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Hai Di Lao was a household name to steamboat lovers for many reasons. Some like to indulge in up to four types of soup bases in one meal; some will think that it is entertaining to watch the noodle master’s live in action; some will say that they are pampered from the time they step in until they leave the place; and some will simply visit because of positive reviews.

However, as an informed diner, I know that Hai Di Lao Hot Pot is not heaven for steamboat goers, but more of an experience of slightly above average food with service that exceeds expectations. I thought that their Beef Ball with Cheese was quite delicious, but apart from that, most of the other things in the menu seem to be no different from other steamboat buffet restaurants.

That said, I really loved their Tomato Soup Base, for the fact that it was tangy enough without appearing to be too salty at first contact.

Reservations at this restaurant is almost like a mandatory action, so long as you are not willing to stand or sit at the waiting area. Some say the reservation window period is about one week in advance, but if you are really lucky, you might be allocated a table for 2 or 4 if reservation is made the day before. Just make sure you start the meal with an empty stomach.

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