What makes a steamboat meal so special?
Is it that fact that everyone needs to crowd round the dining table, waiting for that simmering metal pot of stock at the center to come to a boil? Is it the fact that one needs to time precisely when the ingredients are placed into the pot and when to take it out? Is it the fact that it is really fun dumping un-cooked ingredients into the pot, such as prawns, thinly sliced meat, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, fish-balls, and seafood?
If you ask me, I think it’s all of the above, and a little bit more.
Eating together over a Steamboat builds a unique camaraderie among friends and provides a chance to blow off some steam(forgive the pun) especially after a hard days work. I like it because it is ‘therapeutic’ and as the pot cooks away, it is a great time to make new friends and catch up with the old, and basically to just let you hair-down , relax and forget about the pressures of work.
Oh yes, there’s nothing quite like kicking back and enjoying a good steamboat meal and one such place to do this is at Damansara Village.
Patrick Teoh recently invited C&C along with a couple of other bloggers to dinner at Damansara Village – Patrick’s newest steamboat joint on Jalan Imbi.
We quickly found out that the Steamboat, being the pièce de résistance and all, was going to be served last at the dinner. We started off the night with several Chinese styled cooked ala carte dishes. They were all good but I will highlight the ones that I liked best.
First up was the Steamed Organic Chicken and this was sweet, succulent and tougher than your average chicken due to the muscle content in the ‘roam free’ bird. I love organic chicken because they taste and feel less engineered. The steamed chicken at Damansara Village was priced at RM49 for half a chicken and RM98 for a whole. Fantastic. A must order.
Next up, steamed bamboo calms in chinese wine with loads of small chilies and tiny dried shrimp. Chewy and tasty – this goes great with lots of rice.
(bottom left) Wild fish! How they catch the Snake Head remains a mystery to me but all I know is that any fish that swims free in the river has a taut, sweet flesh that is hard to beat. This fish is best served steamed with ginger and soya sauce.
(bottom right) Peppered Pig stomach soup. Be prepared to sweat. I once heard a story that it takes days to prepare the stomach and leach all the unwanted contents from it and to remove the smell. When done right, this soup is delicious. The one we were served was excellent.
(top) The smoked duck was good but I preferred the Organic Chicken.
The Pork Knuckle Vinegar can be eaten just as it is with rice but is more famously known as confinement food. Traditionally known for its curative ability to help purify the blood and cleanse the arteries, the generous amount of vinegar used in the cooking readily dissolves the calcium content in the pork bones, resulting in a delectable dish of succulent pork in healthy, calcium-rich gravy! The one that Damasara Village was bursting with flavour but too sweet for my liking (maybe I’m not in confinement, that’s why!)
The steamed clams were good too. Cooked thoroughly in chinese wine, with loads of wolf-berry (kei zhi), ginger and parsley, this dish is highly recommended.
Enter the magnificent Steamboat.
There are several types of steamboat stock you can order and they are, the standard clear soup (RM18.80/pax with a minimum order of 2 pax), the herbal soup which costs an additional RM12 and the Pork Knuckle soup priced at RM18. The mind boggles at what you can put into the steamboat. You might think that tiger prawns, flower crabs, mussels, abalone slices, fishballs, fish noodles, tofu and dumplings are a lot to throw in, but the contents of the pot were gone in 30 seconds!
“I could tell ya.. but then I’d have to kill ya.”
(no seriously, it was a group decision by all the partners of the restaurant on which soup stock to pick. After innumerable soup tasting session and a lot of trial and error, they finally came up with the winning formulae for the soup stock. What dedication!)
Sauces are of utmost importance and are part and parcel of any great steamboat meal. It imparts that spice factor and tanginess that complements and completes the experience. I love slathering my food in this sauce!
Finally, no meal is complete without dessert. Mama Min whips out a gorgeous cake in the form of a blue mini(how cute!) and we greedily dig into it. The butter cake was dense and rich and had a gorgeous, melt in your mouth fondant that had Cumi singing its praises. He is a HUGE fan of butter cake and this one was really hard to top.
Anyway, it was a great dinner and a nice night out. A big thank you to Suanie and Patrick Teoh (owner of Damasara Village Restaurant) for the invite to participate in such a fun gathering. We hope you organize many more!
Footnote: Please check out 3iling’s blog for another perspective on the night. Also present at the dinner were bloggers KY, Shaolin Tiger, Kim, Suanie, Bbabe, Lemongrass, Fireangel, & Yiling !
Damansara Village @ Imbi
32, Jalan Utara, Off Jalan Imbi,
Tel – 603 2141 1678
GPS 3°08’41.08″ N 101°43’01.84″ E