Fu Lin Men Dou Lao Steamboat (福临门豆捞) – Bespoke Pot of Brew in North Canal Road
Fu Lin Men (福临门) symbolizes fortune bestowed upon one’s home while Dou Lao (豆捞) is a kind of steamboat concept that is widely acknowledged as the “royals” of steamboat in modern China as it focuses on improving one’s health and vitality through food. The term, Dou Lao, is also a play of words, meaning scooping everything – health, wealth and fortune – together.
The brand was founded by orthopaedic specialist and senior researcher, Professor Zhang Ming. Prof. Zhang is the head of Taizhou Orthopaedics Hospital and Dafeng Tongren College Hospital. He comes from a family of medical academicia who treasures their pot of nutritious home brew more than its weight in gold. During his visits to Singapore, Prof. Zhang struggled to find a healthy soup close to his liking. Hence, he decided to build his Dou Lao steamboat brand based on traditional broths in Singapore through a business partnership with a like-minded gourmet and former banker, Simon Lim.
The 220-seater 3-storey corner shop house has 7 private rooms and each table is fitted with personal hot pots, complete with its individual temperature control knobs. The fundamental difference of their Dou Lao concept lies with their use of rare, top-drawer ingredients in its broths and the platters of freshly harvested meat, greens and seafood. There is no processed food, preservatives or chemical additives. They are strict to the extent that all instant noodles have no layer of wax and are healthier than the usual ones we find at supermarkets. Each simmering personal Dou Lao pot is layered with skin-boosting collagen, easily digestible vitamins, protein, minerals and antioxidants. The tastes are enriched dynamically by the individual guest’s picks of fresh seafood, silvers of marbled beef, freshly cut vegetables of varied colours, handcrafted dumplings, meat-balls and rare seasonal mushrooms.
Fu Lin Men Dou Lao actually opened its doors last April but Prof. Zhang and Simon decided to do their media launch and grand opening only on 16 January in order to time it with Chef Nian Shu Jian’s arrival. Master Chef Nian, 35, is the two-time winner of the grand Manchu and Han royal imperial court feast (known as “Man Han Quan Xi”) culinary quest in 2007 by China Central Television. In 2015, the in-demand chef was also one of the top 8 culinary representatives who joined the current Premier of State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Li Ke Qiang, on his official visit to Paris, France. During the former cultural and culinary exchanges, Chef Nian’s “Celestial Dumplings” (水中仙) won China and him the prestigious “Golden Award” by the international panal of experts at the 2015 Paris International Cup – Chinese Food International Cultural Festival.
There are five different broth bases but Chef Nian highly recommended Fu Lin Men’s Signature Golden Imperial broth. He explained to us that this broth is a Manchu and Han Imperial Feast classic favoured by the royals, especially the concubines, during the Qing dynasty. This broth is painstakingly brewed for over 12 hours with fresh red carrot puree, chicken bone marrows, pork shin and thigh with skin and dry-aged cured ham. It is presented with gold flakes on top of the broth. This broth represents the element of gold and the other four broths here are created and named after the four remaining elements in the ancient study of Feng Shui. Wood is represented by the Vitality Wild and Cultured Mushroom Broth, water element is embodied in the milky Longevity Toufu Broth, fire is appropriately represented by the Sizzlingly Chilli Broth and lastly, earth is represented by the Nourishing Tomato Broth.
For just $2, you get free flow appetizers, fruits and 16 different kinds of sauces for you to mix and match. There are also unlimited Tauhuey and Mango pudding desserts too! Lunch sets are available at $18.80 but dinner will be ala carte style. Their spicy Black Fungus packs a good punch and it’s so appetizing. Our first dish was Family Bliss Freshly Handcrafted Dou Lao Meat Balls 六六⼤大顺滑丸 – 全家福丸滑 ($7). There are six different flavoured meatballs such as prawn meat ball with golden roe, beef meat ball with cheese, squid meat ball with chocolate, chicken meat ball, pork meat ball with waterchest nut & white black fungus and seafood meat ball with golden mushrooms. Our favourites are the squid meat ball with chocolate and beef meat ball with cheese. The former has a good balance of savoury and sweetness, quite a unique flavour and we believe ladies will love this! The latter might suit guys more but we like it for the cheese, which gives the beef a salty flavour.
We also had their Beer Marinated Marbled Beef 啤酒牛肉 ($28) and this was marinated to perfection. The beer taste is so mild such that you find the beef a little sweet. We like how succulent and tender the meat is. There is a Freshly Cultured Sea Prawns with Marbled Beef set ⾦金丝极品肥⽜牛凤尾虾 ($18). Their Premier Oxtail 养生牛尾骨 ($10) was very well done too.
The presentation of the next dish, Fresh Live Seabass 金目鲈 ($38) might not look too appetizing unless you’re a fish lover but it tastes so wonderful. The fish is very fresh with thinly sliced meat so tender it simply melts in your mouth after you cooked it in your individual steamboat pot. Do take note that fresh live stock of seafood is based on first-order-first-serve basis and while stock lasts.
If you love your greens just like we do, go for their Fresh Oriental Greens and Wild and Cultivated Mushrooms ⽥田园什锦蔬菜拼盘 ($10) or Bountiful Blessings of Three Treasures吉祥三宝（⽺羊肚菌、松茸菌、猴头) ($28). These treasures are Morel, Matsutake and Lion’s Mane Mushrooms.
Next up was a unique dish, Wild Bamboo Pith with Fresh Prawn Paste 经典野生⽵竹荪虾滑 ($18). This is truly a great combination as we like the texture of the wild bamboo pith, as well as, the flavourful taste of their fresh prawn paste. Simply match-made in heaven!
Other dishes were their Fresh Beancurd Pockets with Fresh Seafood Paste ($10) and the House of Gold Pineapple Glutinous Rice ($9). Check out the exquisitely delicate sculpture of the Buddha, it’s made using salt! WOW! Both were delectable and we really liked the pineapple glutinous rice, which was a little sweet-sourish, very refreshing! It’s a perfect way to end your meal with great level of satisfaction. Overall, Fu Lin Men Dou Lao stays true to its brand mission by focusing on fresh and live produce from the region. The good news is, they are open everyday throughout Chinese New Year!
Fu Lin Men Dou Lao
Address: 16 North Canal Road, Singapore 048828
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm (lunch) and 6pm – 10pm (dinner) daily
Let’s build a food community that helps to update the food news in Singapore! Simply comment below if there’s any changes or additional info to Fu Lin Men Dou Lao. We will verify and update from our side. Thanks in advance!