Kee-Chiu if you are a hot pot fan like us! I mean, what’s not to love about a pot of piping hot soup filled with an assortment of fresh ingredients, right? And, with more and more hot pot restaurants sprouting up in Singapore, we are definitely spoilt for choices when it comes to deciding just where to go for that meal of indulgence. That said, promising to bring that something different to the table, Hotpot Heroes is a 武侠 (wǔ xiá)-themed (Wuxia = Chinese Martial Arts) Chongqing hotpot restaurant that sets out to provide a wholesome dining experience tantalising not just our taste buds, but also our sight.
Meticulous planning and thoughts were given into their interior design, menu design, and food presentation which made us felt like we were transported into the set of a martial arts movie. The history of the origins of hotpot is also shared on the menu for that extra feel. Even the service crew don traditional martial arts costumes while attending to the customers (on weekends only), how cool is that!
Right beside their open-concept kitchen, there is a condiments bar that houses 14 different sauces and condiments for you to mix and match your own dips.
But if you are a “sauce mixing noob” like us, fret not! There is a chart located at the side that provides instructions on how to come up with Hotpot Heroes’ recommended concoctions of sauces.
The manager very kindly offered to mix their Chongqing sauce and Thai Seafood sauce for us. She recommends dipping spicy food into former, and non-spicy food into the latter!
As for their food selection, Hotpot Heroes boasts a wide variety of broths and ala carte items, including raw hotpot ingredients and cooked cuisines. Before we move on, one thing to know about Hotpot Heroes is that prices here are not exactly cheap. But well, hotpots are best eaten with your family and friends, so it may not be that bad after dividing the costs!
Anddddd, TADAH! This is what we ordered. We totally swooned over how beautifully presented the food were (yes, we swoon over food instead of Korean oppas. No judgements please).
For our soup base, we ordered a 3-broth pot ($22), with their top 3 popular broths – Beauty Collagen Broth, Beauty Tomato Broth, and Chongqing Traditional Spicy Broth. Our favourite has got to be the traditional spicy broth! It was simply on point with its fragrant spices and flavourful beef oil that beautifully coats the ingredients cooked in it. As for the tomato broth, it was a little too sweet for our liking, while the collagen broth was not as rich as we anticipated.
We also ordered a few of their recommended signature dishes which include the Spicy Beef Chuan Chuan ($15), Cao Chuan Jie Jian Meat Platter ($32), Paste Combination Platter ($24), Meatball Combination Platter ($14), Dumplings Combination Platter ($13), Seafood Platter ($38), Century Egg Tofu ($6), and Crispy Pork with Hero Chilli ($12).
First up, we tried the Spicy Beef Chuan Chuan ($15), which were beef skewers smothered with chilli flakes and spices. We decided to cook it in the spicy broth as we didn’t want to “contaminate” the other broths with the spicy seasoning.
As we were eating, we found the coating of spices to be redundant. When the skewers were dipped into the broth, all the flakes just fall off into the soup and all we could taste were the flavours from the broth. Although the beef was really tender, we felt that we could have just ordered the normal beef slices (which was way cheaper at $8).
Speaking of beef slices, we also got the Cao Chuan Jie Jian Meat Platter ($32) whereby you get to choose 3 out of 5 selections of meat (which includes Beef slices, Lamb leg, Pork collar, Pork belly, and Chicken fillet). Our meat platter came with an assortment of beef, lamb, and pork collar slices which were fresh, thinly sliced and tender when cooked. Since the meats were not marinated beforehand, they soaked up the flavours of the different broths which was a perfect combination with the meats’ umami goodness.
We also tried dipping the meats in the sauces that the Manager mixed for us and wow, they are good! The Thai Chilli sauce was definitely a crowd favourite with its sour and spicy profile, and with the meats dipped in it, it was just a parade of flavours in our mouths.
Next, we tried the Paste Combination Platter ($24). There were altogether 12 spoonfuls of handmade paste with 3 flavours including ebiko and prawn, cuttlefish, and fish. Priced at $24, this was a pretty disappointing dish as we found it to be overly salty with no distinctive seafood flavours across the 3 types of pastes. They actually taste kind of similar as everything was just overpowered by the salt.
We found the Meatball Combination Platter ($14) to be the same with a strong salty profile.
We also got the Dumplings Combination Platter ($13) that came with pork dumplings and fish roe dumplings with squid ink. Despite leaving in the boiling pot for a long time, we were surprised to see the dumpling skin still intact and chewy. The pork dumplings reminded me of the Xiao Long Baos from Crystal Jade with their juicy and well-marinated pork fillings.
As for the fish roe dumplings, they were a tad salty and the squid ink skin just tasted like normal dumpling skins.
Their Seafood Platter ($38) was pretty value for money as it came with 8 different types of seafood – crayfish, clams, mussels, short neck clams, half shell scallops, baby abalone, cuttlefish, and dory fish fillet. As the beauty collagen broth was lacking in flavour, we decided to cook all of the seafood in it. The sweetness from the seafood seeped through and helped elevate the broth to a whole new level.
Next, we had the Century Egg Tofu ($6) which was a cold dish with a unique blend of flavours and textures. The tofu was silky soft, the century egg was a little chewy, and with the crunchy fish roe, it was a plethora of textures. The sauce was creamy and rich too as the century egg yolk was blended into it. This was actually our favourite dish, and we highly recommend you guys to try it out!
As for the cooked food, we got the Crispy Pork with Hero Chilli ($12) and it reminded me of the Gu Lou Yok pork (sweet and sour pork) that my grandma used to deep fry before she mixes in the sauce. It was really fragrant with a well-balanced marinade, and although it is deep fried, the meat was still tender and juicy. On the other hand, the “Hero Chilli” (which were simply chilli flakes) were not really special, and I don’t really find that it complements the crispy pork pieces. Rather, I recommend dipping it into their Thai chilli sauce. The added tanginess is really just awesome.
All in all, this is a pretty decent hotpot place as I loved the idea of how Hotpot Heroes wishes for their diners to leave with a memorable time while experiencing the history behind a hotpot meal. The ambience and service are great too, and if you ask the crew about any of the dishes, they will gladly explain the origins of each dish to you. Price wise, it can get quite expensive. But guess what, for a limited time period only, Hotpot Heroes is having a Lunch Buffet promotion (Available all day, 11am to 4pm) going at really affordable prices. There is also a Student promotion whereby every 4 students can dine at the price of 3! Every pot comes with a complimentary choice of broth, and you just need to add $7 for every additional broth.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of Tanjong Katong Road, Hotpot Heroes is definitely a hidden gem not to be missed! Do head down and try it for yourself before their promotion is over!
Address: 306 Tanjong Katong Road, S437089
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 5 pm – 11.30 pm , Saturday and Sunday 11 am – 12 am
Closest MRT Station: Dakota