Had come across iSteamboat on Qoo10 some time back and thought we would give their porridge buffet a try.
We love porridge buffets because they are such comforting meals and we can just help ourselves to a wide array of ingredients too. Definitely a good option to consider especially if you have fussy diners in your group, so everyone can just eat whatever you like.
The porridge buffet at iSteamboat is only available during lunch time and is priced at $8.80++ per person on both weekdays and weekend. However, if you are a Qoo10 user, you can purchase the e-ticket at $7.80 per person for Monday to Thursday and $8.80 per person for Friday to Sunday and PH/eve of PH. Small discount (minus ++) but if you do have Q-points or coupons, you can further maximise your savings.
Also, for those who are redeeming your Qoo10 e-tickets, you’re entitled to free flow ice cream too whereas walk-ins are not. Extra perk!
We arrived around 11.45am which was 15 minutes before our reservation time. The staff graciously allowed us to enter even though the e-ticket redemption details stated 12pm as the start time.
Within half hour, the restaurant was already packed to the max. Very casual dining atmosphere here. Pretty much like eating at a coffeeshop.
If you’re late, expect to see a long queue at the buffet line (only one stretch) so I suggest that you come just before opening time.
On the left hand side of the buffet line, there was a steamer with pau in it. And beside it was a dessert soup (green bean soup) which I didn’t go for.
Below pictures are of the entire buffet line. 24 different dishes in total including carb dishes (noodles & rice) and excluding plain rice porridge.
Their menu is on a partial rotational basis. If you come on different occasions, you may see some of the dishes being replaced with others. But mainstream items and porridge must-haves like salted egg, braised peanuts, omelette, etc will remain.
Only one type of porridge was available. This came with orange sweet potato chunks.
I suppose these condiments on the right hand side were meant for those having steamboat here but you can still help yourselves to them and customise your own dipping sauces.
For my sauce, I combined chilli sauce (top right corner), minced garlic, sesame sauce, spring onions, coriander leaves and a touch of sesame oil. Went so well with some of the dishes like the omelette and luncheon meat. ??
This was the ice cream that I mentioned earlier. Remember, this is only for Qoo10 redemption.
The number of dishes was ample to offer a good variety of ingredients. We were able to try every one of them.
Vegetarian pau. Pretty standard.
These vegetable dishes were mostly on the oily side. Never seen black fungus at a porridge buffet so had to give it a try. Pretty crunchy. Of all, I liked the Sichuan vegetable best. The sauce of the braised tofu dish was quite tasty too.
Saw a lot of people going for the fried fish. The table next to us had like a plate piled with just fish, lol. Though it was really crispy, it was also oozing out a lot of oil. Too greasy for my liking.
The lup cheong, salted egg and luncheon meat were what I would usually have with porridge. Ready made stuffs wouldn’t go wrong.
The onion omelette was such a humble dish but it was the only one that I went for seconds because I love eggs anyway. Probably because it was pretty well seasoned too and I really liked dipping it into the sauce that I concocted. So yum.
The saucy minced pork dish had a very piquant and flavoursome sauce so I would suggest that you scoop that right into your porridge to flavour it. Braised beancurd skin made a great porridge accompaniment too. The rest – mediocre.
I was very disappointed with some of the braised dishes like braised eggs and braised pork belly because the braising sauce wasn’t the drinkable kind. They were just soaking in oil. Not much of a braised flavour and the pork belly was quite tough too.
Bee hoon was bland but the others were seasoned perfectly. If you don’t want porridge or can’t have too many bowls of it, these would be good carb options to try. I recommend the fried kway teow.
For the ice cream, there were 8 flavours available – chocolate, vanilla, durian, mango, mint chocolate chip, raisin grandeur, mocha and chocolate chip. Thought the chocolate, mint and durian were the best. All were very sweet so they got a little sickly for me after a couple of mouthfuls.
Drinks were also included in the buffet. There were 4 beverages available – iced water, calamansi juice, fruit punch and lemon tea.
We came back a second time a few weeks later and managed to try a few new dishes like braised chicken feet, hay chor (prawn roll) and kung pao chicken. There was matcha ice cream too.
All in all, I would recommend iSteamboat porridge buffet for its affordable pricing and variety. However, in terms of quality, I must say, the food was really like what you could get from a mixed rice stall. It really depends on what you like to go with porridge. If it’s pretty much the standard fare that you like, this is a good place to come for sure.
This restaurant is just located next to the food court. Imagine paying $6.80 for a plate of Hainanese curry rice at the food court when you can top up another 2 dollars or so to get a porridge buffet, why not right?
Steamboat Buffet: 11.45am to 10.00pm daily
+65 6338 7873