Talking about steamboat, quality ingredient is of utmost importance. This is because steamboats are cooked and eaten cooked straight from the steaming pot, therefore if the ingredients are not of the freshest and top quality, this will be the biggest turnoff.
We had the opportunity to try out the new outlet, which was opened just 2 weeks ago (although the first outlet is more than one year old) Pak John Steamboat and Yong Tau Foo which is located on e-Curve. As usual, we were very sceptical of new steamboat restaurant as to me, not many make the grades.
To me, there are a few key things to a nice meal of steamboat. Of paramount importance is of course the fresh and qaulity foods (especially seafood), which is followed by the soup base that are served and lastly the complement sauces. Sometimes it is very hard to get the perfect balance.
As you know, most good steamboat are outdoor steamboat shops and normally we end up feeling very heated up with all the hot stuffs (sauces, soups and etc) taken in especially if you have chosen the Tom yam variant. But since Pak John is in e-Curve, the place was very cool with good air conditioning system and you can eat in a relax atmosphere which, is very conducive for steamboat.
At Pak John, they offer 3 soup bases, the normal chicken, tom yam and their own creation Miso soup base. We tried all the soup base and ended up with our preference accordingly being Miso the best, follow by chicken and lastly the tom yam (which to me is a tad of being a little too sourish).
Besides steamboat, Pak John also allows for grilling on a special pot which they use. The good thing is that this grill plate can easily be change with a fresh plate if it is already burnt out after many round of BBQ.
For the sauces there are four types, namely the Thai Green Chilli, Thai Chilli, sweet sauce and Belacan. The Thai Green Chilli sauce is an own creation by its chef, is sourish based and not too spicy, but my preference was on the Belacan.
Pak John offers a few specialities item which, you can either BBQ or put into the pot. There are Smoked Duck Breast slices, New Zealand Lamb slices, Australian beef slices and Abalone surimi. For the price that they charge, I considered this as a very premium add-on that this restaurant offers. My personal top preference was the Duck meat as when I put in on the grill, the smoke taste was just right and I can taste the wonderful flavourful of the meat.
Next, we had the fresh seafood, which consists of prawns, squids, lala and clams. The squid was very fresh and springy i.e. after cooking into the pot, it still has a firm and bouncy texture. The prawn was very fresh, but the type of lala that was used was not so suitable for steamboat, as chances are you will overcook it and it become very tiny. Well you could also BBQ the prawn, which I did and if cooked at the right temperature you can taste the sweetness of the prawns.
Normally, I won’t take much of fishball or surimi when I eat steamboat as I dread the feeling to eat something that is processed with a huge amount of flour mix into the fish or surimi. I taken the liberty to try one piece of each of the item and found that it is very different especially in the area of taste. The flavouring was strong and the texture was just right. Some of these surimi fishball have filing too like cheese in it, example are the seafood taufoo and dumpling, while the sotong balls have real pieces of squid in it.
For me, I find the mushroom offering aplenty as they have many types namely the Shitake, Oyster mushroom, King mushroom , Enoki, Straw Mushroom and so forth. Also I found the “mien kang” a little bigger than the normal size and I really like it, in that when cooked in the pot the soup taste is immersed into the mien kang.
As in many steamboat buffet, Pak John also serve side dishes like Fried Bee Hoon, Fried Black Pepper Udon, Curry Chicken, Fried Rice (for non steamboat fans). They do have kiddies food like French fries and Chicken Nuggets too.
There is a waffles making station. For kids, waffles is a nice option for them. They can choose their filling and of course, can be topped up with ice cream of their choice as well. For ice-cream, they have chocolate and green tea serves from the ice –cream machine which is smooth and not lumpy.
Finally, Pak John also offer ice-cream potong which came in many flavours i.e. durian, jack fruit, yam, cendol and green bean with durian. For me, this ice cream potong is a little too sweet. I will stick with the ice-cream.
I was satisfied with the meal and will not hesitate to pay another visit, when I have another craving for steamboat and BBQ.
Pak John is now offering a special price of RM28.00 (Monday to Thursday) for dinner buffet and RM36.00 (Friday to Sunday). At this price, it is a good bargain comparative to the quality of the food serves here. Let’s hope they will continue providing top quality, fresh food and good services.
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