Haidilao Hot Pot 海底捞火锅, founded in 1994, is well known for serving Sichuan style Hot Pot. It is also famous for providing exceptional customer experience – from providing free snacks and manicures while you wait for your tables to noodle dances and more freebies like phone screen protectors and hair ties. It is now also common knowledge that Haidilao founder, Zhang Yong, tops the 2019 Forbes Singapore Rich List (see ST story of 29 August 2019). What you may not realise is that Haidilao Hot Pot 海底捞火锅 may also be the place to dine in when you are lonely or need some attention. I went solo dining at Haidilao Hot Pot in Paya Lebar Quarter recently and got more attention than I had ever dreamt of.
Haidilao in Paya Lebar Quarter
The new Haidilao Hot Pot outlet in Paya Lebar Quarter is located on the 3rd level of PLQ Mall. It has the usual amenities and services that have become “expected” at Haidilao – such as free manicure service, children’s playroom and complimentary snacks station.
The restaurant has a simple but pleasant interior decor. There are booth seats and regular tables that can accommodate groups of various sizes. The inner section is bathed with natural light.
Haidilao Hot Pot Menu
The menu is quite extensive. There are several soup bases and a long list of meats, vegetables and other ingredients for the hot pot. Access to the buffet spread of sauces, fruits and desserts is available for a top up of $4. There are a few reasonably priced set meals. Below are pictures of the menu sheet and set meal poster. There is an Online Menu
Solo Dining at Haidilao Hot Pot
I visited Haidilao PLQ Mall in the middle of the day. There was only a very short queue at the door. I was enthusiastically greeted by a staff and I asked if I could enjoy the hotpot meal alone. She assured me that solo dining at their hotpot restaurant would be fine and that there was a table available for me immediately.
As I did not have to wait in queue, I did not get to try their free snacks or the popular manicure service. The attentive service and freebies, however, started as soon as I was seated. I was introduced to a friendly staff and told she would be the primary server for my table. A ziploc bag for my mobile phone and lens wipe were given. An apron and disposal gloves were offered. A plate of cut fruits was served.
US Beef Slice Set & Soup for One
The polite and smiley server than showed me the electronic menu and asked if I needed help or recommendation. She explained how the soup bases would be charged and kindly advised me to ask for the 4 chamber pot with the soup base in only one chamber; with the other 3 chambers filled with just water. That way I needed to pay only $6.50 for the soup base. Complimentary tea or water was offered. I asked for water and a jar was brought to the table so that I could help myself. Nevertheless, the server came to top up my cup constantly.
I ordered the US Beef Slice Set ($15.80) with the Pork Stomach and Chicken Soup ($6.50). The creamy white soup had lots of ingredients in it. It was slightly peppery and very rich in flavour.
The beef was sliced to a nice thickness and the rolled slices were neatly presented. The platter of vegetables, mushrooms and beacurd was of a sizeable portion.
At the side of the tissue box on the table were cooking instructions so that the food would not be undercooked or overcooked. The impressive service at Haidilao Hot Pot would include helping you with scooping the soup onto a small soup bowl and adding chopped scallion and parsley to the soup.
The food was nice and the attentive staff was always on hand, without being too intrusive, to make sure that I was having a good hotpot experience.
Interesting Hotpot Experience
A bowl of mints and toothpicks was brought out as soon as I had finished eating – another example of simple practical service by observant and efficient staff. Polite and attentive service really is a standout feature of Haidilao.
If you are lonely and need someone to hear you out, the Haidilao staff, friendly and communicative as they are, will probably be just too busy to engage you in deep conversation. However, if you are dining alone, the staff may just introduce a dining companion to you to be a listening ear. A dining companion was introduced to me at Haidilao PLQ Mall so that I need not be a solo diner there. Once my interesting companion was seated, I got lots of attention and even diners in neighbouring tables started conversations with me.
Here is my Haidilao dining companion.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Haidilao Hot Pot
Paya Lebar Quarter Branch
10 Paya Lebar Road, #03-11/12 Paya Lebar Quarter
Tel: +65-6970 0555 / 6970 0666
Opening Hours：10:30 am – 3:00 am
Nearby MRT Station: Paya Lebar
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog