When I was in Singapore 6 years ago and a friend or colleague invited me to steamboat, I was always the ‘Yes’ man. During those days, eating on an unlimited buffet belonged to one of my short term goals since I don’t know how to cook and when I cook, it’s the unhealthy fried-everything style or worse, it tasted as awful as hell. In our hostel, there was a buzz about this restaurant that served eat-all-you-can food with no time limit for an affordable price, but only serves at night. Our gang went so curious that one day after work, we immediately head to the train, walked to the restaurant and asked the locals for this restaurant they often refer to as the Steamboat.
Steamboat (or more commonly known as hot pot, shabu shabu or steambowl) refers to the hot pot commonly in the middle of the dining table containing the soup base which is specially crafted per restaurant. The most common soup bases, which sometimes are ready made and can be bought from groceries are chicken broth, tom yum or mushroom based ones.
When you are served with the soup base, you’re now ready to choose the pot ingredients – the ones that you will cook on the hot pot to fill in your raging stomach.
Again, each restaurants differ from what they could offer but more often than not, they serve almost the same ingredients ranging from…actually everything you could think of. In Malaysia, our boss’s family and I together with their friends went to a popular steamboat restaurant they call “Fat One Steamboat.”
We sat on the table where we are served with the hot pot separated into two containers – one with tom yum soup and the other with chicken broth (as seen above). We then went to the center of the restaurant to pick the yummy hot pot ingredients.
Due to its peak hours during dinner time, the place is packed with lots of locals. It is only very near to the Sunway Pyramid, one of the go-to places of every tourists in Malaysia due to its water paradise structures and its connected shopping mall.
In the middle of the restaurant lies a long van where its entirety is filled with vegetables, meat and other tasty ingredients. On one end, it has lots of green leafy vegetables on the top, fishballs, noodles and other Chinese herbs I am not yet familiar with. Due to its variety of ingredients, I had a hard time choosing with my tongs what to boil first in the sour tom yum soup.
On the other end, there are lots of seafood prawns, squids, fish (even salmons yes!) and clams. It also has small crabs but I figured it would take me days to crack the flesh out. It also has chicken and other kinds of meat on the other side, but no pork. On the front of the van is a hollow container full of mouth-watering freshly cut fruits ranging from small pineapples to watermelons.
Outside the restaurant lies a barbecue stall which has readily cooked foods like the fried honey chicken and other stuffs. You can also have your barbecues cooked by placing a small solid strip containing your table number for ordering more foods such as pork satay, sausages, bacons etc… I love pork satay and the fried honey chickens – probably the Fat One’s secret weapon on their steamboat arsenal.
And sadly, it is non-halal so the Muslim majority may not be able to enjoy the delicious hot-pot experience. For adults, it will cost you around RM 35, which is reasonable since it did get your tummy get around 35 inches (just kidding!). We went there through taxi but for those of you who would like to get there, you can easily search on google. And have fun on your awesome foodtrip! Cheers!
- Chia, Raymond: “Fat One Steamboat at Sunway Mentari”. RaymondChia, 20 May 2015 (link)
- Wiffy: “How to Prepare Steamboat/Hot Pot Feast”. NoobCook, 8 Feb 2010 (link)