Yue Long Men promises Singapore’s Spiciest Hotpot

It is a trying exercise to decide which Sichuan hotpot restaurant to dine at in Chinatown. Exit the MRT station and half a dozen hotpot joints clamour for your attention.

But Yue Long Men attempts to make it easy for you to choose, especially with its claim of being “Singapore’s spiciest Mala hotpot.” I cannot vouch for this as I went for the lowest spice level on its Mala broth ($7). But that was already enough to numb my tongue semi-permanently during the meal. Intrepid chilli fiends should come test their chops against the restaurant’s claim.

I like that individual diners get their own hotpots. If you’re not in the mood for spice, try the delicious Mushroom broth ($5), which is simmered with mild Chinese herbs as well as shimeji mushrooms. There are also six more soup bases, including a tangy and tremendously popular Tomato broth ($6) and a signature Sour Fish broth ($8).

The broths aside, Yue Long Men is one of the few hotpot restaurants in Singapore to offer exotic ingredients such as pig’s throat ($16) and brain ($8), alongside premium dishes like Alaskan King Crab Leg ($48) and Australian scallop sashimi ($24).

Yue Long Men has a good selection of handmade prawn ($10), meat ($16) and mushroom pork ($18) balls. But try the signature prawn paste ($18) for something different. It’s fresh and fragrant, although you need to shape them into balls yourself. It’s a delicate balance—make them too small and you lose the bouncy texture of the paste. Shape them too big and it becomes tricky to share.

The meats are decent but nothing to shout about, except for the Premium US Snow Beef ($36), which is outstanding. Juicy, firm, and sliced at the right thickness, a serving is probably just right for two people. Still, you might wish to factor in a second helping to relish its goodness again. It’s expensive but worth it.

Many hotpot restaurants in Singapore typically serve seafood such as red garoupa and pomfret. But Yue Long Men goes a step further with its delicious and fresh Ocean Platter ($26), comprising sashimi-grade salmon, yellowtail, scallops and ebi prawns.

The grouper ($36) is also exceptional. It’s firm, meaty, and goes especially well with the spicy mala broth.

What I like about Yue Long Men is that the ingredients are extremely fresh. For a limited period only, diners get a 50% discount off the entire a la carte menu. Sure, the restaurant isn’t exactly affordable without the half-price discount. But its prices are fair because you do get what you pay for.

Other nice touches include a condiment bar ($4) that comes with the usual spread of sauces, fruits and desserts. Yue Long Men has a decent selection of ice creams that go beyond the usual potong flavours. Make sure you try the cute panda-shaped ice cream, amongst the other premium ice creams.

Thank you, Yue Long Men, for the invitation.

Yue Long Men

75-77 Pagoda Street
Reservations:  6909-0611
Website: www.facebook.com/yuelongmen

Opening Hours
11am to 11pm daily

Chef Chen Kentaro debuts his first English cookbook, but hurry, stocks are limited

Michelin-starred chef Chen Kentaro has released his first English cookbook, “A Dash of Szechwan”. To great excitement, I attended the launch at his eponymous restaurant, Shisen Hanten – Singapore’s highest Michelin-rated Chinese restaurant – at the Mandarin Orchard Singapore.

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Wine Bonanza Opens at Rochor; Reap This Harvest While You Still Can!

I might have found the perfect restaurant to get away from the crowds in Singapore. No, really. It isn’t exactly affordable to dine there, and its rustic decor might deter some diners. But Wine Bonanza, located in a nostalgic, pre-war colonial heritage building at Albert Court, fits the bill perfectly if you are looking for a convenient but quiet place for an after-work or weekend hangout.

Continue reading “Wine Bonanza Opens at Rochor; Reap This Harvest While You Still Can!”

Ramen fans rejoice: Ramen Nagi finally opens in Singapore

For years, the absence of a Ramen Nagi restaurant in Singapore has been conspicous in a city where new ramen restaurants open every quarter. But the wait is now over, with the award-winning ramen chain opening its first outlet in Suntec City.

The Singapore branch does not serve the Japanese chain’s famed ramen with sardine broth, but its chef-owner Satoshi Ikuta has promised to create a limited-edition ramen exclusive to Singapore soon.

For now, the chain serves four tonkotsu-based flavours: traditional Butao King (tonkotsu pork broth, $13.90+); spicy Red King (blend of garlic, chilli oil and cayenne, $15.90+); Black King (blackened garlic and squid ink, $15.90+); and Green King (basil and olive oil in tonkotsu broth topped with grated parmesan, $15.90+).

At Ramen Nagi, you customise your ramen by selecting the ramen texture, the amount of garlic, the richness of the broth, the spice level, and whether you want pork shoulder or pork belly chashu.

The pork shoulder and belly pass muster with their fragrance, soft texture, and generous serving size. But I do not find the traditional Butao King and Red King  flavours to be remarkable. Perhaps it is a case of the kitchen struggling to find its feet on opening night, because even the ramen eggs that I ordered did not come with that glorious runny centre.

Instead, consider ordering the  Black King and Green King flavours. The former will delight social media users with its striking colour, while the latter’s unconventional  appearance and aromotic flavour of basil will please jaded ramen fans used to conventional flavours. I will be back to try the Green King again.

Chef Ikuta recommends diners to have their ramen with a side dish of  gyoza ($7.90+). I took to the chive-filled meat dumplings, but more picky diners might take issue with the bed of strong-smelling raw bean sprouts that the dumplings are served on.

The outlet is compact and noisy when it is full, so this is probably not a place you want to linger at. The reasonable prices, however, mean that it is worth a visit to see whether the hype is justified.

Thank you, Ramen Nagi Singapore, for the invitation.

Ramen Nagi Singapore
Suntec City Tower 2
Singapore 038989

Reservations: 6821 1601

Opening Hours
Lunch 11am to 3pm
Dinner 5pm to 10pm
Opens daily

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