Visited Xian Pin Guo on my birthday (made a reservation there as I mistaken this restaurant for the one i originally desired) and it was such a disappointing birthday dinner.
It was a friday night and what first greeted me at the restaurant set the tone for what was to come. The restaurant was pretty much empty, barring the waitress and a man who was eating dinner there on his own.
My group of friends ordered the cooked ala-carte dishes first. Well there was nothing special about the house special prawns, sambal lala was sandy and I guess only the chicken drumlets were acceptable (honestly, it's difficult to go terribly wrong with drumlets).
We were there ultimately for the steamboat though thus we ordered the tomyam, chicken and herbal soup base for our 2 pots of steamboat. The tomyam tasted as unauthentic as you can imagine, the herbal soup was like plain water with the slightest hint of herbs, with only the chicken soup being passable. Any foodies will know a steamboat without a good soupbase will never be a good steamboat and... certainly that was the case here.
The sliced beef and pork were alright but the seafood selection was poor and definitely not fresh.
The ambiance and food had made the dinner pretty unpleasant, what made things worse was the waitress! Every now and then she will walked to our table to give us some weird look. No she was not trying to be attentive to see if we need any of her service. She was actually trying to check if we did finish our food! She kept warning us they charge for wastage and this when we did not order much at all!
Granted the whole dinner was not expensive at $16++ per pax however, I rather pay $50-100 per pax at Imperial Treasure Steamboat for a pleasant dinner experience with great food than this. Heck, there are so many steamboat places out there which offers great food, fantastic soup base and friendly staff at $20-30!
Certainly not a place I would recommend to anyone.