For a restaurant that’s been opened for only about 6 months, Riverboat has been making some positive waves in the extremely competitive F&B market in Taman Danau Desa. Word seems to have got out about Louis Tay’s BBQ Salt-encrusted Tilapia and be prepared to wait for this dish as it takes time to slowly grill the fish.
That’s exactly what we found when we dropped by at Riverboat recently – Louis patiently fanning the charcoal fire and busy grilling tilapias at the front of the restaurant. The tilapias were encrusted with a layer of coarse salt and a bundle of lemongrass, pandan leaves and lime leaves stuffed into the mouth cavity for added fragrance.
The BBQ Tilapia (RM38) was served with its skin peeled back exposing the smooth white fish beneath. There’s no hint of any muddy smell whatsoever, in fact the fish was so tasty – I almost didn’t need the accompanying chilli dips. Accompanying the tilapia were a basket of crisp lettuce & cabbage leaves, vermicelli and 3 types of dips.
The proper way to eat this is to put some vermicelli on a leaf, top it with some fish and drizzle the dips over, fold the leaf and pop it into your mouth. Well, actually I preferred to eat the fish on its own, just to savour the full spectrum of its natural flavours!
Louis and his Thai wife serve up simple authentic Thai dishes at prices which are pretty affordable. That’s why they prefer to keep the deco of the restaurant comfortably simple and focus more on the food. According to Louis, the dishes served in Riverboat were typical of the dishes his wife’s family used to serve at home in Thailand.
I found the flavours of the food to be fresh, unpretentious and pretty authentic in their simplicity. I thoroughly enjoyed the spicy and tangy Som Tam (green papaya salad) and at only RM9.90 a portion, it was really reasonable. The Seafood Tom Yum Goong (RM22.90-RM37.90) was fiery but so addictively flavoursome that I couldn’t stop slurping it despite having to deal with a trail of burn on my tongue.
Do get some BBQ Pork Neck (RM14.90) from Louis too – it will be something that you’ll want to order again, trust me. The nicely marinated pork slices were tender and sweet with deliciously charred sides. I ate these sans sauce as I found the dipping sauce a bit too sweet.
A new dish that’s to be included in the menu soon was Kaeng Som (RM24.90). Plump bouncy shrimps were cooked in a delightful spicy and sourish sauce propped with cubes of spongy omelette made with petai leaves.
Fresh Clams in Thai Sauce (RM13.90) is a dish that’s done perfectly in Riverboat. The big succulent clams were smothered in a thick piquant sauce dotted with chilli padi.
Riverboat also serves Boat Noodles at RM2.00-2.50 per bowl. There are 2 types of meats used: either pork or beef and you can choose either fresh meat slices or the stewed meat version. I found the portion to be bigger than most other similar boat noodles served elsewhere and the broth and meats much better. So, if you are a fan, indulge in a few bowls here!
The only thing I found not up-to-mark was the Tub Tim Grob. At only RM4.90 a bowl, it’s very affordably priced but I think thicker coconut milk should be used. The water chestnut globules and jackfruit slivers were fine but the coconut milk was way too dilute.
23 Plaza Danau Desa 2
Off Jalan Klang Lama
Taman Danau Desa
58100 Kuala Lumpur
Monday–Sunday: 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
Closed on Wednesday
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