As Chinese regional cuisine dominates Singapore’s food scene, you’ve probably seen at least 1 or 2 mala soup places in the malls you frequent. So what makes Soup Dayz, found in the basement of United Square (B1-03) at Novena, stand out from the others?
Well, for starters, Soup Dayz provides a vast array of 60 ingredients, granting you the freedom to mix and match to your heart’s content; the possibilities are endless.
Choose between a myriad of Vegetables (S$1.80 per 100g) with over 15 varieties (it’s eye candy to vegetarians) like you mai cai and emperor sprouts. If you like, you may add some Mushroom & Balls (S$2.50 per 100g), Meat (S$2.60 per 100g) and Seafood (S$3.20 per 100g); do note that the minimum amount to take is 250g.
Next, you’re offered an extensive selection of 15 spicy and non-spicy soup and dry bases from (S$1.20 each), giving you the ideal companions to complement your one-of-a-kind pot of gold.
Of course, what is a hotpot without condiments, right? Don’t forget to head on to the mini section where they offer sesame sauce, lao gan ma chilli, fresh coriander, and something peculiar; fried chickpeas— interesting indeed!
If you enjoy having beer with hotpot, Soup Dayz offers Sapporo, Asahi, Terra, Orion and Hite at just S$8 a bottle or get a Bucket of 5 for just S$35!
What I tried at Soup Dayz
We started things off with the Green Pepper Soup. Ingredients-wise, we chose green spinach noodles, quail eggs, prawns, fish, baby corn, spinach and fish dumplings to go with it.
Silly me, before tasting this dish, I was under the impression that the Green Pepper Soup was actually predominantly made out of green capsicum, but it turned out to be Sichuan green peppercorns instead.
My tongue was welcomed by a silky, creamy broth that swiftly gave way to an instant spicy jolt. After savouring a few bites, the full impact of the numbing effect from the green peppercorns became evident, creating a truly immersive multi-sensory experience!
The spinach noodles had absorbed the flavourful broth like a sponge and it was so satisfying to slurp them up as they released bursts of spicy soup while I bit down on the silky strands of dough.
The fish dumplings and quail eggs were delightful while the prawns, firm and fresh.
The Special Creamy Mala Soup stood out with its captivating orangey-yellow tone, acting as the perfect vessel to soak up the pieces of pork belly, luncheon meat, potato, Chinese cabbage, sweet potato noodles and black fungus. The colours were popping, all thanks to our impeccable selection (I would flip my hair if it was longer).
As always, I dived straight in for a taste of the broth. Unlike typical mala soups which hit you almost immediately with robust spices and heat, the Creamy Mala Soup began with a lusciously-rich flavour. Then, similar to the tortoise in the race, the numbing effects started to make its presence known gradually; slowly but surely.
The pork belly slices were tender and featured a well-balanced ratio of fat for added flavour. I also relished the comforting luncheon meat pieces, their savoury essence complementing the velvety mala broth impeccably.
My expression brightened as I dipped the pork belly into the sesame sauce. The nutty and intense flavour was beyond any description. When combined with the citrusy coriander and crispy fried chickpeas, it enticed me to dip every single ingredient into the mixture.
If you love the addictive chewiness of mochi, you will definitely be hooked on the thiccc strands of sweet potato noodles. They were broader than fettuccini and added loads of texture.
After enjoying 2 creamy soup bases back to back, I was glad I moved on to the Pickled Veg Soup, which provided some respite to the richness of the other 2 broths.
Amid sips of the refreshingly tangy broth, I encountered morsels of salted veggies. The soup carried the reminiscent sourness and brightness of my grandmother’s delectable salted vegetable duck soup, with an added touch of creaminess.
The crisp long cabbage pieces offered a pleasing contrast to the silky flat noodle strands. The lotus root slices, cooked to retain a slight crispness, further added to its textural delight.
I was pleasantly surprised by the burst of flavour and the slight chewiness of the beef balls. They unquestionably shone as one of the standout ingredients in the bowl.
The Sour Spicy Soup was much creamier than I had anticipated. It also had an impactful taste which was more intense than the Special Creamy Mala Soup. We selected rice cakes, yee mee, tau pok, egg beancurd, shiitake mushrooms, winter melon and otah fishcakes.
Confusion struck us as we discovered tiny fried tofu pieces.
“Did we take them earlier?” I thought to myself.
Upon biting into them, I quickly recognised that the Soup Dayz staff had ingeniously sliced and fried the egg tofu tube. This metamorphosis resulted in delightful, pale golden nuggets with a silky, eggy centre; I was impressed!
The pieces of otah fishcake were mildly spiced, but when combined with the flavourful broth that was absorbed by it, they melded into a medley of smoky and spiced nuances, elevating the experience.
Another star ingredient was the fish ball roe, cleverly camouflaged as unassuming teardrop-shaped fishballs. With a surprising burst, these balls revealed a juicy and cheesy lava centre, increasing its shiok factor.
Upon our visit to Soup Dayz, we realised we had barely scratched the surface on what they have to offer. Each soup base that we sampled possessed its own unique and distinct characteristics.
Among them, I found the Sour Spicy Soup and Green Pepper Soup particularly captivating, while my dining companions leaned towards the other two flavours. Regardless of your spice tolerance, whether you’re a dedicated spice enthusiast or a devoted laksa lover, Soup Dayz undoubtedly has a soup base to suit your palate.
To enjoy Soup Dayz at the comfort of your own home, click here.
Expected damage: S$6 – S$16 per pax
Soup Dayz (United Square)
101 Thomson Road, United Square Mall, #B1-03, Singapore 307591
Opening hours: 10.30am to 9pm
* This post was brought to you in partnership with Soup Dayz.