Get your fill of hot pot for only $15.90++ at Fatbird
Update (13 Mar 2019): Fat Bird at Bedok is now permanently closed.
I swore to never eat ma la for the next three years after completing the 72 hour ma la-only challenge. But in the words of Queen, “Don’t stop me now”. Nothing is going to stop me when there’s something quite as enticing as Fat Bird’s free-flow ma la or chicken stew hot pot buffet at only $15.90++. Heat things up this sweater weather season with some soul-warming hot pot.
Food at Fat Bird
This is the place to bring your friends or family if you’re looking to feast out on a budget. First, choose from eight Signature Pots: House Special Chicken, Spicy & Fragrant Chicken, Mushroom Herbs Chicken, Numbing & Fiery Chicken, Beef Brisket, Bullfrog, Pork Ribs, and Chicken Stew in Pig’s Stomach. Then proceed to take your pick from 40 sides to spam your hot pot with.
We opted for their Chicken Stew in Pig’s Stomach hot pot and the highly raved about Spicy & Fragrant Chicken pot.
The Chicken Stew in Pig’s Stomach hot pot features a pot of aromatic broth, with a generous portion of chicken, slices of chicken stomach, and a whole slew of herbs and spices.
You will find ingredients such as ginkgo nuts, dates, wolfberries, dang shen, dang gui, garlic, Chinese yam, carrots and more. This is a nourishing slow-boiled soup my parents would approve of. Robustly flavoured like a chicken version of bak kut teh, this dish ranks high on my comfort food list.
The chicken was the star of the dish. Each chunk was fall-off-the-bone tender and was pure joy to eat. The poached chicken stomach slices were also chewy and soft; I had no regrets starting my meal on this pot.
Eating ma la xiang guo has always been a pricey affair. You either get charged by portion or by weight. Fans of ma la will be heaving with excitement for this Spicy & Fragrant Chicken hot pot. Think, free-flow ingredients with no weight limit, or restless aunties urging you to make your choices faster.
Your dish will also be kept warm with a portable gas stove that comes along with every pot. So fret not and feast on. Essentially a stir-fried ma la, you can also ask for a top-up of broth or water when the pot gets too dry.
True to its name, this pot is not only spicy, but also extremely fragrant. The ma la base tainted everything it touched. You will get a savoury fix, followed by an intense and fiery kick from the 13 herbs and spices.
With a whopping 40 sides to choose from, you need to check your self-control before stepping in. Other than the usual vegetables, mushrooms, and meat, things you must order would be the Fried Tofu Strip, Winter Melon, Thick Vermicelli, Konjac, Quail Egg, and Handmade Noodle. Get more pork and beef slices to give more bang for your buck. However, make sure to keep an eye on them, as they get easily overcooked.
They also have a Fish Head Steamboat ($12.80++/$20.80++/$32.80++) which is well worth your attention. Just like a super zhnged-up version of fish slice soup at the hawker centre, this dish is chock full of tofu, seaweed, sweet boiled cabbage, and thick slices of fish. And when I say thick, I mean really thick.
My favourite part of this dish was the cloudy broth. It had a hint of milkyness that comes naturally from the ingredients. This is instead of adding evaporated milk – a practice done by many fish soup shops.
The fish used was red snapper and they came out best; cooked to some wonderfully juicy and meaty morsels.
Unlike the buffet, this a la carte dish doesn’t come with free-flow sides. If you’re sharing this pot with a friend, or if you’re just hankering for more, simply order some add-ons. An extra portion of eight thick fish slices will set you back $8.80++. I recommend the fish maw ($3.80++), as it soaks up the umami broth and adds a nicer mouthfeel when paired with rice.
Ambience at Fat Bird
Spacious and suitably chic, Fat Bird is tucked away at Heartbeat@Bedok, one of the largest integrated hubs in Singapore. After a day of activities at their culinary studio, library, or sports centre calls for a good buffet or meal. And Fat Bird is a great place to bring your family to, or hold large group gatherings at.
Both steamboat and ma la have been a perennial favourite for many of us. Opened till 12am, Fat Bird warrants a visit for early supper goers as well. The service here was attentive and charming, while prices for the buffet and steamboat are justified.
[Update: 13 March 2019: Fat Bird at Bedok has closed. Check out their other outlet at 4 Maju Ave, Singapore 556682]
Address: 4 Maju Avenue, Singapore 556682
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12pm to 3pm, 5pm to 11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm to 11pm
Photos taken by Tan Wen Lin.
This post is brought to you by Fat Bird.
– Extensive menu
– Value for money
– Good for large groups
– Great service
– Located a walk away from Bedok MRT station
Recommended Dishes: Chicken Stew in Pig’s Stomach and Ma La Buffet ($15.90++)
Operating Hours: Daily 12pm to 12am
Address: 11 Bedok North Street 1, #01-24, Heartbeat @ Bedok, Singapore 469662