Calling all West-siders. You’ve probably heard of (or been to) Qi Xiang Chicken Pot in Kovan. Did you know that they have a flagship hotpot concept in Jurong along Boon Lay Way?
Qi Xiang Hotpot has flown under the radar, presumably due to its location, despite having stellar service and plenty of exciting food options.
Tucked away at the third floor in The Chevrons, a recreational clubhouse, this is one hotpot restaurant you definitely won’t randomly stumble upon. But it’s worth making the trip here, and you’ll see why.
The spacious, well-lit 196-seater restaurant is casual with a welcoming ambience. Tables are comfortably spaced apart, fulfilling both social distancing requirements and ensuring a pleasant dining experience for all guests. You’ll get to enjoy your hotpot with a view (of the pool, that is) and soak in the “country club vibes”.
S$5 (per pax) will get you a choice of beverage, condiments, fruits, and ice cream — all free-flow. The staff will roll up with what I call “the sauce station” and dish out condiments according to your preference.
I asked our friendly waitress to concoct a less spicy sauce for me. The end result of sesame paste, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, spring onions, coriander, and a tiny dollop of housemade chilli was absolutely perfect.
Once you’ve placed your orders via the iPad, wait for your food to be served by a smart delivery robot. Once again, welcome to the era of automation.
Before we go to the hotpot, let’s talk about the selection of local delights at Qi Xiang Hotpot. If you’re all about that wok hei, order the moreish Crab Meat Fried Rice (S$14.90), which can easily be shared amongst 3 to 4 diners. The equally addictive XO Carrot Cake (S$10.90) was crisp and slightly chewy, with fluffy insides and just the right amount of chilli.
Both my dining partner and I particularly enjoyed the orh luak, or Oyster Omelette (S$10.90). Sure, the oysters were plump and plentiful, but it was the crispy pancake-like omelette that stole the show. And when dipped in the vinegary chilli sauce? Give. Me. More.
You can also find all-day breakfast offerings atypical of hotpot restaurants like Chicken Cutlet on Waffle (S$9.90) and Rosti Plate ($10.90).
All hail the hotpot
There are several soup bases to choose from, but we settled on the Laksa (S$11.90 for half) and of course, the Signature Broth (S$11.90 for half) with Two Quarter Chicken Thighs (S11.90). Spice levels can be altered; we went for the Mild version.
This bubbling beer-infused broth of dark soy sauce, Chinese herbs, and tender chicken thighs is what people flock down to Kovan for. And I get the hype. It’s rich, hearty, and insanely comforting, best eaten with steamed white rice. But I still can’t seem to associate it with hotpot. It feels and tastes more like a stew to me, and I end up dipping most of the hotpot ingredients into the lemak laksa broth.
Also, the chicken broth can get extremely salty over time, so ask for it to be topped with plain collagen broth.
Aside from staples like Shrimp Paste (S$9.90) and Veg Platter (S$16.90), my hotpot experiences are always dictated by the cuts and quality of the meat.
The thinly-sliced Iberico Pork Collar (S$14.90 for half portion) is an easy crowd favourite, but why not go all out with the richly marbled and meltingly tender Japanese Wagyu Chuck (S$67.90 for half portion)? Might as well.
Give the meal an extra wow factor with Boston Lobster (S$35 for one) which can be served raw (to be dunked into the hotpot) or fried with Salt & Pepper (top up S$10). The latter looked impressive, but it was a lot less meaty than I’d expected. You can skip this in favour of the other seafood options.
What’s a fun hotpot experience without a secret code or two? In the face of freebies, one must not feel shy or embarrassed. Do the following (with conviction):
- Say 我是小鲜肉 (Wǒ shì xiǎo xiān ròu) to get a free platter of Pork Collar and Pork Belly
- Sing the chorus line of 泡沫 (Pao Mo) by G.E.M. to get a free Boba Milk Tea
- Say 大吉大利，我要吃鸡 (Dàjí dàlì, wǒ yào chī jī) to get a free Chicken Cutlet
We polished off the crispy and juicy chicken cutlet, reminiscent of what you can find in Taiwan.
If you are a student or healthcare worker, get a 20% discount off all dishes during off-peak hours from 11am to 4pm when you flash your pass before placing your order. Do note that all discounts exclude beverages and soup bases.
A Confirm Good exclusive
Here’s an exclusive discount for readers of Confirm Good: Flash this article and get 1-for-1 on Qi Xiang Hotpot’s all-day breakfast menu during off-peak hours from 11am to 4pm.
Both deals are for dine-in only and are applicable from now till 30 April 2022. Don’t wait any longer.
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