It was my day off from work and after the previous two futile attempts to eat their signature Bijin Nabe (美人锅 a.k.a. beauty hotpot), I had the sudden inspiration to go queue for it and found a friend to go with me as a minimum of 2 persons are required in order to order this hotpot.
Bijin Nabe 「美人鍋」 – It’s a hotpot using quality collagen soup of free-range JIDORI chicken from Miyazaki, Japan, served with various vegetables, shrimps and other nutritional ingredients. The chicken is boiled for 8 hours and the soup does not have any MSG in it. This costs $25++ per person.
「謹製 美人鍋」 $25.00 （すべての具材込み、おひとり様）
On weekends, you’ll need to start queuing as early as 4:30pm in order to ensure you get a table (the restaurant opens at 5pm for dinner). As it was a weekday, I thought there wouldn’t really be a queue and arranged to meet my friend at 5pm outside the restaurant (on my previous attempted visits for dinner, the restaurant staff had informed me that all tables are usually taken by 5:55pm).
I arrived at 4:50pm and a queue had already formed! They started letting people in at 5pm but my friend was late and thus I wasn’t allowed to enter as all parties need to be present before you are allocated a table. I would have gotten the last table but instead was placed on the waiting list (mine was the first name on the list) and was told it would be a 1.5 hour wait and they will phone me once a table is available.
In the meantime I went shopping and at 6pm, my mobile phone rang and I was told that my table was ready! Yeah!!
Besides the hotpot, these are some of the other items available on the dinner menu:
We didn’t order any other side dishes apart from the Bijin Nabe 「美人鍋」 as we weren’t sure if we would have room for anything else. It’s a good thing we didn’t as it was rather filling! (especially if you are planning to get refills of the collagen soup)
The hotpot arrived at our table containing lumps of collagen pudding, which was actually the chicken collagen soup in its solidified form (my friend said it looks like tau huay).
Left: How it looked in the beginning…
Right: As the pot was heated up, the collagen melted into a delicious concentrated chicken soup!
Chicken pieces are buried within that collagen goodness. Other ingredients to be placed into the hotpot are tori tsukune (i.e. minced chicken to be made into meatballs), prawns, yellow zucchini, watermelon radish, wintermelon, black and white fungus, yuzu, chinese water spinach, chinese cabbage, lettuce, deep fried tofu and mushrooms.
The hotpot set includes a serving of noodles and 3 options are available – Thin Egg Noodle, Rice Noodle or Thick Mochi-mochi Noodle. We decided on the Thin Egg Noodle, fearing that the other 2 options would be too filling.
There were instructions on the wall and also in the menu on how to eat the Bijin Nabe 「美人鍋」 but we thought it was too troublesome to follow all the steps and started to dump everything in… However, one of the staff intervened and insisted that we follow the steps and she systematically placed and arranged the remaining ingredients into the hotpot for us.
Ta da… the beauty hotpot full of all the yummy ingredients:
Cooking the noodles towards the end of the meal…
It was a satisfying meal – we had two refills of the collagen soup, the second time we started feeling that it was a little salty and by the third time it became really salty and we concluded it was probably because we didn’t have any more meat and veggies left to cook with (we only cooked the noodles with the third refill). After two rounds, your tastebuds will start to tire of the soup so I would recommend that one refill should be more than enough! Initially we didn’t put in the yuzu as we were afraid that the citrus flavour would be too strong but by the third round, we emptied the entire serving of yuzu strips into the hotpot as that helped us to retain our appetite.
A complimentary dessert was served to us – this comprised of 2 tiny cubes of konnyaku jelly and the plate was creatively decorated with chocolate sauce and some jam.
We were then each handed a “business card” and asked to write our names on them. These cards are given to customers and you are given a stamp with each dinner visit. First-timers will start from “Assistant Manager” level and you will be “promoted” to the next management level on your subsequent visit, plus you will also be given a free appetizer since you are a returning customer. Thus, make sure you don’t lose your cards!
I had previously seen this sign on the wall at the restaurant’s entrance but didn’t understand what it was about – well, now I know! The lady at the counter said they update the numbers daily so this is the count of the total number of customers (both new and returning) since the restaurant opened.
The Bijin Nabe 「美人鍋」 is only served during dinner, so if you drop by for lunch and want to try the chicken collagen soup, you can order some of the noodle soup dishes which are available on the lunch menu. You can read more about my previous lunch visit by clicking on this link.
Does consuming the beauty hotpot make you more beautiful? Well, you’ll need to try it for yourself to discover the effects! 😉
Address： ＃03-81 The Atrium@Orchard, 60B Orchard Road, Singapore 238891.
Phone： +65 6336 5003
Opening Hours： Lunch 11:30～15:00, Dinner 17:00～22:00
Their 2nd outlet opened at Chinatown Point on 15th July 2013 and this is the only branch which accepts reservations for dinner daily. In addition, starting 1st March 2014, Bijin Nabe will be served during lunch (only at this branch) on Saturdays and Sundays (reservations accepted).
Address: #02-37 Chinatown Point, 133 New Bridge Road, Singapore 059413.
Phone: +65 6444 8840
A 3rd outlet was opened at Westgate on 20th December 2013.
Address: #03-04 WestGate, 3 Gateway Drive, Singapore 608532.