We were invited for the tasting at Beauty in a Pot at One KM but we rejected the invitation so that we could go on our own and write a fair and honest review. There is another outlet in the same mall on the second floor where you cannot make reservation; this new restaurant is on the third floor and you can make reservations. Imagine how popular the steamboat restaurant is, opening two outlets in one mall. (They have another one at The Centrepoint.)
The theme of this outlet is pastel pink, clearly meant to target women since the restaurant also recruited male models to give roses to female guests during this opening period. In their press release, they bold the sentence “A wonderland for the ladies!” It is all too heteronormative, get on with the times please. I saw openly gay Paralympic gold medalist Theresa Goh there and I don’t think male models giving her flowers would have any effect on her. But I’m sure the gay boy sitting at our next table would like to have a rose from them.
Besides the eyerolling heteronormativity, when we were there, most patrons came with families; so really, I’m not sure why they target female diners. For their opening promotion, I think most customers would prefer the restaurant take 10% off the bill rather than give roses.
My brother, who is a regular, mistook this outlet for the one on the second floor and said, “Did they renovate? Pink seems low class, compared to before.” Yikes.
The service is excellent but I felt extremely uncomfortable when they bowed 90 degrees to us every time after they served us. Come on, we are not Imperialists or Emperors or Japanese or dead; it seems so demeaning to the service staff. Seriously, we are a democracy and we are all equal. Service is just a job and there is no need for them to treat us like Kings and Queens or, in this pink decor, Princesses. Is it me or is this restaurant really backwards in its thinking? For example, they link collagen soup=ladies=pink=male models=roses and this bowing servitude? This restaurant brings us back to 1890.
Excellent as the service was, there were several teething problems. For example, there was an issue in receiving guests. People who made reservations and people who didn’t were dealt with in the same manner. Perhaps for such a busy restaurant, they require two receptionists, instead of one.
Secondly, we ordered the hotpot first and as an afterthought, we ordered the abalone yusheng ($39.80). We requested to serve the yusheng first because who eats yusheng after a meal, but the server said that they had already prepared the hotpot and ingredients and they were going to serve the hotpot first. Somehow, somebody–a manager?–intervened and told them to serve the hotpot first.
The new outlet serves six soup bases: shark’s cartilage soup, wild pine mushroom broth (vegetarian), spicy mala pork bone broth, tomato sweet corn broth, herbal drunken chicken broth, and coconut broth. Each broth costs about $7 to $9 and you can choose two or four. We chose four but my brother complained that the pot is too small and should have gone for two. But if we had chosen two soups–collagen (which is a must) and mala (because most of my family like spice)–my father and I cannot take spice and we can only have the collagen. First world problems.
The collagen shark’s cartilage is good, but I thought it isn’t as good as free-range chicken collagen at Tsukada Nojo; it is more watery and less sweet. The mala is more choking than spicy. The vegetarian mushroom broth is nice but no surprises. The drunken chicken broth is better.
You may also get the condiments and fruits for an extra $3.80. My parents and Chiobu got them, but my brother and I didn’t, and when we told them, the service trusted us, which is great. Also get the free-flow lou han guo ($3.80), which is very worth it.
The meat platter ($37.80), consisting of two beefs and two pork, is a good starter-kit for people like me who come to the restaurant in the first place.
But my siblings have been here countless times and Chiobu said, “Just order the most expensive beef! it’s delicious.” The US Wagyu beef ($49, pictured above) is indeed very good. Look at the marbling. It’s rich and clean and delicious.
The US Kurobuta pork ($20) is also good.
I don’t normally like fried beancurd skin ($9.80), but this one is really good. My siblings argued over the merit of eating it: one likes it still slightly crispy with texture, and the other likes it completely limp, soaking up the broth. Both ways are fantastic.
One last thing you must order is the Alaska crab stick ($13.80). It’s so fleshy and sweet. Everything we ordered here was essential. We paid $300 for five adults. It was a good meal.
Beauty in the Pot
11 Tanjong Katong Road #03-38/39 One Km Singapore 437157
tel: +65 6284 8810
11.30am – 3am daily (reservations accepted)
You may be interested in…
–San Laksa Steamboat Seafood Restaurant, Telok Blangah
–Crystal Jade Steamboat Buffet, Holland Village
–Seafood Paradise, Marina Bay Sands
–136 Hong Kong St Fish Head Steamboat, Clementi
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.