Ming Tang Jiu Gong Ge Hotpot (名堂九宫格火锅) in Bugis – That is really HUGE!
Located at Bugis Cube along North Bridge Road, Jiu Gong Ge Hotpot is the latest trendy hotpot place to go in Bugis to get your mala fix. They sell your typical mala hotpot, but erm, it’s bigger. And we really mean much bigger.
Different from the normal round pot, 9-grid Hot Pot is divided into 9 sectors. Using the same soup base, you can boil your favourite side dishes without mixing with others. The heat varies from sector to sector, with the centre being the highest.
You’ll find plenty of fresh hot pot ingredients, ranging from mouthwatering meats like kurobuta pork, frogs, mala chicken, to seafood like spicy baby lobster, as well as plenty of vegetables, rice and noodles. You can order an ala-carte or go for the seafood set at $118 (2-3pax), $148 (4-5pax) and $198 (6-7pax).
While hotpots provide warmth during rainy days like this, it is also a communal eating experience that makes it memorable. My group of 5 sat around the hotpot, dipping and chatting and generally having a great time. We ordered the seafood set for 4-5 pax. There were at least 50 clams in the pot and a whole lot of other fresh seafood like bamboo clams, lobsters, crabs and more.
We looked at each other and the pot. Then we dug back in. Slowly and steadily, we conquered every piece of crustacean, slurping the juices from the prawn and lobster head quietly while listening to the list of Chinese songs played in the restaurant. If seafood is not your thing, go for the ala carte menu where you can order the meats.
The seafood has been pre-cooked before steeping in the hotpot that is slick with oil and heaped with cilantro. More than 10 spices are used to make the soup, all we feel is the signature mouth-tingling after every sip. Even so, it tasted so good. I was trying to render some self-control but all seems futile. In fact, it wasn’t my first time here. The previous time, we had mala grilled fish here and it’s delicious too. To cool the tongue, you might land on the a can of soya bean (or maybe not), which we thought was homemade.
As with all hotpot, concoct your own chilli dip to go with the mala. But seriously, I don’t think there is a need here because the soup itself is already power. At the end of the feast, we all join in and sip the broth as a last course; it has absorbed all the flavors of the seafood that have gone before.
It’s definitely a perfect way to start December and a great team lunch to get to know each other better. 🙂
Jiu Gong Ge Hotpot 九宫格火锅
Address: 470 North Bridge Road #01-02, Bugis Cube, Singapore 188735
Phone: +65 63383405
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MissTamChiak.com paid its own meal at the stall featured here.