Dinner @ The Magic Of Chongqing

October 11, 2014 in Chinese by thywhaleliciousfay

It has been a long while since I was back at Tanglin shopping Centre for food. but a craving for steamboat had me re-visiting The Magic Of Chongqing that’s located at the fourth storey of the said building. And this would be my fourth time back at the restaurant, although my last visit was more than 3 years ago. Oops!

Reservation was made for a weekday evening as I last remembered they were always packed. So I was a little surprised to see a few empty tables upon our arrival and through our dinner. But nonetheless, I am always happy to know restaurants are still in operation after all these years. =)

Upon seated, what happened next took place really fast. Before we warmed our seats, the staff came over and asked for our selection of soups. Since we knew at least 1 of the soups has to be spicy, we were quick in going with ma-la tang. And while debating over our choice for the second soup, the staff mentioned there’s also a shark’s bone cartilage soup on top of their menu’s ‘old faithful chicken broth’ and ‘preserved sour vegetable in chicken broth’. And hence we decided to go with that.

Once the first staff left after taking our order for soup and drinks, a second staff came and said she’ll start us with some dishes. I guess the staff assumed everyone was here for their buffet. But having been here and being too hungry to compare the a-la carte and buffet menus, we nodded our heads and let them took charge.

The staff also told us of their three magical steps:-
1) Cooked food to be first dipped into their specialty prepared sauce to reduce the temperature and spiciness of food. And to further enhance the taste of dishes
2) Freshly made sweet & savoury tid-bits served in between the meal to refresh our palate and let us carry on enjoying the hot pot meal
3) Chilled or hot eight treasure tea to help reduce heatiness and bring balance to the Yin and Yang within the body which is beneficial to one’s health

And with that, we started our buffet dinner priced at $34.90 per adult (weekday) with:-

1) Soups (above) – We went with ma-la tang and shark’s bone soup. We topped up additional $20 for the latter which had the staff putting in 2 balls of the goodness into the soup. I will definitely recommend the shark’s bone soup. The soup was rich, flavorful and sweet. The staff were not lying when they said “We recommend to 10 people and all 10 people liked it.” For the ma-la tang, there’re 3 levels of spiciness. The default spiciness is ‘standard’ but we were given ‘mild’. I guess the words ‘cannot take chilli’ must have been written across my face. Haha. My dining partner was of course slightly disappointed. He wanted his tongue to go numb.

2) One standard serving (above) – Part of the buffet menu, we were each given one standard serving of handmade pork ball, fish golden nugget, handmade fish noodle sausage and crispy spring roll at the start of our dinner.

3) Miscellaneous selections by staff (above) – And this was somewhat like a ‘starter kit’ to help us kick start our buffet dinner. We were served prawns, fish paste, shrimp wantons, variety of balls, chicken fillet, fillet of pork, tau kee, beancurd and a variety of vegetables.

4) Miscellaneous selections by us (above) – We were almost full from the batch of dishes which the staff arranged for us, but I wanted quail eggs. Ha. And so, we ordered quail eggs, pork ball, luncheon meat, vermicelli and… More fish paste!

5) Savoury tidbits (above) – And when we were cooking our additional dishes, we were each served one standard serving of meat & chives dumpling and xiao long tang bao. The xiao long bao was slightly out of shape as the staff served the dishes with the plate of dumplings placed on top of the tray containing the xiao long bao.

6) Sweets (above) – Egg coated glutinous square, fried rolled bun and water chestnut jelly. Towards the end of our dinner, we were given a standard serving each.

7) Sweets with options of:

(A) Eight treasure “black rice” (above)

(B) Ice cream of the day (above) – Flavours change on a daily basis. We had taro when we visited. Nice.

8) Hot “eight treasure” tonic tea, $4.50 (above) – Upon the staff’s recommendation, we ordered this from the beverage menu. We went with hot rather than cold. And it’s free flow. A lady with a long-arm pot would come round and top up the water of our tea. In my older visits, the staff (a male) would put up a little performance by pouring the water with the flask behind his head. But now, the female staff poured it normally. We were also taught to drink the tea properly (in the traditional manner) by using the lid to push the stuff to one side before drinking.

When it comes to steamboat, the few things which I look out for are the quality of food (freshness), the dipping sauce and if the place is air-conditioned (Need not be very cold though). I prefer eating in comfort lah. So The Magic of Chongqing has met all my requirements, as with previous visits.

And service was great. Besides designating staff to allocated tables to make sure customers’ needs were taken care of, they also have a system where additional staff would go on their regular rounds in topping up our soup and tea. And while talking to staff, they learnt that we preferred our ma-la tang to be spicier. And they immediately offered to up the spiciness level. However, since we were halfway through our dinner, we turned them down. But it was a great gesture nonetheless.

So yes, I will recommend The Magic of Chongqing!

19 Tanglin Road, Tanglin Shopping Centre, #04-06/07, Singapore
6734 8135, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sun : 18:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 8