Reservation was made for a weekday evening as I last remembered The Magic of CQ was 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.
And with that, we started our buffet dinner priced at $34.90 per adult (weekday) with:-
1) Soups – 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.
2) One standard serving – 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.
Due to the (silly) 3000 characters limit, continue to read my review on other dishes here: PART2
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 Chongqinghas 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.
The Magic Of Chongqing Hotpot is the undisputed mother of steamboat buffet restaurants and popular for their rich chicken stock soup base. Other unique soup bases on offer are the mala chilli, herbal chicken, herbal turtle broth and hot pot with preserved vegetable. There is an unlimited supply of fresh ingredients such as thinly-sliced beef, sliced pork, fish paste, carp fillet, green vegetables, varieties of mushrooms and four dipping sauces to choose from. Wash all this down with a cup of fragrant (and good for digestion) eight treasures tea. For more Best Buffets reviews, read here http://www.hungrygowhere.com/gallery/52-best-buffets-in-singapore-*gid-fc280400/photos/#30df0700
For photos and more reviews, visit us at http://foodphd.wordpress.com!
There has been too many steamboat places popping up everywhere in Singapore, claiming to be from Chongqing, Sichuan etc. But for good quality affordable steamboat in a comfortable environment, do visit The Magic of ChongQing Hot Pot!
The Magic of ChongQing Hot Pot offers a wide range of the typical steamboat ingredients. Each ingredient was very fresh and well-prepared. A few items to point out were the fish paste, carp fish fillet, fillet of pork and bai ling mushrooms. The thin layer of fish paste was very fresh, absolutely no tinge of fishiness. Similarly, the thinly sliced carp fish fillet was fresh and very tender. The bai ling mushrooms could easily pass off as sliced abalone.
Each patron was also offered a standard serving of Meat and Chives Dumpling, Xiao Long Bao, Egg-coated Glutinous Squares, Fried Rolled Buns, Water Chestnut Jelly and Eight Treasure “Black Rice”. We particularly like the platter of desserts. The sweet treats were a good contrast to the salty steamboat.
We were also recommended to order the signature Eight Treasure Tea. Supposedly containing 8 different ingredients (though we could only isolate 6), the Eight Treasure Tea was fragrant and was a very good thirst quencher.
For good quality steamboat with fresh ingredients at an affordable price, the Magic of ChongQing Hot Pot is your best choice.
I was at Chongqing for reunion buffet dinner on 2/2/11 at around 530pm at the tanglin branch. They gave us a private room and we had 11 people eating with us. The following are the list of events that took place much to our displeasure:
1) We ordered the dishes and the waitresses did not bother making an effort to remember, having to come in and ask us at least 3 times. 2) After ordering the dishes, it took a long time for the dishes to come and even then, not all the dishes came, waitress giving the excuse that they were busy (usual excuse). It took a very long time for our fish maw to arrive (maybe becoz it is a more expensive dish). Even then, some of the fish maw we ate wasn't fresh and a bit spoilt as there is this "chao chor" taste and smell. 3) Halfway eating, there was a blackout at around 630pm and we had to sit in an almost pitch dark room for the next 15 min before the lights came on again. This we tolerated, but can you believe that at 7pm when I was barely half full with dishes that the waitresses had not finished serving after we ordered half an hour ago, a waitress came into the room and told us that we had to place our last order. I was thinking wtf....Our eating time was supposed to be up till 830pm and the waitress told us at 7pm that we had to make our last order??? You call this good service??? How could the restaurant hurry us when we had not even asked for compensation for them for disrupting our dining pleasure with the blackout??? the waitresses looked and sounded impatient and seemed eager for us to get lost and prepare the table for the next group of diners. (4) After dinner, when we settled the bill, my wife thought that we were entitled to $15 voucher for every dollar spent (not that we really "gian" the voucher but it was stated in an advertising poster at the restaurant), but was shocked when the restaurant manager told us they decided not to give the vouchers to customers on that occasion. I was thinking again...wtf....how could a restaurant place a poster telling people they were entitled to the vouchers and later tell people that they decided not to give them for no apparent reason. We went to this restaurant for reunion dinner on a couple of occasions before and they did give these vouchers.(5) Most restaurants give complimentary parking if patrons spend hundreds on the food, but this restaurant is so stingy that i believe all they have on their mind is to maximise on profits and scrimp on benefits given to customers. I spent a total of $627 on the reunion dinner and I did not feel that it was worth that money at all.
Chongqing in the early days was quite good, but over the years, the standard has gone down the drain terribly and to the extent that I will never go back there again even if I were given free meals there. At the very least, the food has to be fresh and the service standard up to scratch, but i no longer see it in chongqing. I will strongly discourage anyone I know from going to Chongqing as there are much better restaurants out there.
We booked a table for10 for 7 Feb 2016. When we went into the room, they already stood by 8 cups of cold 8 treasure tea. If it is complimentary, I have no comments, but each cup of tea is chargeable as an extra. We told them we did not want the tea and told themto take it away. They should notbe assuming everybody wants 8 treasure tea and have it cold so that is blunder number one. During the steamboat, we took orders that never showed up on at least 2 occasions and when we questioned the waitress (a thin old lady), she said in Chinese "it is like that during CNY". So is the restaurant saying that during CNY the standard will drop? I had to literally walk in n out of the room at least 5 times getting plates, glasses, and getting the waitress in to take orders etc. It is not my first time going to chongqing and can only say that their standard of service is getting from bad to worse.
It was the worst service that I ever had! The manager had the worst mannners and accused diners of things that they never did. To add insult to injury, she did not apologize!!
The customer service is the worst and the food is getting worse as well! Thus, I don't recommend people to come here to eat hot pot. It is not worth the time and money to go there for such an experience.