There are nights when you want to dress yourself and go eat fancy things. And then there are nights you just want to be simple, sitting around a hotpot with friends. For nights like that, there’s Chill Gen, by Xin Wang.
For people who grew up in the 2000s, Xin Wang is a familiar brand. Open till 2am, I have good memories of late-night suppers and heart to heart conversations at Xin Wangs across the island. I particularly recall the original Heartland Mall outlet in Kovan: it opened in 2005, a time in my life when I had close friends who lived in Kovan, and so I spent quite a lot of time there. So when I first heard about Xin Wang’s new hotpot outlet at Cineleisure, I had to go have a look for myself.
A brightly-lit yet cosy environment for you to hang out with friends.
People might disagree, but hotpot is a communal meal: it cannot be enjoyed alone, if only because you have to wait for things to cook. And it’s precisely in those moments of waiting, that the magic begins. Friends joke and banter, and people just sit there enjoying each other’s company. And so, I found myself one evening checking out Xin Wang’s Chill Gen hotpot buffet, which goes at $18.80++, and $24.80++ on Fridays, Saturdays and eve of public holidays after 5pm. Fairly reasonable, actually, which makes it easier to drag the whole gang of friends down!
A happy spread of food for the bellies.
But of course, we’re Singaporean, and a great location to chill isn’t great if it doesn’t have good food. They sure didn’t disappoint in this regard! Chill Gen offers you four choices of soup base: Signature Papaya, Korean Army Stew, Tomato, and Homemade Fragrant Spicy. I had the Tomato, while my dining partner had the Signature Papaya, so we had a nice mix of variety right there.
Chill Gen operates as an a-la-carte buffet: order whatever you like, and it’ll be brought to your table. As you can tell, we had a good selection of various meats, vegetables, mushrooms and fish items, though there were some unusual ones that you’re probably not getting elsewhere! Frozen Beancurd is one of them: I’m not sure how to describe it, but the texture was springy and I enjoyed it enough to get quite a lot more! Each diner gets one serving of the premium items as well: scallops, ebiko fish paste, and iberico pork belly. I enjoyed all of them, though the fish paste took a bit of figuring out on the cooking front! Their chikuwa and seafood cheese tofu hit the spot for me as well, so I did get quite a bit of them eventually.
Being rather saucy, really: take your pick!
In the end, hotpot buffets are really all about personal favourites, and at this age, I’m sure everyone has their own fancies. But if you take that idea further, then you really also do need good sauces with it. And that’s where I also had a lot of fun building my own sauces to go with the food: right at their well-stocked sauce station! Fried garlic bits really made it for me: I loved the crunch they added to my own secret concoction of soy sauce, spring onions, and…stop judging!
Food provided, just bring your friends.
Ultimately, there’s not much to be said about hotpot. Here, they’ve got the food on free-flow, there’s a great ambience, and there’s good HK milk tea if you want it. Perfect for a nice rainy day, just remember to bring your friends and relax over a nice steaming hotpot together. How would you get past life’s troubles, if not for your friends, right?
Thank you Chill Gen for the invitation.
This article was written by Lan Yingjie.
Chill Gen by Xin Wang
2 Jurong East Central
Reservations: 6684 4407
Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm