The husband and I were scouting around Upper Thomson Road for dinner options when we came across this Chinese steamboat place at a corner. What beats having hot, piping steamboat to warm our tummies on a cool, rainy day!
Besides, the husband had not tried such Chinese style steamboat before as I had only brought him to Imperial Treasure Steamboat Restaurant (read my blog post here) once and that already set a high benchmark for him.
Dinner buffet is priced at $23.80++ per pax and is served a la carte style. Drinks are not included. You just need to tick off your selections on their menu sheet and hand over to any of their service staff. The menu consists of 77 items that include chilled appetisers, seafood, meat, vegetables and carbs (only noodle & dumpling) for the steamboat as well as various hot items on a buffet line. One glance of the menu, I was already disappointed as it doesn’t serve my favourite crispy fish skin.
These pre-meal appetisers will be served to your table automatically when you’re seated and are priced at $3.00. If you do not want them, just tell the staff to remove them and you won’t be charged.
It’d be helpful if there is some guidance to make the perfect dipping sauce as not every ingredient works with one another. Light soy sauce with sliced chilli will never go wrong. The other one is just a mix of peanut sauce with minced garlic, toasted sesame seeds, chilli sauce, spring onions and coriander. Not the best we have made but still edible, lol.
We ordered 5 out of the 6 available selections of appetisers. From top left in clockwise direction – dried beancurd, garlic pork, spicy beancurd, chilled cucumbers and pig’s ear. We skipped the beef tripe as the husband wasn’t fond of it. The only item that I like is the garlic pork that is thinly sliced, perfectly blanched and comes with a chewy crunch. I think the beancurd tastes weird because of its seasoning. Something that I just aren’t familiar with. Skip them if you can.
Under the cooked food section that is laid out openly on the buffet table, there are fried mantou buns, prawn crackers, fried rice, fried chicken wings and mala-flavoured mantis prawns. Unfortunately the mantou and fried rice are left out for too long so they are cold and soggy. The prawn crackers are crispy but they don’t taste fresh because of a strong smell of old ‘reused’ oil. The wings are surprisingly crispy (because they move quickly so the staff have to replenish regularly) and juicy. The mantis prawns look tempting but the mala flavour is so oily and spicy that my tongue went numb the moment I tried to take a bite. They are just over-fried and impossible to eat.
You can have a choice of two soup bases for the dual-pot so we picked the fish head soup and herbal chicken soup. Both are decent but I prefer the fish head soup to the chicken one. It is light and fragrant with a lovely flavour of seafood in it. And the more you dunk ingredients in to cook, the more tasty the soup becomes.
In case you’re wondering what’s on the menu besides the six appetisers I’ve mentioned:
prawn, cuttlefish, sliced fish fillet, clams, fish head, white fillet, sea clam, crab stick, lobster ball, salmon ball, cuttlefish ball, mushroom ball,fuzhou fishball, prawn ball, fish dumpling, fish ball, flower crab, fish maw
chicken wing, chicken ball, pork ball, sausage, pork belly, beef tripe, beef fillet, mutton, chicken fillet, pig liver, pig kidney, luncheon meat, pig brain, fried meat
golden mushrooms, abalone mushrooms, winter melon, bean sprouts, black mushroom, button mushrooms, corn, white cabbage, you mai cai, lotus root, yam, bean spinach, bean jelly, glutinous cake, black fungus, fried tofu, vermicelli, potato noodles, bean skin, fried tofu skin, fried tau kee roll, chilled beancurd, dry beancurd, baby cabbage, kang kong, lettuce, dang oh, broccoli, potato, spinach, kelp, bamboo shoot, egg, quail egg
The husband is sorely disappointed with the meal because the ingredients are mediocre and the soup bases are not fantastic too. I really don’t think there’s much to rave about. It’s just like a home-style steamboat we can do at home except that we’d buy better and fresher ingredients than these.
Service wise, the staff is swift in delivering our orders and also constantly removing empty plates from our table and topping up our soups without us asking.
This meal is a forgettable one. We get what we pay so it is unlikely we will return.
T-One Steamboat 天下第一涮
220 Upper Thomson Road
Tel: 6835 9125
Open: 11.00am to 1.00am daily