A number of my recent posts have been food related and thanks to another new food try - here is another to share. We recently went with friends to a Japanese restaurant which offers steamboat on its menu. The restaurant, called Akashabu, was not too far away at the Kallang Leisure Park. I've not previously been to the Kallang Leisure Park but from my brief wander around it looks like it could be worth another visit especially as an ice cream parlour has recently opened which was offering a yummy selection of flavours!
In the restaurant we went to you can either sit at tables or (as we did) sit at a bar around the kitchen area facing the chefs so you also have the fun of watching them prepare the ingredients. I'd definitely recommend this option as with the stove you are given to cook the steamboat and all the plates of ingredients you have this is by far the easiest way to reach everything you need, see what you are doing and everything else that is going on in the restaurant if you like people watching.
Steamboat is a very communal, fun meal and involves the use of a metal pot heated over a small stove on the dining table, full of broth. Once the broth has heated up items such as meat and vegetables are added to it as you wish to be cooked in the broth and eaten. The dish is eaten in many Asian countries and known by a variety of names and I gather is a popular choice during Chinese New Year festivities.
The dish can be cooked using a variety of meats, fish and vegetables but when we went we chose to have pork and beef. My friends also selected some prawns but as I'm not a huge seafood fan I avoided the pot where that was cooked and just stuck to the meat and vegetables. The meat is sliced wafer thin and as a result cooks very quickly when placed in the heated stock. We had a variety of vegetables to cook including corn on the cob (which took a bit longer to cook and was a challenge to eat with chopsticks but I managed it), a variety of mushrooms and a variety of green vegetables.
Once all the food has been cooked and eaten you can then enjoy the broth which has been further flavoured by the meat and vegetables that have been cooked in it. It certainly did not look a lot when we were given it to cook but by the time I'd finished eating I was pretty full.
I thoroughly enjoyed my steamboat evening, it is a very sociable dish so great for sharing with friends. Definitely one to do again.