Got to Clarke Quay with an izakaya in mind for lunch, but it poured so badly we found ourselves around this bubbling hot pot instead! Upin's relatively new and snugged on the 3rd floor of Clarke Quay Central. Can't say that I like this more than my fav HDL, but it was still really satisfying! We got the mushroom broth and ma la (why of course). Both broths started out lighter and became more flavourful half way through, as compared to HDL where the flavours hit you well from the start. Similarly, you also get to choose the amount of oil, level of spiciness as well as numbness for the ma la base. We went for the spiciest and it was good!

Prices are lower here, but they don't do half portions, so come in a bigger group to stretch your dollar! Some prices for comparison - Twin Pot ($14/$16, depending on the higher cost of soup among the two chosen), Black Pork ($10), Prawn Paste ($12), Indian Lettuce ($4), Kelp ($4), Wide Vermicelli ($5). Ingredients were fresh, quality and came in relatively big portions. Service was great too, we were served by a very friendly 吴阿姨! Beverages are free flow at $3 a pax, while access to the sauces, seasonings and fruit table is at $4 a pax. Upin takes reservations up till 6.30pm before the dinner crowd fills up the space, but is also open till 3am for supper. Will be back!

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