Whether it’s a comforting yet fiery bowl of malatang, or a mouth-numbing mala xiang guo, it’s undeniable that mala is all the rage right now amongst Singaporeans. Below, we list a bunch of places that you should visit when you need your usual dose of spice – from mala xiang guo hawker stalls to spicy Szechuan hot pots.
Spicing things up at Jewel Changi Airport is the popular Shanghainese malatang chain Red Lips, with their addictive, mouth-numbing gravy base and premium ingredients. Get your personalised, individual hotpot bowls to-go. Try their Beef Slices served shabu shabu style, and the Beef Tripe which goes great with the spicy gravy. If you’re a little timid, add some of their Creamy Sesame sauce that’ll bring the spice level down a notch.
Where: Jewel Changi Airport #B2-263, Singapore 819666
One of the most affordable mala xiang guo options you’ll find in Singapore, Mala Hotpot at Happy Hawkers Coffeeshop provides generous portions of ingredients, plus a very reliable and consistent mala flavour. Located just outside the Bedok bus interchange, this should be every East-siders’s go-to mala xiang guo option.
Where: Happy Hawkers, 204 Bedok North Street 1, Singapore 460204
Three Good Guys
Combining Singaporeans’ love for mala and salted egg is Three Good Guys, with their well-known Salted Egg Yolk Mala Xiang Guo. Headed by a local trio that experiments with flavours and food trends to offer their patrons new and interesting dishes, this stall at Golden Mile Food Centre is definitely in a league of its own.
Where: Golden Mile Food Centre, 505 Beach Road #01-108, Singapore 199583
Upin Hot Pot
Although HaiDiLao Hotpot gets all the praise, Upin is a strong contender when it comes to spicy hotpot soup bases. This chain establishment offers the Sichuan Spicy Pot, which you can chuck all your meats and vegetables into, and have it turned spicy and mouth-numbingly good. For those who can’t handle spiciness well, you might also want to try their Signature Tomato Pot while you’re there!
Where: 6 Eu Tong Sen Street #03-87, Singapore 059817
Mala Xiang Guo
An unassuming stall at one of Clementi’s coffeeshops, the mala xiang guos here made our cut because of its crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside thinly-sliced potatoes, springy instant noodles and good selection of meats and vegetables. In fact, its sister stall just beside it offers some tasty la mian noodles too, including a spicy Szechuan la mian soup.
Where: Food Pavilion, 443 Clementi Ave 3, Singapore 120443
Xiao Man Niu Mala Xiang Guo
A mala xiang guo eatery that seems to be aggressively expanding around malls in Singapore, Xiao Man Niu Mala Xiang Guo serves both malatang and mala xiang guo, plus some other mala side dishes. We won’t deny that this one’s a little pricier than we like, but the vermicelli, kelp and okra here go really well with both the soups and stir-frys. And if it’s any consolation, you won’t have to sweat it out in the Singaporean heat, as most of their eateries are air-conditioned.
Where: The Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green #01-41, Singapore 138617
Which is your go-to mala place? Tell us in the comments below!