Following the little teaser early this month, Chengdu-born purveyor of Sichuan mala hot pot Shu Daxia is opening its palace gates at Crystal Design Center this May 18. 
We weren’t exaggerating when the place looks like a traditional Chinese palace-slash-temple. A giant golden warrior statue riding along current with the massive dragon greets you at the gate. With carved pillars with cloud patterns, the staff performs a fist-and-palm salute, a commanding wuxia (martial hero) greeting. They always address you as daxia (hero) throughout the meal so embrace it to keep from laughing. 
Here, you can choose from six different broths, and adjust their spice levels from the mildest pork bone collagen soup (B500) and tomato soup (B500) to the spiciest options like the flavorful Sichuan beef (B620) and vegetable-based soup. 
Like its big competitors CQK and Haidilao, Shu Da Xia features a wide selection of meat platters to choose from. We love the meat ring, a circular wooden plate filled with meat of your choice, forming a perfect circle enclosing your pot. The platter of thinly sliced rib-eye beef and pork belly (B640) comes with a generous portion, perfect for sharing.
Among its unique offerings is the pork ribs (B330), with eight hours of Sichuan pepper marination. It’s not for the faint of heart as the ribs have absorbed all of the spices and will numb your palate. Simmering in the soup of your choice for 20 minutes, these spicy pork ribs fall easily off the bones. Another interesting option is the Imperial Princess Beef (B200), which arrives with a bowl of milk in the middle to tenderize the meat even further.  
Fans of nose-to-tail eating can also order pork brain (B190), pork heart tubes (B180), or even pork liver (B160) as well. 
End your meal with bingfen (B60), an iced bowl of translucent, slippery jelly topped with brown sugar, slices of watermelon, pickled plums, and raisins—a perfect way to end the scorching heat from mala. 
888 Pradit Manutham Rd, Khlong Chan, 02 019 4989, Open daily 24 hours.