If you’re into hotpot culture, chances are you’ve heard of Haidilao Hot Pot. This world-renowned hot pot restaurant has opened over 700 branches across China, Singapore, Malaysia, U.S., South Korea, Japan, Canada, and Australia since it was first established in 1994. Currently, there are 6 Haidilao branches in Malaysia, including in Sunway Pyramid, Pavilion, and 1 Utama.
You’ve probably seen the nightmarish queues outside each outlet, and some patrons have even claimed to wait up to 3 hours just to get in! However, the fact that people are willing to wait is a good testimony to Haidilao. Besides their delicious, mouth-watering food, their top-notch customer service has left lasting impressions on each visitor.
If you want to visit Haidilao and want to make the most out of your time and money, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out how to do Haidilao right in Malaysia!
1. Planning is everything at Haidilao Malaysia
If you have your heart set on going to Haidilao on a certain day, it pays to plan ahead of time. Queue numbers are given out three times a day: 10am for lunch, 2pm for dinner, and 6pm for supper. So, make sure to be there early! Fortunately, you’ll be given a QR code that allows you to check your queue status anytime, so you can always hang out somewhere else in the meantime.
Another way you can cut short the waiting time is by booking, which you can do two weeks in advance. It’s better to play it safe, after all. If all else fails, we recommend going during non-peak hours.
2. Take advantage of the waiting time
What kind of restaurant serves free-flow snacks and gives out free manicures to customers while they’re waiting? Well, Haidilao does! Feel free to snack on crackers, popcorn, ice cream cups, and even tong sui. Just remember to leave enough space for your actual meal.
Haidilao takes customer service to the next level with their manicure services. Don’t worry if you didn’t manage to get one before your number was called, as the staff will hand you a manicure card that is redeemable on your next visit.
On top of that, Haidilao has a great way to keep visitors occupied while waiting. Haidilao has an origami folding station, and those who manage to fold 20 get a free portion of la mian or pulled noodles, while those who fold 30 are awarded a half-portion of a vegetable. Those who succeed in folding 80 paper cranes get to choose any dish under RM20. So, start practicing your origami skills!
Now we know why Haidilao’s customers are always so happy – they never go hungry, and never get bored.
3. Get a taste of everything, at a reasonable price
Anyone who has dined out in a big group is familiar with the struggle of trying to order something that suits everyone’s tastes. “Okay, let’s go for this one … Wait, I can’t take spicy food! … Okay, what about this one? … But I’m allergic to seafood!” … and it goes on and on.
Well, you won’t have that problem at Haidilao. Haidilao offers a wide range of aromatic broths to cook your dishes in, including tomato soup, mushroom soup, pork stomach and chicken soup, their infamous Sichuan spicy broth, and the laksa broth that can only be found in Malaysia.
Simply opt for the 4-grid pot, so everyone has something that they like. Besides that, the 4-broth option amounts to about the same price as the 1- or 2-broth options, so there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain! What’s more, the broths are refillable, and if it gets too diluted, simply ask for more soup paste from the attentive waiters.
There is also a personal hotpot option for those prefer to dine alone (though Haidilao usually provides a plush companion for single diners), or for those who prefer not to share for hygiene or allergy reasons. The queue for personal hotpots is usually shorter, so that’s a win!
As for meat and vegetables, make sure to order half portions instead of full portions. This way, you’ll be able to sample more dishes and will still be able to walk after you’re done eating.
4. Spice things up with the epic sauce bar
Haidilao’s extensive sauce bar has every type of dipping sauce you can imagine. Here, you can find sesame sauce with cilantro, vinegar, chives, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic sauce, and chilli oil, just to name a few. Feel free to unleash the creative culinary artist in you and mix the sauces!
If you’re a little clueless, there is a guide on sauce mixing available. Alternatively, if you want to have the work done for you, you may ask the staff to help you mix the sauces. Otherwise, just ask for their Haidilao sauce, which works as a truly divine pairing for nearly all the dishes.
There is also a wide range of fresh fruits and desserts available on display at the bar. The best part is that everything is refillable, and you only have to pay a mere RM8 to enjoy them. If you ask us, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
5. Make the most out of your birthday at Haidilao Malaysia
You can definitely count on Haidilao to make your special day even better. Besides the usual Happy Birthday song performance, you also get a fruit platter that is big enough to share with the whole table. Senior citizens, on the other hand, get to enjoy longevity buns that symbolise long life.
Of course, Haidilao won’t forget your birthday present. If you’re lucky, you’ll get one of their packaged soup base products! This way, you can spend the rest of your birthday week recreating your own hotpot at home.
P.S. If you fancy a second ‘performance’, go ahead and order the la mian. Just don’t be surprised when the chef comes out and does a brief, mesmerising dance with some noodle dough, before proceeding to put it in your soup and disappearing!
Those are all the tips we have for you! We wish you all the best on your Haidilao experience in Malaysia. If you consider yourself a foodie, you might want to check out more articles on LokaTaste.