By Janness Koh
Ever since my friends and I first tried out Guo Fu Hotpot about 2 years back, it has been our go to place for hotpot. I think business is doing pretty well because they have opened another restaurant right across the street called Xu Ting but serves exactly the same things.
What I like about their hotpot is they have the option of individual small pots or you can share a big yuan yang pot. I can’t take beef while my friends do take beef, so it was a great option for me to have the individual pots.
The price isn’t the cheapest hotpot buffet you can find but it isn’t expensive either. Based on their food variety, I think their price is pretty reasonable. Do note there is an additional separate charge for the soup base.
Soup base variety: 3/5
The only thing I do wish is that they offer more choices when it comes to the soup base. Looking at their menu, you might think it’s quite a lot already but I tried the Beauty Soup option and honestly it tastes exactly the same as their standard Herbal Soup with just additional pieces of black chicken and a small amount of other herbs but there wasn’t a difference in taste. My friend tried the Mild Spicy Soup and commented that it tasted the same as the Herbal Soup too except with some chili oil. Based on these, I’m assuming the rest of their herbal or tonic soups are the same concept so you really only end up with a few options that are different.
Hence, I don’t recommend paying more to try out other soup bases but just to go for their standard $3 options. It taste better and stronger as you eat anyway.
They also have a whole selection of different sauces and chilis so you can make your own dipping sauce according to your liking.
Food variety: 4/5
Based on the price point, I think their food selection is pretty good with all the different proteins you will want to eat and even seafood items like fresh prawns, scallops, and mussels. The only thing I wished they had was more vegetable choices like tang-o, yam, and more types of noodles like la mien or spinach noodles.
I really like that they have sweet potato noodles which is a very authentic Hokkien (from what I know) noodle made from sweet potato flour. Give this a try if you have never had before. It is very smooth and chewy and quite tasteless on its on but I love it with hotpot or even stir fry.
They have some pretty good cooked food too like buns, xiao long bao, and shallot pancake. Their shallot pancake is our favourite so far; thin, crispy, and the fragrance of shallot is excellent. Xiao long bao is pretty hit and miss. Sometimes it’s ok, sometimes it’s bad. Most of the time I find it too dry for my liking, almost like eating a meat dumpling only. However, when I went this time there was a lot of broth in it and it tasted much better. Maybe they have a new chef in the kitchen?
Another must try is their fried banana dessert which I give two thumbs up! If you like pumpkin, I actually really like their pumpkin puree which I find very refreshing (but my friends weren’t big fans.)
The staff are all generally friendly and helpful. They can tend to be too busy and miss out on you waving your hands at them for attention. Not to worry, they have a call button at each table where you can press for help if all else fails.
They were also quick to serve your order and when you need to change the gel they use for lighting the fire, etc. Overall, I would I have had good experiences so far and I haven’t seen any staff who are sulky or come with bad attitudes
Guo Fu Hotpot
20 Cross Street, #01-31 China Square Central
Xu Ting Hotpot
19 China Street, #01-01 Far East Square