The Place Located in the Boat Quay vicinity, Tong Xin Ru Yin Traditional Hotpot is not new to the neighbourhood, having moved twice with its current location at Lorong Telok being its third spot in the area. This adds to the long list of steamboat restaurants in the area, including Long Qing at Hong Kong Street, and Spice World and Upin at Clarke Quay.
This is perhaps one of the rare hotpot restaurants in Singapore which places as much emphasis on the quality of its food as the interior decor. Step into what feels very much like an art gallery, with spacious sittings and a well-ventilated dining area – ideal for hotpot. The very zen fixtures of the restaurant, combining wood finishing with beige walls offers a sanctuary for diners after a busy day out at work.
The Food It is hotpot with a slight twist, as the soup bases all come with ready ingredients in the broth when served. Of course, you are more than welcome to order more add-ons for your dinner. I managed to try two soup bases during my visit here, the Stewed Marinated Beef with Spicy Soup (S$48) reminds me of a mala soup base and it comes with braised beef meat chunks, soft beef tendons and chewy beef backstraps in the soup. The beef tendons are delightful, soaking in the sichuan spices, and this is an ideal broth for individuals looking for their usual mala soup base.
My preferred broth is actually the Golden Chicken Pot (S$68), as you know the Pandas are not exactly big fans of mala. The Chicken broth may be pricey, given that the golden broth is prepared with hours of slow cooking with chicken, black fugus, yam, konjac, pineapple chunks, sliced cucumber, brown shimeiji mushrooms and pumpkin.
For add-ons, the usual selections of meats, seafood and greens are most definitely available here. I would recommend some of the specials I had at Tong Xin Ru Yin, such as the Spicy Beef Cubes (S$16) and Beef Tongue (S$22). The spicy beef cubes are coated and marinated with chilli powder and served as-is. Cook these cubes in the spicy broth for the ultimate mala experience, and admittedly it was quite enjoyable even for non-eaters of spicy food; just have it in moderation.
Other cuts of beef are also available, including the Premium Eight Second Beef (S$24) and Premium Chef-sliced Beef Shin (S$28). Tender and fresh cuts, although the pricing here is on the high side.
This caught my attention, although it fell short of expectations when it comes to its taste. The Black Bone Chicken Slice (S$20) is basically pulled black chicken meats, and while the usual taste of the black chicken is retained, it is easy to overcook the shreds of meats in the boiling broth, making them tough and unduly dry.
Apart from the broth, the other items at Tong Xin Ru Yi that impressed the table were the cooked items. Starting with the crunchy and addictive Fried Mint Leaf (S$8) and the satisfying and sinful Shake-Shake Crispy Pork (S$10). Both are done to near-perfection, and are perfect starters before digging into your hotpot dinner.
If you love your oysters and garlic, the BBQ Canadian Oyster with Garlic (S$32 for 6 pcs) is a must-order. Grill the fresh oysters and top it up with lots of chopped garlic and light soy sauce, the explosion of flavours will whet your appetite up for certainty!
Rants The broth itself is a tad expensive.
Will I Return Again? A very enjoyable steamboat dinner. And Tong Xin Ru Yi definitely provides a more upmarket hotpot experience from the mass brands in the market today.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Tong Xin Ru Yin Traditional Hotpot
6 Lorong Telok
Tel: +65 6536 8058
Monday to Friday 11am to 1030pm
Saturday to Sunday 12pm to 1030pm
Ranted by The Rantee