Steamy hot pots hit the spot
Where: 313@somerset, #B3-30
A POPULAR choice among the locals in Thailand, steamboat franchise MK Restaurants - which boasts 470 outlets there - opened its first Singapore outlet two months ago.
Located at 313@somerset, the restaurant seats 142 diners and each table is equipped with iPads for self-ordering.
MK Restaurants' menu boasts a generous selection of steamboat accompaniments for meat and veggie lovers alike.
The free steamboat broth in original flavouring is derived from soya and vegetable extracts, but tastes distinctly different from those of other steamboat outlets.
It surprisingly retains its original essence even after much cooking and the best part is that it is not too salty or bland to be consumed alone.
Those with a more adventurous palate may want to try the tom yum-flavoured broth ($4.90 per pot), created to satiate the exotic tastebuds of Singaporeans.
However, while it is rich and almost perfect for consuming on its own, the tom yum broth may be a tad too flavourful as a cooking medium, as it can mask the taste of food.
Broths aside, for a hearty meal go for the MK Suki Platter ($34), a selection of fresh seafood, sliced meat and vegetarian options.
The platter's special seaweed roll - processed meat rolled in thick seaweed, sushi-style - and large wantons were the stars in terms of their novelty and flavour.
Those who prefer a healthier choice should opt for the assorted vegetable platter ($12.90 for a small portion, $25 for a large one), which includes bean curd packaged with carrot slices, glass noodles and a unique type of seaweed. These vegetarian options are fresh and of commendable quality.
Then there is MK Restaurants' signature roasted duck ($12.90 or $24.90) served with jade noodles topped with fried garlic. Its skin is as crispy as the Peking duck's, while its meat is juicy and tender. This mouthwatering combination was my top pick.
The restaurant also serves dim sum, a refreshing alternative to the hearty meal, or as add-ons to the main course.
Its custard bun ($4) is unlike the conventional Hong Kong-style custard bun, with its fluffy custard centre and distinct coconut flavour.
The Taro Gingko Seed Bun ($4.20) is the ultimate must-try. It is served to Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej twice a month in Thailand.
MK Restaurants' steamboat segment has many plus points. However, the restaurant offers only one type of dipping sauce.
While its flavour is exotic, the dip may not necessarily go down well with those who would prefer something less localised.
MK Restaurants is open from 11am to 11.15pm daily.