Yanxi Palace Steamboat is the hot spot for hotpot
We love hotpot so much that we are willing to climb hills to get one.
Which is what you need to do if you want to go to Yanxi Palace Steamboat.
This pop-up restaurant is located at the ballroom of Hotel Re! in Chin Swee Road.
If you are taking the MRT, expect to exercise.
Inside, the interior borders on camp, with a chandelier above and twinkling lights adorning black curtained walls.
Luckily, it doesn't detract from the star attraction - the hotpot.
To me, the broth is vital for a good steamboat experience.
It needs to have enough charisma to stand on its own, but not overwhelm the ingredients boiling inside.
It should taste equally good when the items are cooked, and I should not be left with a fuzzy tongue after the meal.
The broths at Yanxi win on most points.
The spicy mala soup (from $9.50) may be too much for the nose at the start, but as it boils on and more soup is added, it mellows out and becomes extremely drinkable.
My favourite is the Buddha Jump Over the Wall (from $12.50). It blossoms as the meal continues.
The ingredients are mostly predictable but some are presented in a way that will make you whip out your phone for a social media post.
The rose beef tongue ($18) arrives as a rolled-up length of protein. Just pop it into the soup and wait.
Tongue is not a common addition on a hotpot menu but I love it with the mala soup because the texture and that hint of spice works.
I am not a fan of the rose tofu ($8), made from soya milk and egg whites with all-natural colouring.
There is an otah version that doesn't seem to work with any of the stock, but it looks gorgeous when you slide it into the broth.
The seafood lollipop ($12) - made of minced cuttlefish and shrimp paste - fares much better, while being just as pretty.
Although your dining experience will not be cheap, the platters are of value.
The seafood platter ($68) should feed about three and is loaded with fresh ingredients such as wild abalone, tiger prawns and scallop.
Yanxi also offers a small selection of snacks, such as the crispy pork ($9). Don't order too much of this because although it is good when hot, if you leave it alone temporarily to concentrate on the hotpot, it will lose its crispiness and ends up a slightly hardened mess.
After I posted about my meal on Instagram, I started hearing about the lack of service at Yanxi.
"Wrong items" and "No one picks up the phone" seem to be the common complaints.
Perhaps Yanxi did not think it would be generating such interest, but I hope it adjusts soon because if it takes too long to resolve this issue, the place won't have to worry about being popular anymore.
Yanxi Palace Steamboat
175A Chin Swee Road
Opens Sunday to Thursday, noon to 12.30am;
Friday and Saturday, noon to 2am