The Place Tucked at a corner of Boat Quay, Fu Lin Men Dou Lao has been serving their premium steamboat since early 2015. Unlike most other steamboat restaurants in Singapore, you get to enjoy the hotpot in individual bowls. Yes, you can now enjoy your steamboat without worrying about double dipping and sharing utensils!
Fu Lin Men adopts a rather classy Chinese Grandeur look, with turquoise walls and white & gold-lined framings. Despite merely occupying a shophouse unit here, you will be surprised to find that Fu Lin Men spans across the whole 3 storey of the shophouse, with a seating capacity of more than 200 diners at any one time.
The Food Of course, any suggestion that Fu Lin Men is a premium hotpot will attract discussions – what exactly defines a premium steamboat? The Dou Lao (豆捞) here refers to what is widely recognised as the hot pots fit for the “Royals” in China, and with this, they focus on serving the freshest of ingredients which are free of preservatives and the likes. Fu Lin Men dishes out five soup base, namely the Gold, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. And yes, other than the unique names, each of the soup base promises to contain skin-boosting collagen, easily digestible vitamins, protein, minerals and antioxidants!
We had the Gold option which really is Fu Lin Men’s Signature Golden Imperial Broth (boiled over 12 hours with fresh red carrot puree, chicken bone marrows, pork shin and thigh with skin and dry-aged cured ham). Very hearty broth, hitting the right notes when paired with the meats and other ingredients.
One of the highly recommended mains is the Family Bliss Freshly Handcrafted Dou Lao Meat Balls ($7), which has a surprise awaiting you – the Squid Meat Ball with Chocolate! I must admit I am not a fan of this novelty, but it does allow me to appreciate the other meat balls even more!
Do try this too, their Beer-marinated Marbled Beef ($28) asks for you to soak the beef slices in the beer for a good 3 minutes before dipping it into your broth. You get that malty taste in the beef, which really worked quite well.
Another personal favourite is the Fresh-cultured Sea Prawns with Marbled Beef ($18), not mind-blowing but this is just one of the perfect steamboat meats combo.
I have to admit though, the rest of the mains I have had were at best average, with the desserts disappointing much. Skip them if you can.
Rants While some may like their own individual soup pots, I much prefer when I can share mine with my fellow diners- that’s the real fun behind steamboat, in my opinion.
Will I Return Again? Probably one of the rare few steamboat restaurants in Singapore which is conducive to host business meals and the likes. On other occasions, the competition from Paradise’s Beauty in the Pot, Imperial Treasure’s Steamboat and overseas outfits such as Hai Di Lao will definitely give Fu Lin Men a run for their money. For a more formal dining, I will be back at Fu Lin Men Dou Lao.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Fu Lin Men Dou Lao
16 North Canal Road
Daily 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.00pm to 10.00pm
Tel: +65 6532 2777
Ranted by the Rantee