Sunday, September 24, 2017

Hai Di Lao (313@Somerset)

Hai Di Lao is one of those places where it is obvious that they want to win over customers not only through their food, but through the extra perks which are not available elsewhere. 

Founded in 1994 in China, Hai Di Lao serves mainly Sichuan style hotpot. While you are waiting for your turn, you get a free platter of snacks- both unhealthy and healthy. You can also arrange for a free manicure session. In my case, the screen cover on my phone was starting to have little bubbles and the staff helped to replace the sheet free of charge. Before and after the meal, the waitresses will also give you hot towels for you to freshen up.

The first thing to do is to order your soup base. In this case, we decided to go with the mushroom soup and the chicken soup ($18). I really liked their soup because of the rich flavour which didn't leave a lingering MSG taste.

We ordered half a portion of Black Pork ($9.50). Half portions are good because you can order a larger variety of food.

Of all things, the Sweet Corn ($6) was rather disappointing because it wasn't really sweet.

The Handmade Fishballs (half portion for $5) were nothing like the fishballs we are used to. Instead, it contained roe and was very bouncy. A must order.

The chicken (half portion for $6) was well marinated.

The food was definitely decent (although its price tag is on the higher side). What you are really paying for is the good service, the "freebies" and the theatric effects. We ordered the noodles ($4) and one of their staff came by and pulled the noodles before us, while attempting to "tease" us by swinging the noodles inches in front of your eyes. Next to us, there was a man who was celebrating his birthday and a waitress rolled a trolley with different fruits, LED lights of every colour and Chinese music blasting together with a trolley.  Needless to say, the staff topped this off with a loud birthday song.

Overall, an enjoyable experience although I would go to this place for special occasions because I can probably find the same quality of food at cheaper prices elsewhere.

Hai Di Lao 
313 @ Somerset
313 Orchard Road
Tel No: 6835 7227 


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