Chill Gen by Xin Wang (or in Chinese, 潮eat代, pronounced Chao Eat Dai) at Cineleisure brings you the highlights from the original Xin Wang Hong Kong Café menu, and adds a new hearty hot pot buffet offering. Chill Gen provides a budget friendly option ($18.80++, $24.80++ on Fri, Sat and Public Holidays after 5pm) for anyone looking to have a gathering with family and friends, especially on a cold rainy day (hey, it can get cold in Singapore too, ok?).
As an ala carte buffet, the ordering process is simple enough. Their signature base is the papaya soup, made with chicken stock and, of course, papaya. I order additional papayas as I prefer a sweeter and stronger papaya flavour. The spice hunter that I am also appreciates the savoury homemade fragrant spicy soup.
On top of the free flow of meat, seafood, vegetables, starches and add-ons, each person gets a serving of the premium items (scallop, ebiko fish paste, and Iberico pork belly). I especially recommend getting extra servings of the Iberico pork belly ($9.80++), as it is amazingly tender owing to the right combination of meat and streaky fat.
In the short interval between ordering and the arrival of the food, you can hop on over to the sauce station to customise your own dipping sauces. It may not appear to have as wide a variety as other notable hot pots, but all the essentials are there, and then some. The sesame sauce goes well with the meats, as the slight sweetness of it balances the savouriness of the soup bases. The fried garlic powder is something I haven’t seen elsewhere, and adds a rich flavour and nice crunch to the sauce.
The ingredients are fresh, and notable items include the succulent asari clams, the dried beancurd roll which you can either soak in the soup or dunk and eat it still crunchy, the sweet smoked duck slices, and the Teochew porkballs which remain pinkish and maintain a good bite even after soaking in the boiling soup.
Do not forget the pork ball with minced meat. It sounds like pork overkill, but the outer layer allows the mincemeat middle to retain the umami juice (be warned though: let it cool down first, else you might burn your tongue). Oh yes, for someone who usually abhors cephalopods, I am pleasantly surprised that the baby squids agree with me owing to just the right amount of bite.
With good food, great value, prompt service and no need to queue for a table, there really isn’t much to fault the dining experience. Yes, one of the service staff is a little green and could use a tad more training, but looking beyond that, this is a great place for NS boys, students, and young working adults.
Chill Gen by Xin Wang 潮eat代
Cathay Cineleisure #02-11, 8 Grange Road, Singapore 239695
tel: +65 6235 6480
Sun-Th 11am–11pm, F, Sat & Eve of PH 11am – 2am
Written by Tan Ken Jin. True to the name of this website, KJ is closely associated with rubbish, organising litter-picking activities that culminate in a makan session (because #Singaporean). That, and he once tried marinating salmon in blueberry juice and orange juice. He survived.