Monday, December 23, 2019

Hai Di Lao Steamboat 海底捞火锅 @ Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang.

When one of the biggest international Hotpot brands- Hai Di Lao 海底捞火锅 announced its presence in Penang, the news got fellow Hotpot fans in Penang as excited as kids. The hotpot restaurant lured in relentless queues during its opening month. Like all of its branches worldwide, Hai Di Lao is offering its top-notch hospitality, additional value-added services as well as authentic Chinese hotpot experience. The whole experience starts with waiting in line to get in the restaurant... free snacks like pop corns, desserts, fresh fruits or even ice cream at the waiting area; after you are escorted to your table, warm towels are handed out followed by phone plastic covers and glasses cleaners before a thorough introduction on the menu. There is a dedicated server whom will introduce his/ her name to you so it feels like you are well-looked after here. The menu is not as extensive as compared to our neighbor country- Singapore's but the prices are definitely lower (after currency conversion that is). Expect to budget at least Rm 50 per pax, likely to be more if you are going in a smaller group. The upscale hotpot restaurant can be found at Level 4 of Gurney Paragon Mall.



[Clockwise] Mushroom Soup 菌汤火锅 (Rm 10), Tomato Soup 番茄火锅 (Rm 10), Pig's Stomach Pepper Soup 猪肚胡椒火锅 (Rm 10) and Pig's Bone Soup 三鲜火锅 (Rm 10)

Hai Di Lao has started its reservation system in late October 2019 and there are 2 ways to make advance reservation. The slot for reservation opens on every Monday (Tuesday and Wednesday if you are in luck and not fully booked by Monday) and you can either call to book (in which the phone line does not always work) OR scan the QR code (available right in front of the restaurant daily at 10:30 am for lunch and 4:30 pm for dinner) to make booking. Failure to do so, join the crowd or queue on that day as walk-in customers. On one fine Sunday morning, yours truly queued for 45 minutes before stepping into the restaurant. 

Rm 8 will be charged to each diner whom wants to take the dips and sauces at the display counter, additional Rm 5 for drinks. On our visit, we had Mushroom Soup, Tomato Soup, Pig's Stomach Pepper Soup and Pig's Bone Soup... flavors seemed to be milder than the ones we had in Singapore but if you must know, the signature Tomato Soup outshined the rest. The ingredients were quite straight-forward but they were all fresh; worth-mentioning one was the hand-pulled noodle that comes with a performance though the server did not really "pull" the noodles well... leaving a huge knot at the end. The total damage for the 4 of us including taxes was Rm 310.


Australian Beef Slices 澳洲牛上脑 (Rm 19/ half portion)


Pork Belly Slices 猪五花肉 (Rm 32/ full portion)


Fish Balls 鱼丸 (Rm 10/ half portion)


Fresh Fish Maw 鱼鳔 (Rm 15/ half portion)


Fish 无刺巴沙鱼片 (Rm 15/ half portion), Beancurd 鲜腐竹 (Rm 7/ half portion), Beancurd Sheets 豆腐皮 (Rm 7/ half portion) and Shrimp Paste 招牌虾滑 (Rm 21/ half portion)


Deep Fried Sticky Rice served with Brown Sugar 红糖糍粑 (Rm 12)


Hand-pulled Noodles 捞派捞面 (Rm 9)


Ratings:
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 8/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 6.5/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Parking: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 8/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Non-Halal
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: Yes 6%

Additional Information:
Business Hours: 10:30 am to 3 am. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 429 1263

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