinhui’s sauce to be freaking delicious. Right beside, there was also your usual drinks dispensers, in case anyone wanted your regular steamboat drinks like ice lemon tea, peach tea etc, and also a coffee-maker.
Now this was something I did not expect – FREE FLOW of Haagen Dazs and MOVENPICK ice cream! We all know how good these 2 brands are, especially the pricier Movenpick ince cream. I had a bowl of ice cream before starting on my meal, and the queues for the ice cream was continuously long the whole night.
Our soup bases were Mala (numbingly-spicy) on the right, and we were recommended vegetable herbal soup on the left. The soups were good, and was exceptionally flavourful from the start. Also, the mala tang came with ya xue (duck’s blood cake) which we took out as we didn’t eat that. It was something that Taiwanese people really liked though. If you feel that the soup wasn’t spicy enough, you could ask the staff to add more chilli for you.
This place is meat paradise. They offer more than just a single type of a particular meat. For example, we ordered New Zealand High-Graded Sirloin beef, American Beef Filet, Black Pork etc. There was also different type of noodles like instant noodles (wang zi mian), udon etc. Everything was very fresh and generous in portion. We accidentally left the beef for a long time in the pot, and it was still soft when we took it out. This shows the quality of meats being served to you. There was also no hassle in ordering, and the staff was always efficient. We did not wait long for food to be served.
Some of the food we ordered.
A very notable dish I would like to feature is the fish. This was one of the freshest and tastiest I’ve had. It was also what I kept ordering as the combination of the soup with the fish was simply brilliant. Even now as I’m writing this, I’m craving strongly for it.
The sofa chairs we were seated on..
Our soup after approximately 4 rounds of cooking. Still freaking delicious.
This was one of the more notable dishes I had that night. The stuffed-cheese fishball was extremely addictive and I ordered a few rounds of this. The cheese was sweet and super stretchy. It was better than the one I had in Sukiya. Brilliant. Even as I was already full, I kept craving for more.
After the meal, I was surprised to see cakes being served to the tables around me, and wondered if there was a special occasion. After asking the waiter, I found that cakes were a permanent on the menu, as part of the buffet! They served various cakes like cheesecake, tiramisu, chocolate cake, Hokkaido Chiffon cake etc. This is a restaurant that spares no cost in making a customer happy. Cakes in a freaking steamboat restaurant!! I was thoroughly wow-ed. I ordered a cheesecake simply because I was too stuffed from the food and ice cream to eat any more.
I wanted to make an additional note about the toilet. For steamboat establishments, I usually find myself going to toilets that are really filthy or hardly cleaned, or just not maintained at all. At Xin Dian Pot this was vastly different. Entering a toilet here is like entering a hotel lobby; it was extremely clean, well-perfumed and ventilated, and overall felt like I entered a toilet in a hotel. I didn’t take a picture, but I was very surprised and impressed with this. You’ll never know when you need a toilet when you’re stuffed at a steamboat restaurant, and it’s nice to find a clean, nice smelling toilet. Don’t need to worry about finding a nice toilet nearby if you er, need to do your business.
This is definitely a very impressive place for a steamboat craving fix, and although Taiwan is well-known for its various street food (小吃/small eats), I would definitely recommend coming all the way here just to have a meal. I am known for loving steamboat and I was thoroughly impressed by this place. We came here after a full day of 小吃 at Ximending, and we still found the food excellent even on a full tummy. At S$24.20, it’s an unbeatable price for unbeatable quality. A highly recommended place for all steamboat-lovers.
3-4 minute walk from Nanjing MRT Station
468NT for lunch (~S$19.90)
568NT for dinner (~S$24.20)