Not Just Haidilao: 13 Other Famous Chinese Restaurants to Dine at in Singapore from Yunnan to Chengdu
If you love Haidilao, then you’ll definitely have to give these original Chinese restaurants a try in Singapore too.
Established in China, from places like Yunnan and Chengdu, they’ve made their way to Singaporean shores!
1. The world’s largest Mala Tang chain now in Singapore: Yang Guo Fu (杨国福)
A super popular Chinese street food in Northern China, Mala Tang is a spicy soup that numbs the tongue, traditionally from Sichuan and consists of meat and various vegetables.
The Yang Guo Fu brand has been around since the 90s, and specialises in the dish. Their distinct soup which took the owner years to master, has become a hot favourite in China.
Now in Singapore, you simply have to choose your ingredients to accompany the soup, and decide on the spice level you want before digging in!
2. Enjoy seafood and other interesting dishes, traditionally-gourmet style: Nanjing Impressions (南京大牌档)
Back in China, patrons often wait up to two hours just to get a seat at a table inside this famous restaurant known for its Jiangsu-style dishes.
Did you know that people from the Jiangsu Province usually earn a higher income, and so many of the dishes that come from this part of China are done ‘gourmet-style’ – which you can expect from the food at Nanjing too.
You also have the option of ordering one of their Set Menus and just like Jiangsu cuisine which contains a lot of seafood (it is located on the coast after all), you can expect to find numerous seafood dishes here too.
3. Delicious, steaming hotpot for super affordable prices: Xiangcao Singapore (香草香草云南原生态火锅)
Do you love yourself a fantastic hotpot? If you’ve ever travelled to Yunnan, you’ll know that the Southwestern Chinese Province is famous for its wild mushroom hotpots, and the ones at this restaurant come absolutely filled with them.
They’ve even got a hotpot buffet!
FYI: It’s recommended to make a booking if wanting to visit during peak hours as it tends to get booked out quickly during these times.
4. Inspired by the Silk Road trading: Western Mahua (西部马华牛肉面)
Watch the masters make and pull fresh, long noodles right before your eyes, which are then cooked fresh and added to a thick, meaty soup.
Try their signature Bone Beef Soup or try the pickled chicken version – all noodle dishes are made with the traditional pulled noodles from which there are eight different versions to choose from!
5. Slightly thicker than the traditional and super hearty: Zhang Liang Mala Tang (张亮麻辣烫)
Mala Tang has become quite popular with locals, and this is yet another restaurant serving up bowls of it.
Traditionally, mala is ridiculously spicy. However, you have the option to choose from mala, mushroom or a tomato-based soup here – but the rest is as authentic as any other Mala Tang shop in China.
Choose from an array of ingredients such as meatballs, sliced meats, greens, mushrooms, etc and get your ingredients weighed, before choosing your soup and spice level. Delicious!
6. If you think you can handle crazy spicy hotpots…: Da Long Yi Hot Pot (大龍焱火锅)
This famous restaurant from Chengdu (with over 300 outlets around the world) is known for its crazy spicy hotpots – and is now in Singapore! The interiors are so authentic you’ll feel instantly transported to Chengdu too.
Choose from various soup options (but if you want the real experience, definitely order their mala base, made from Sichuan peppercorns, dried chillies, garlic, and cumin seeds) and the portions of ingredients are fantastic!
7. Fill up on your Chinese seafood craving!: Riverside Grilled Fish (江边城外烤鱼)
We love a good backstory: Way back in 2005, two friends were travelling in Wushan, Chong Qing, China and were fascinated by the traditional cooking methods of how the locals grilled their fish and always finished it with a mala sauce. Once back in Beijing they opened up shop celebrating the same techniques.
Today you can find the award-winning restaurant in Singapore serving delicious, grilled fish with a variety of different sauces to choose from to top it all off.
8. For our late-night diners: Xiao Long Kan (小龙坎老火锅)
Offering another hotpot affair and originating from Chengdu, China – enjoy the authentic flavours and choose one of their two-flavoured hotpots.
And let’s quickly talk about the interiors which are pretty much exactly the same as their restaurants in China, influenced by the Qing Dynasty. From the dark, rich interiors to the wooden carvings and furniture, it feels straight out of the 1600s.
9. Just as the name suggests, lamb is the star of the show: Little Lamb (小尾羊)
Or should we say menu, but here you’ll find not only hotpots on their menu that include lamb, but other main dishes such as Braised Lamb and Lamb Dumplings.
Their menu is super extensive, and hotpot options include one and three-flavoured soups. Apart from that, there’s also many other chicken, pork and vegetable dishes to choose from, including some divine looking mushroom options.
10. Unlike most traditional hotpots, these guys specialise in lamb: Little Sheep Hot Pot (小肥羊火锅)
Expecting a fiery red mala hotpot here? Little Sheep Hot Pot serves Mongolian-style broths, not the usual mala-style soups.
Made from beef bones and kampong chicken, the soup is light in colour and topped with ginseng, goji berries, black cardamom, jujubes and other herbs. Really yummy, and a must-try in our books!
11. Grilled fish originating from Shenzhen: Tanyu (探鱼)
Nothing beats a whole grilled fish, and here you have three varieties to choose from, along with 12 different sauces to go alongside it!
And wait until you get a load of the beautiful food presentation here! The whole fish is served on a traditional standing platter. Do indulge in some of their other seafood dishes while you’re at it.
12. Experience the tastes of Yunnan: Yun Nans (云海肴)
Known as the world’s largest restaurant chain of Yunnan cuisine, here’s where you can experience the authentic tastes of the famous province. Known for its snow-capped mountains, lakes, rice terraces as well as home to over 55 different ethic groups – just imagine how interesting the cuisine is!
And this is very cool: you’ll find their menu is served according to the seven different types of climate that you find in Yunnan. For example, 6000 metres above sea level is the highest point you can reach within the mountains, where you’ll discover black truffles, Jasmine flowers, green pumpkin and edible flowers. Incredible!
13. Our favourite restaurant that almost never sleeps: Hai Di Lao (海底捞)
This restaurant has been immensely popular in Singapore for a number of years, so it just doesn’t feel right writing about famous Chinese restaurants without including Haidilao.
There are tons of different soup base options to choose from, such as pork belly and chicken soup, local laksa, and sichuan pickles. Apart from their famous hotpots there are loads of other dishes on their menu, and they’re constantly introducing new items, as well as specials!
PS: There are a total of 12 branches, do visit their website for a full listing.
Are you craving a hearty Chinese meal yet? We certainly are! It’s pretty cool we have these famous Chinese restaurants right here on our doorstep, don’t you think?
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