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.