Well, this is not a latest dining experience of ours neither it’s not just another boring steamboat feature.
Weeks ago, as we were venturing into the new commercial area in Kota Kemuning for F-O-O-D, we stumbled upon a rather interesting steamboat restaurant by the name of Steamboat Castle (no official web presence as we share).
Our first impression was, here comes another steamboat offering in Kota Kemuning done in a more exclusive way. Why the term exclusive? Here’s why…
A bright, red and white signboard with embossed Steamboat logo invites patrons to the Steamboat Castle, followed by full glass facade that holds the air conditioning interior. Stepping into the place, one will find the cashier counter strategically placed on the left, with some waiting seats neatly arranged on the right. Pretty organized we must say, like a mini foyer or reception area.
Passing the reception area brings us to single lot commercial unit with tables for 4 arranged on both side of the walkway, and at the far end of the place are bigger tables for 8 perhaps 10 catering for bigger crowds. Walls on each side are covered with red with minor wave motives possibly to match the theme of the restaurant.
Black (possibly heat resistant) solid top tables were matched with comfortable fabric full back chairs for comfort. Stoves are neatly placed in the middle of every table with gas cylinders (almost hidden) encased under them. A rather new and neat approach compared to the conventional steamboat restaurants.
Hence, in terms of aesthetics, this place has every way to shout about, but how about the food, you may say?
The Service ‘Bit’
Before we venture into the food, first we would want to note the service. Having the proper mini reception area actually meant they would have a waiter/waitress politely presenting patrons the menu while waiting or ushering them to the allocated tables whichever applicable first. Which is unlikely in most steamboat restaurants. Thumbs up for this.
For starters, unlike conventional steamboat places, where one would only need to order how many person or per head, they call it, Steamboat Castle actually does it differently.
Here, patrons will get to choose from a list of home-made recipe broth ranging from Pork Bone with Corn Broth, Drunken Chicken Broth, Fish Tale with Pickle Cabbage Broth, Teochew Broth, Century Egg with Parsley, Tom Yam and Pig Maw with White Pepper. Also if one couldn’t decide between two broth, they can actually opt for a twin broth pot with two broth options. Well, being our first time, we had actually opted for a twin broth option with the *recommended* Pork Bone with Corn (a huge pork bone with cobs of corn with some herbal residue) and Teochew Broth (somewhat similar to the preserved vegatable soup with some extras) . Broth options and prices as depicted (you may click for a bigger image). Mind the spelling :).
Upon choosing the broth options, we were suggested to choose our ‘ingredients’ to go with our broth. Now here’s the difference, unlike conventional steamboat where all ingredients are pre-determined, this place actually let the customers make the choice of what they prefer.
On the other hand, having ingredients sold separately also meant it’s a lil’ less economical in terms of $$, but hey, that’s the price for personalization. Although we do agree the prices could be a bit on the premium side for some.
Here are some ‘ingredients’ that we chosed:
First was the XO Meatball, which we reckoned it had XO fillings. However, it turns to minced pork that was mixed well with XO sauce before rolling’em into meatballs that well we had to agree that they taste a lil’ better than the ordinary pork balls.
Then, was the Pig Maw, or stomach, some call it, which goes extremely well with the peppery Teochew Broth. But a note of caution, if you are the only one having that, a plate could be too much for one person.
Also, there’s the typical, fried beancurd strips or fuchuk, which goes well with any steamboat. And yes, they serve the typically golden fried ones.
And a couple few items we ordered were Shrimp Wanton Dumpling (which was rather decent in size, and not much to shout about except they costs RM 2 each. ), Raw Pork Slices (which was great for some shabu-shabu dip action) and a piece of Yee Mee.
Those were the ‘ingredient’s we initially thought to be not enough. Read ‘initially’. And of course, they were nevertheless, freshly made.
Anyway, if choosing the broth, and ingredients makes this place special, here’s more.
Apart from the chopped spring onion and soy sauce for dips, they actually offers 4 type of condiments. Yes, FOUR.
Clockwise: On the top left, are Dry Chilli Flakes, Grinded Green Chilli in Vinegar, Red Chilli Paste, and Chinese Mustard. Awesome, as all four of them is delicious and goes great with their food.
This place has kinda give steamboat lovers an all new perspective of how steamboat could be, however, exclusivity and personalization does comes with a slightly premium worth.
Don’t take our word for it, try it out yourselves.
View Steamboat Castle in a larger map