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Best Mala Dishes in Singapore

There's nothing like a hot bowl of tongue-tingling, belly-warming mala when it's cold outside. Here are 8 places where you can get your spice on, prepare to sweat!

Green On Earth
Photo by Burppler Wei Zhi Chiang

For Fragrant Vegetarian Mala in the West
If vegetarian dishes have a bland rep in your books, don't look past this store's meatless rendition of mala that holds its own. It's fresh, fragrant, spicy — these guys are definitely heavy-handed with the peppercorns. While a little pricer than usual at $3 for 100g, it's worth the money for a #MeatlessMonday ma la lunch. Make sure to add Noodles or Vermicelli to your bowl to soak up every bit of that mouth-watering sauce!

Ri Ri Hong Mala Xiang Guo
Photo by Burppler Hui Ying Ang

For a Queue-Worthy Bowl
Ask anyone for a mala recommendation and Ri Ri Hong is the probably the first name you'll hear — and for good reason. With decent prices and a great variety of ingredients, it has become a constant for mala fans all over Singapore. For $12, you could get a medley of pork slices, lotus root, tofu skin, Chinese cabbage, king oyster mushrooms, and two bowls of rice. Go during off-peak timings to skip the queue!

Piao Xiang Mala (ION Orchard)
Photo by Burppler Alicia Kho

For Mala Zi Char
Seek out this mala joint in a quiet corner of ION Orchard's food court. You're here for their impressive zi char dishes, soaked in housemade mala sauce that sees the use of over 30 types of spices. We recommend their Mala Crispy Fried Fish ($16), which is light and crisp to the bite. The medium spice level packs a punch without numbing your senses to the umami flavours. We also love that the dishes are well-balanced — neither too oily nor salty.

Photo by Burppler Jayson Yeo

For Quality Mala Hot Pot at Amoy Street
For top-notch Mala ($19.80 for a bowl) sans the oily residue that pools at the base of the bowl, this one's for you! Every ingredient is satisfyingly crunchy and is thoroughly coated with flavourful mala sauce. The Pork Belly in Garlic ($12.80) is good for a snack but if you need something to work up an appetite, Burppler Veronica Phua suggests going for the Beef With Pickles In Sour Soup ($25.80). The appetite-whetting broth comes with straw mushrooms, vegetables and strips of fatty beef.

Wan Xing Mala Xiang Guo
Photo by Burppler Kristen Yeo

For Midnight Mala Cravings
Located in Kovan, this 24-hour mala joint offers a wide array of fresh ingredients including unique stuff like spinach noodles, tea tree mushrooms, as well as pig intestines. They go all out on heat here, so unless you're a spice fiend, we suggest going one down on your usual spice level. Their flavour-packed sauce is so good, it makes that steep price tag ($22 for two pax) worth paying for.

Le Fuse
Photo by Burppler Lim Hui Xian

For Halal Mala Classics
Le Fuse is an unusual name for a place specialising in mala and other Sichuan dishes, but this Muslim-owned restaurant on Arab Street will surprise you. Their Mala Xiang Guo (from $12.80) is filled with goodies like lotus root, black fungus, chicken sausages, mushrooms, leafy greens, and yummy spices. Burppler Blanche Tan says it has "some sort of fused spices or cooking methods that made it taste just slightly different, and much less oily!" Are you a daredevil? Burppler Lim Hui Xian recommends the Poached Fish in Chilli Oil ($19.80), which is "Super spicy. Eat with caution!"

Gong Yuan Ma La Tang
Photo by Burppler Charlene Chee

For Drinkable Mala Tang
With outlets all over the island, including in Westgate, Kovan, Funan, and Suntec City, Gong Yuan Ma La Tang is relatively consistent in their quality to offer a darn good bowl of mala from $7.70. Burppler Jessica imSOHhungry likes their tomato soup base, "I like that this does not have a layer of chilli oil, this is a mixture of pork broth and mala, very drinkable". Burppler Ivan Teh says the mushroom soup base, which has a "deep earthy herbal sweet savoury flavour. This warm soup is pure comfort on cold or rainy days".

Ding Ding Hong Ma La Xiang Guo
Photo by Burppler Gladys Tan

For Mala in Tanjong Pagar
This popular mala stall in Maxwell Food Centre consistently racks up long queue during lunch hour, so expect to wait if you go past 11.45am. Prices are very affordable for the portions you get, and Burppler lcfoodbelly 😋 paid $12.50 for a big bowl with chicken meat, lotus root, cucumber, Chinese sausage, spam, mushrooms, potatoes, beancurd skin, and noodles. Burppler Gladys Tan find this "more flavourful than the more well-known ones at Hong Lim Food Centre".