Almost every other evening now is wet and chilly. The rain just won’t let up and on evenings when the sky opens up and pour torrents down, that’s the perfect time to have a steamboat dinner. I enjoy steamboat for the simple method of cooking food at the table where meats, seafood and vegetables are cooked in the healthiest way and eaten immediately.
How do you eat your steamboat? Do you dunk everything in once the soup starts boiling? Then you cover up the pot and let everything inside come to a boil again before ladling stuff onto your individual bowls? I’ve seen many people do that. There is a more logical process to eating steamboat. I usually put in the stuff that needs longer boiling time first eg Chinese cabbage and the various types of balls, fried beancurd skin, mushrooms and fish paste. Meats, especially those which are thinly sliced, should just be dipped in for 1-2 minutes only. The same applies to sliced fish and other seafood. Eggs an green leafy vegetables should not be overboiled. The last thing I’d put in are the noodles.
I’m always on the lookout for good steamboat places. A recently-discovered one is Ocean Shabu Shabu in Seri Petaling. It’s run by a Hong Kong chef by the cool name of Popeye Lee who moved to Malaysia after marrying his Malaysian wife.
Pork Bones with Corn Broth
Watercress & Grouper Broth
There are 9 types of broths listed on the menu, many of which are typically Hong Kong-styled like the Preserved Eggs & Chinese Parsley Broth (RM16), White Fungus & Papaya Broth (RM15) and Watercress & Grouper Broth (RM16). The signature broth is Pork Bones with Corn (RM20). In it are also generous portions of carrots, white radish, red dates and wolfberries, resulting in a soup that’s sweet and refreshing. I love their Watercress with Grouper broth. Slices of ginger are added to this soup to neutralise any fishy taste and to enhance the natural umami taste from the fish. Opt for their 2-in-1 Broth offer at RM18… just choose any 2 of their broths.
Bottles of condiments like chillies, chopped spring onions, Chinese parsleys, garlic, mustard and a host of sauces are available table-side for you to mix your own dipping sauce… another typical HK-style feature.
Unlike most local steamboat restaurants, there are no set orders here. The a la carte menu lists their items by full or half portions. This enables diners to try as many varieties as possible.
Pork Loin Slices
A la carte Seafood items like abalone, oysters, sea cucumber, scallops, mussels, squids, fish maw, topshell, crabs and prawns are priced from RM6 upwards. Meats like sliced beef, pork, lamb, chicken and pig innards are listed at RM6 upwards.
Four Season Meatballs
Their house-made balls, dumplings and pastes are must-orders – start with their Four Season Meatballs (RM20). Vegetables and noodles are from RM2 and above. A must-order is their HK Fried Beancurd Skin (RM5) – rolls of freshly-fried super crunchy beancurd skin that disintegrate the moment they are in the mouth! Popeye Lee advised us to dip these rolls into the broth for only a few seconds before popping it into our mouths. According to him, it takes great skills to roll up the beancurd sheets into even rolls while they are being deep-fried in the wok.
HK Fried Beancurd Skin
Besides steamboat, owner-cum-Chef Popeye Lee entices his guests with several appetizers like the Typhoon Shelter Crabs (at market price)/Chicken Wings (RM30), Salt & Pepper Octopus (RM28) and Beancurd (RM23). My favourite is the Deep-fried HK Fish Skin (RM10) – they look like curled-up tree barks but are actually scrumptious skin of the “mui sin” fish.
Typhoon Shelter Chicken Wings
Deep-fried HK Fish Skin
We’ll definitely be back to try more of their unique items, like their Chicken Marinated in Yellow Wine broth and Stewed Lamb Brisket!
Ocean Shabu Shabu
47 Jalan Radin Bagus
Bandar Baru Seri Petaling
57000 Kuala Lumpur