Saturday, February 05, 2022

Coucou Hot Pot & Brew Tea at Suntec City Mall

Hot Pot

It's worth taking a minute to explain this place. First off, this is not the Swiss restaurant in Tanjong Pagar of the same name. Despite the spelling, it's not pronounced like the North African grain. It is not pronounced like the Japanese curry chain, nor the Thai hotpot place, even though this is a hotpot place too. In pinyin, the word is cou, which is not to be confused with chou from stinky tofu, but instead the word for "gathering together." Even though they pitch themselves as Taiwanese, this is a huge chain from the mainland. And they've now opened an outlet here in Singapore (3 Temasek Boulevard #03-332, 6992-2538).

Like many of those upscale hotpot places from China, it's elaborately decorated, with this one taking on a more traditional motif than Haidilao. It has attentive service and quality produce to go with it. And while the soup bases were pretty darned expensive, there were so many items inside that those could've been meals on their own, including not just all of the mushrooms above, but also the generous chunks of braised tofu that they added to our spicy soup. They even had a coconut chicken version available, although we didn't get it. Both of the broths that we tried above were decently fragrant, but were also rather soy-sauce heavy. That means that I still prefer Kuaile Xiaoyang or Da Long Yi, the former of which still has the best broth hands down.

The other thing that this place boasts about is their bubble tea, going so far as to even offer a takeout counter for it. I thus had my expectations pretty high, only to be let down, as the tea was nowhere near as fragrant as Bawangchaji, while the boba balls were limp and frail, making it pale in comparison to Chicha San Chen. If someone wants to come back here, I won't complain. But hopefully they are paying since it's not cheap.

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