Steamboat is a fun and communal meal; fresh meat, seafood and vegetables are cooked in a pot of simmering stock at the dining table, and eaten with dipping sauce.
1. Harbour Steamboat
This busy neighbourhood restaurant requires a reservation, especially on weekends. Once inside and seated, your attention will turn immediately to the number of broths on offer. Will it be the herbal soup or the papaya fungus soup? How about fiery white pepper soup or a hearty clay pot lamb? If you can’t decide on just one, go half and half. On our visit we opted for a clear herbal soup and spicy tom yam, perfect foil for the lamb and beef slices, homemade dumplings, an assortment of meat and seafood balls, mushrooms and vegetables. Of the variety of dipping sauces, the fermented soya bean mixed with chilli paste is recommended.
2. Damansara Village Steamboat
Owner and radio personality Patrick Teoh gives the restaurant a celebrity boost, but it is the food that keeps the customers coming back. The signature broth is the Herbal Drunken Pot, a tantalising broth of chicken stock, Chinese herbs and rice wine. Not quite enough wine to get drunk on, but it is a yummy base for the tiger prawns, giant clams, and mussels. The restaurant prides itself on its fresh seafood and organic chicken, so you roll out of the restaurant with a happy tummy. It has two other branches; the outlet in Lost World Ipoh has stunning views of the limestone hills.
3. Hoi Tong Steamboat Restaurant
If you love your buffet, then Hoi Tong might just be for you. This bare-basics restaurant located in Seri Kembangan, a 20-minute drive from KL, offers an all-you-can-eat experience. For a fixed price, you can load up on fresh seafood, a variety of meat, springy balls, noodles and more. The soup choices are simple – either clear or tom yam, or one of each. There is also the option of barbecuing the meats right at your table. On busy nights, which are often, the place is a riotous mess of happy punters getting down to the serious business of indulgence.
4. Bone & Pot
Bone & Pot is an upscale steamboat franchise and is popular for its Hong Kong-style steamboat. Its strength lies in the soup – the ingredients are left too cook over a slow fire for eight hours. Besides its signature pork bone stock, the restaurant offers other unusual soup choices such as preserved eggs with Chinese parsley, and tomato and potato. Ingredients are fresh and prettily presented. The meat and seafood balls here are especially good; the cheese-stuffed ball interesting. For starters, munch on the salt and pepper chicken soft bone and golden bean curd.
5. Ba Sheng Zai Huo Guo
A steamboat meal shouldn’t be sweaty business, not at this spruced up, air-conditioned restaurant. Besides its super fresh premium seafood, what sets Ba Sheng Zai apart are its unique offerings of silky porridge soup and curry soup. The richly flavoured porridge soup is a Quangzhou specialty, the stock made from rice, dried seafood and chicken bones. If out for a treat, ask for the premium silver pomfret set, which includes generous portions of meat crabs, mantis prawns, scallops, and pomfret, along with the usual vegetables, mushrooms and bean curd.
6. The Steamboat, Ketam Village
This pork-free restaurant gets its seafood supply from Pulau Ketam (which means ‘Crab Island’), a little island off Selangor famous for its fresh seafood. The food is conveniently packaged into sets or one person or more, and very reasonably priced. Each diner is equipped with a personal hotpot, so no altercations over prawns and fish balls, or quibbles on which soup to have. To top it off, the restaurant enjoys a tranquil setting out in the suburbs to go with its food.
Bone & Pot
7 Jalan SS25/12, PJ
603 7880 5511
G/F, 19 Jalan 13/149L, Seri Petaling, KL
Hoi Tong Steamboat
Lot 12 Seri Kembangan Tambahan, Seri Kembangan, Selangor
603 8943 6580
Damansara Village Steamboat
1067 Jalan Jenjarum, Kampung Kayu Ara, Damansara Jaya, PJ
603 7803 1832
Ba Sheng Zai Huo Guo
15 Jalan PJU 5/3, Dataran Sunway, PJ
6 019 751 9319
The Steamboat, Ketam Village
GF-08, The Waterfront @ Parkcity, 5 Persiaran Residen, Desa Park City, KL
603 6280 8889