The Ultimate Hai Di Lao Experience – Is it worth the hype?
This super popular hotpot chain, with over 300 branches across the world, has officially made its mark in Malaysia for a month now, beginning right here in Sunway City Kuala Lumpur.
But what’s the big deal about Hai Di Lao? Why do people queue as early as 8.30am when the restaurant is only open at 10.30am and the queue never ends? Let’s dive deep!
1. The super long queue
If you walk in, expect to wait in line for at least a couple of hours before you get a table. But the good news is, Hai Di Lao is renowned for their exceptional customer service and extremely generous with their freebies. So what do they offer while you wait for your number to be called?
- Free flow of snacks and ice-cream
- Free manicures
Ladies, you would surely love this. But the not so good news is, there’s a waiting list and reservation is not available at the moment. However, once you claim your manicure card from the staff, you can redeem it any other day, at your own time. Their service hours are from 12.00pm to 10.00pm daily.
- The QR code!
Here comes the best part: their numbering tickets have a QR code for you to check the number they are currently serving. So you don’t necessarily need to be stuck there at the waiting area. Stroll around Sunway Pyramid for some shopping!
Pro tips! Come during off-peak hour.
Hai Di Lao opens from 10.30am to 3.00am daily (yes, you read that right), so your best bet is to either arrive super early #kiasu or in the middle of the night for a late-night supper. 😀
Psssttt… Thinking of booking a table? The last time we heard, they’re fully-booked till July 2019, lol. So manage your expectation.
2. The dining essentials
The exceptional service does not end there. Once you are seated, they will provide you with a hot towel, just like when you visit a Japanese restaurant and an apron in case you spill anything on your clothes. You can also ask for a hairband to tie your hair while you eat away and a plastic cover for your phone so you don’t need to worry if you accidentally splash your soup on it.
3. The special local broths
Hai Di Lao Malaysia serves two special local broths that are not available elsewhere. Their laksa and peppered pig stomach soup are definitely worth trying. Here’s how to order:
- First, choose your soup base. You can choose between single flavour, double flavour or even have the best of four worlds with their famous 4-broth pot!
- Next, choose your meats and vegetables. They’ve got a huge variety of food choices, and each choice comes in two sizes – half portion and full portion.
- Done! Wait for your food to arrive and enjoy.
4. The signature Gong Fu Mian
Don’t forget to order their gong fu mian. A professional noodle maker will artistically serve the handmade noodles at your table with his noodle dance.
5. No corkage fees
Own drinks are allowed to bring in at no fees.
6. Request for the prawns to be peeled for you
Call for any friendly staff and ask them nicely. A service every seafood restaurant should have, don’t you think? #brat
7. Cheaper than Hai Di Lao Singapore
Currency rate aside, Malaysia’s Hai Di Lao is at a more affordable price-point, as compared to our neighbour, Singapore’s Hai Di Lao. An average meal for 6 people would cost you approximately RM300 (vs Singapore; at least $35 per pax and the soup alone costs about $20!).
8. Kids play area
Since it is a family-friendly place, Hai Di Lao has a designated play area for your kids. It’s also great to keep the young ones occupied since waiting in the queue can take quite a while.
The wait might be a bit of a turn-off, but the fact that Hai Di Lao goes out of their way to ensure we are well-attended to and don’t turn into hungry monsters makes it all the more satisfying when we finally get our hands on their drool-inducing soups and delicacies.
So, will you be queuing up for Hai Di Lao?
Hai Di Lao
Location: G Floor [G1.PT.02], Sunway Pyramid Hotel
Opening Hours: 10.30am to 3.00am daily
Contact: (+603) 5611 5188 / 5612 5158