Sunday, 11 March 2012

I have always been a big fan of steamboat. Though there are plenty lining the streets in Bugis, I have never really liked it because I always doubted the quality and cleanliness of these places. So there we go... with that out of my options, there is not much choices available except higher-end ones such as Coca Restaurant. However, the only problem with that is, I am a big eater and generally I prefer the 'All you can eat buffet'.

Lately with one of my favorites at Heeren closed, I am forced to seek out other alternatives. Here is one that I found which is seriously not too bad. Although there is a time limit for this buffet, which is 80 minutes, I never have an issue with the limit and have never left the restaurant feeling hungry.

First, be greeted by friendly service staff as you approach the restaurant. After being seated, you will be asked to make a choice of steamboat base, namely: Kimchi, Sukiyaki or Shabu Shabu. Alright, so what's the difference you might ask? Kimchi, as we all know, is a spicy soup base. Sukiyaki is a soup base that is sweet and generally well-liked by most. Shabu Shabu is a light soup base which is slightly salty and is good if you like to have some bowls of soup with your meal. My preference have always been Shabu Shabu but this time 'round, I decided to try something different and so... I chose Sukiyaki.

On the left side of the pot, the clearer soup base is the Shabu Shabu. On the other side, the darker soup base is Sukiyaki. Basically, if you want to cook noodles such as Udon, it is much better to cook it in Sukiyaki. This is because Sukiyaki has a unique taste and is sweet so the noodles will be cooked with a distinct taste and much more flavorful. 

This buffet counter is situated in the middle of the restaurant. Don't be fooled by the appearance of a small counter. What's on the counter is basically our typical steamboat items such as leafy vegetables, tofu, beancurd skin, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, crab sticks, udon, ramen, vermicelli, frozen meatballs, cheese balls, corn, carrots, fish cakes, cheese tofu among other items. But it doesn't matter how huge the counter is to me. What I really want is the free flow of meats. 

Here is typically what I will choose to soak in the hot soup. One of their specialty is the meat ball that you see in the picture. Don't be fooled by the appearance, it is what's in it that will surprise you. 

A great feast is about to start. Now, there is free flow of meats at this wonderful place. The choices of meats available are beef, chicken and pork. All you need to do is to tell the service staff how many trays of meat of your choice you want. Usually, I will go with two trays of meat to start my meal with but feel free to order more although you might want to take note not to waste food

The top picture is trays of pork and the picture below is trays of beef that you can order. There is no limit on the amount of meat or number of trays that you can order so just feel free to order. Just remember: DO NOT WASTE FOOD!

Also, to compliment your cooked vegetables and meat, do prepare some condiments to go with it. There is a choice of Ponzu sauce or Miso sauce. Ponzu sauce is similar to soya sauce whereas the Miso sauce is a bean paste sauce which is richly flavored and goes very well with meats. Just add a little spring onion, radish and chilies to it and you're on your way to a great meal.

As I was mentioning earlier about their specialty, the cheese meat ball. Let me tell you more about it. It is really not one of those meat balls that says contains cheese and after eating a whole load of them, you start thinking to yourself, "Hmm, so where's the cheese huh?". This little ball is seriously world's apart from those. One important tip to eating this little ball is to first use your chopstick to poke a hole in it before sinking you teeth in it. You really do not want to scald your neighboring table diners, let alone your dinner date. Making a hole in it first reduces the pressure so when you bite it, the melted cheese in it does not spurt out and you do not embarrass yourself. 

The little ball that has been fished out from the ocean of Sukiyaki

A glimpse to the inside of the little ball

Close up shot of the cheese that is overflowing from the little ball

Continue fishing out your cooked vegetable, food items and meat from the pot and dip it into a bowl of beaten egg or into your little bowl of 'power' condiment to compliment your food. I am just enjoying myself dining here.

Lastly, and most importantly, the price of this buffet is approximately $15.90++ for lunch and $24.90++ for dinner. You may always give them a buzz to either check out the buffet price or to make reservations. Also, iced or hot green tea can be ordered to wash it all down at $1.90 and it is refillable. My take on this place is that it is good if you want to enjoy good steamboat and also a place for large groups of friends catching up with each other over dinner.

Suki-Ya (all you can eat sukiyaki & shabu shabu)
112 East Coast Road #03-05 Katong Mall                                                      Tel: 6636 3789
6 Raffles Boulevard #02-138FG Marina Square Center Stage                   Tel: 6337 9969
4 Tampines Central 5 #B1-02 Tampines Mall                                                Tel: 6789 6166


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