Dinner @ San Laksa Steamboat

November 15, 2017 in Asian, Chinese

It was one of those nights when my friend and I met up but I had no suggestion as to where to eat. And that’s when my friend suddenly remembered San Laksa Steamboat. Located on the 1st floor of a standalone building which we would always drive past enroute to Vivocity.

Despite arriving at 8pm, we were able to get a table easily without making any reservation. Instead, it was finding parking lot that was the real challenge. One has to pray (real) hard to be the sole lucky diner to park within the building compound. Yes, there’s space for 1 car only. Or pray harder to be able to park in front of the gate of the church that’s just beside. At one’s risk, of course.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2), my friend and I ordered:-


1) Soup (above) – We went with laksa broth and chicken broth. And for the former, we were also given a small saucer of laksa leaves to put into our broth.

2) Kang kong, $2.80 (above)

3) Mixed mushroom platter, $8 (above)

4) Lettuce, $3.80 (above)

5) Cheese tofu, $4.20 (above, left)

6) Tau pok, $2 (above, right)

7) Luncheon meat, $4.50 (above)

8) Seaweed chicken, $3.50 (above)

9) Sotong balls, $3.50 (above, left)

10) Pork balls, $3 (above, right)

11) Hand made minced meatballs, $6 (above) – And for this, the staff would assist to shape the minced meat into balls.

12) Mixed ball, $6 (above)

13) Prawn, $10 (above)

14) Chicken breast, $6 (above)

15) Pork collar, $6 (above)

16) Fresh toman fillet, $10 (above)

17) Udon noodles, $1 (above)

My friend and I enjoyed the laksa broth. I would definitely recommend the place if one has seriously craving for laksa. However, we were unfortunately seated beside a big group which had a lady laughing in a really high-pitch voice. That was really annoying. The staff were understanding and helped to shift us to another table when we requested so.

404 Telok Blangah Road, Singapore
6275 7069, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon – Sun : 11:30 – 14:30
Ambience: 6
Mon – Sun : 16:30 – 23:00
Value: 6
Service: 6

Dinner @ Beauty In The Pot

September 16, 2016 in Chinese

I was asked about my steamboat experience at Ma Fu Yuan when my friends exclaimed “But you need to try Beauty In The Pot. You haven’t tried the best if you haven’t gone there.”

Frankly, I think I did hear about Beauty In The Pot. But the restaurant name didn’t sound interesting enough to get me interested. I didn’t quite get the hype over collagen soup too.

However, my friends highly recommended Beauty In The Pot. And since it was located very near to my work place, I decided to get my colleagues to head over for dinner one day. And the opportunity came when I arranged my own birthday gathering with my colleagues. Hahaha. Yes, that was back in August.

And for my birthday celebrating at Beauty In The Pot, my colleagues and I had decided on the dinner date at least 3 weeks in advance. But I was a little slow in making reservation. When I tried to make reservation on Chope 10 days before our dinner date, I was not able to as Chope required reservation to be made at least 14 days in advance. And when I phoned the restaurant, I was told by the staff that they only had 5.30pm and 9pm time slots.

It was coincidental that we had a work event on the Friday my colleagues and I planned to have our steamboat dinner. And so, I confirmed reservation for 5.30pm for 8 people since we would be able to leave work earlier. Keke.

Upon arrival at the restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised to see that we were allocated a big square table where we could sit around with 2 on each side. That certainly allowed the big group of us to talk properly as compared to being seated at a long rectangular table where people would break off into smaller groups. I certainly gave it to the restaurant for taking note of such detail during their design development stage.

And we were given ziplock bags to contain our hand phones and aprons to wear! The latter was definitely much appreciated since I can be pretty clumsy. I always stain my white clothes. Ha. And my colleagues were amazed that they could use their (touch screen) mobiles even though it was enclosed within the (thin) ziplock.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), we ordered:-

1) Twin flavours broth, $25 (above) – Beauty collagen soup, spicy nourishing soup.


2) Condiment, $2.80 (per person) (above) – Condiments and free flow of rice was chargeable at $2.80. This was keyed in by the staff when she assisted to set up our table-assigned iPad which was to be used to place our orders.

3) Soft bone pork meat ball, $8 (full portion) (above, top)

4) Black pepper mushroom ball, $8 (full portion) (above)

5) Fish ball, $8 (full portion) (above, top)

6) Cuttlefish ball, $12 (full portion) (above)

7) Ebiko and prawn paste, $16 (above) – Golden mushroom rolled with pork. Do let the staff handle this. The staff knew I wanted to take photograph, and was kind to wait for me before proceeding to mix the paste thoroughly before putting it into the soup as small(er) paste balls.

8) Fish tofu, $1.80 per piece (above) – And one would need to order at least 2 pieces as a minimum. And this was pretty interesting. It’s a fish (meat)-tofu paste but shaped as a fish.

9) White and hon shimeiji, $8 (full portion) (above)

10) Enoki mushroom, $7 (full portion) (above)

11) Chinese cabbage, $6 (full portion) (above)

12) Baby chinese spinach, $6 (full portion) (above)

13) Fried fish skin, $11 (full portion) (above) – I love this stuff. And it’s not necessary to put it into the soup.

14) Fried beancurd skin, $9 (full portion) (above) – Another of my favourite. To eat this, one should dip it into the soup for only 3 seconds such that it’s still slightly crunchy. Any longer (in the soup) and the fried beancurd skin will be too soggy.

15) Prawn dumpling, $10 (full portion) (above)

16) Pork roll dumpling, $6 (full portion) (above)

17) Fresh sea prawn, $26 (full portion) (above) – The staff asked if we wanted assistance in deshelling the prawn. To which we said “yes!” So the staff took the plate back and returned with shelled prawns. Nice!

18) US kurobuta pork, $19 (full portion) (above)

19) Sliced pork belly, $14 (full portion) (above)

20) Handmade la mian, $2.70 (above)

21) Potato wide vermicelli, $6 (full portion) (above) – This was interesting. Thick and chewy (cause it’s pretty starchy).

22) Yuzu drink, Complimentary (above) – And at the end of our dinner, we were served a jug of yuzu drink which allowed the 8 of us to have at least 2 shot glasses each.

23) Birthday dessert, Complimentary (above) – And during the course of our dinner, we heard at least 4 rounds of birthday song. 1 of my collegaue went “Wah, I didn’t know you brought so many people to celebrate your birthday!” Haha. Lame. =p But of course, my colleague wasted no time in informing the staff that we were there to celebrate my birthday. So yes… The staff came with a dessert which tasted very similar to Taiwanese shaved ice (vanilla flavoured), a bunch of balloons, and crowded round to sing me a birthday song in English, Chinese and Cantonese. I think it’s Cantonese. Am not too well versed with my dialects lah. Ha!

So was my friends right with their raves of Beauty In The Pot? They certainly are! Service was great. Jugs of soup were placed on standby on a side tray beside every table which the staff would very often come over to top up our soup. Nice.

Steamboat is always enjoyable in big groups, and I really liked that the restaurant put in much thought in the seating arrangement. In a way, it felt very much like a reunion dinner. Haha. And coming in 8 was certainly the optimum number cause for the full portion, the restaurant gave 8 pieces. Just nice. 1 piece for each of us. Ha.

So really, with their professional service and good quality of ingredients, it explains why one need to make reservation at least 2 weeks in advance. Will definitely be back for more team dinners since Beauty In The Pot is just 2 streets away from my work place! Just got to make advanced planning. Else, I am sure my colleagues and I can hop by when we work late and need a late dinner venue since Beauty In The Pot opens till after midnight too. =)

11 Tanjong Katong Road, OneKM, #02-21, Singapore
6702 2542, Website
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Thur : 11:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Thur : 17:30 – 01:00 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Fri – Sat : 11:00 – 03:00
Service: 7
Sun : 11:00 – 01:00

Dinner @ Man Fu Yuan

May 20, 2016 in Chinese

$180 per head for steamboat? Say “whattttt!”

But! That did not deter me from steamboat-ing at Man Fu Yuan. Just ‘eat grass’ for more days weeks lor. (^^lll) Haha.

Man Fu Yuan has been on my list of eateries-to-check-out for the longest time ever. I admit. The exorbitant price was a factor that kept me from visiting sooner. But it was also that which got me really curious. I mean, to pay $180 for ingredients that’s boiled in broth? o_O

Reservation was made for a weekday dinner as soon as I managed to convince a friend to be as crazy as me to try the steamboat. Ha. And the thing about InterContinental Hotel is that all incoming calls were settled by the tele-department. Instead of re-directing my call to the restaurant, the tele-operator took down all information to my reservation before getting the restaurant to call me for confirmation. To which, the restaurant called me within 2 hours.

During the tele-conversation with the restaurant staff, he basically repeated the details of my reservation. And I highlighted to him of our dietary restriction which was no beef. The staff then went on to mention there were 2 beef dishes; beef slices and beef balls. And over the phone, we confirmed to change the beef balls to scallops. As for the beef slices, the staff mentioned we could be given more pork slices or have it replaced with something else. I expressed my interest to have the beef slices changed to something that’s not already on the menu.

Man Fu Yuan is very accessible. It’s linked from Bugis MRT station via Bugis Junction. And upon arrival, the staff at the restaurant reception easily identified my reservation. He went “steamboat?” as soon as I mentioned my name. Hmm…

We were then led to a room where we would be having our steamboat in. Ahhh… Private room. Personal butler. Premium ingredients. Total privacy. Absolute VIP treatment.

And from the menu, we started our dinner with:-


1) Drunken kampong chicken soup base (above) – Upon seated, the waiting staff who was appointed to assist us with our steamboat for the night began with stir frying the seasoned chicken in the pot, before going on to flambé the dish. And of course, having watched many episodes of my favourite Korean show ‘Please Take Care of My Refrigerator’, I know the purpose of flambéing is to enhance the taste. With dramatic presentation being a bonus. Ha. And with that, she continued to make the broth. We were given a bowl to taste the original flavour of the broth before the other ingredients went in. Soup was rich and fragrant. Yum.

2) Drunken kampong chicken (above) – The chicken was put aside for us to eat. I liked that the chicken breast wasn’t dry. A sign that we were in good hands; Our food was neither undercooked nor overcooked. Knowing my friend is a small eater, I had to remind him to leave sufficient stomach space for what’s to come cause he kept reaching out for more chicken. Ha.


3) Live whole star garoupa fillet (above) – It goes without saying that the fish was fresh and plump. Yes, plump. If it’s ever an appropriate word used to describe fish. =p And this dish prompted us to ask about the portion. Ie, what happens if it’s a bigger group that’s dining. To which the waiting staff said a bigger fish will be served. So small group, small fish. Big group, big fish. Ohhh…

4) Live local lobster (above) – We were allowed to have it either raw (like sashimi) or cooked. To which, we requested to have it in both ways. And after trying both, I preferred it cooked as it had a better crunch and was more flavorful as it had absorbed the essence of the rich broth. But both goes.

5) Tiger king prawn, fresh deshelled crab claw, fresh scallop (above) – As we don’t take beef, the beef balls were replaced with scallops. And the food could be best described with ‘simply fresh!’



6) Crab meat & crab roe dumpling, prawn dumpling with bird’s nest (above) – My friend and I didn’t like the crab meat dumpling. It was bland. And for a person like me who can’t even stand the sight of bird’s nest, I stomached the prawn dumpling with bird’s nest pretty well. It helped that I only realised it was bird’s nest after I finished the dumpling. And to those who are familiar with the texture of bird’s nest… It’s like vermicelli, but softer, that’s being wrapped around the fresh and crunchy prawn when we ate the prawn dumpling.

7) Spiky sea cucumber, handmade pork ball with dried sole, abalone coated with minced scallops (above) – Yes, we had an entire (baby) abalone each!

8) Fresh prawn dumpling, dace fish ball, handmade pork ball with dried sole (above) – The meat ball was so good! I really liked it. It was firm, yet bouncy. But I didn’t like the fish ball which texture was too mushy. The prawn dumpling was good too. The dumpling skin was taut from being packed tightly with ingredients.

9) Pork collar (above) – The original steamboat menu had beef slices on it. As no one confirmed what the beef slices were replaced with, I think we were given more pork collar. However, the pork was slightly overcooked as it was rubbery. I think the thickness of the pork slices contributed to its chewiness, which was still acceptable to me. But my friend was more critical as we were paying a premium price for dinner. And no, he didn’t finish his portion of meat.


10) Porridge with deep-fried beancurd (above) – And for this, the head and tail of the garoupa which we had earlier was boiled in the remaining broth. As we were too full, we politely declined the fish head and tail when we were asked if we wanted these. And a tasty porridge was made with the addition of rice, deep fried beancurd, spring onion and egg. In fact, the broth became a little too rich as it was slightly salty. I finished my (one) bowl of porridge nonetheless. And I absolutely enjoyed the deep-fried beancurd. But don’t attempt eating it before it’s boiled in the broth. It’s meant to be boiled. We didn’t know and my friend attempted eating one before it went into the broth. It was hard and tasteless. Haha.

11) Sour plum drink (above) – Served as a palette cleanser.

12) Mango pudding with coconut ice cream (above) – Though our menu did not show any dessert, the waiting staff asked if we wanted some. And since there’s always space for dessert, we agreed. This was pretty average with some mango chunks and sago.

It was an experience to steamboat without having to cook. Which can be a good thing cause more than often when one steamboat, one would find oneself busy cooking. With this, the time used to ensuring there’s a constant supply of cooked food can be used to catch up with friends, etc. Although having someone to do the cooking meant taking away the fun of steamboat-ing.

It was also a little restrictive to have a stranger in the room cause my friend and I couldn’t talk freely. Even when we knew we wouldn’t be seeing the waiting staff again. So it was nice when our waiting staff would step out of the room in between cooking the dishes to give us our privacy.

So is Man Fu Yuan steamboat for everyone? Definitely not. But if one decides to come… For the VIP treatment and quality of food served? It certainly justified the $180 spent.

80 Middle Road, Intercontinental Hotel, Singapore
6825 1008, Website
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sun : 11:45 – 15:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Sun : 18:30 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 8