Nowadays, when we talk about steamboat, it might not necessarily be the ‘traditional’ meal where the diners get a free sauna as well as the food….having steamboat in an aircond-ed area is like eating fried ice cream in an igloo….err..i am not sure what analogies I am driving at..but it does sound a bit profound..
Pakli is a place where you can enjoy steamboat minus the sauna , minus the noisy crowd. There are 2 different seating arrangements, you can sit at the counter, where each person will get their individual ‘pot’ (good for purist , who does not like the seafood to mix with the pork or the beef to tango with the lamb or those that do not like other persons’ chopsticks poking into their meals ) or, you can sit at the tables, where it’s a matter of ‘one for all, and all for one’ i.e. everyone get to share-share, kongsi kongsi one big ‘pot’ .
There are a few sets available : the standard set ( RM13.80), Pork set (RM 18.80), Lamb, Beef or Seafood set ( RM 29.80) , or you can also order the 2-in-1 ; Seafood + Beef / Seafood + lamb / Seafood + pork. There are also side orders like : pork, lamb, prawn, sotong, fish dumpling, vegetable, sweet corn, golden mushroom etc.
We opted for 1 standard set and 1 pork set.
At Pakli , you get to ‘flavour’ your own sauce/ dip , what is at your table will be the basic, and you will proceed to a little side table where the condiments are placed, and you get to add whatever you want into the sauce : spring onions, coriander, chili powder, soya sauce, oil, vinegar, garlic etc etc. I added some coriander leaves, soya sauce, dash of chili powder a bit of oil ..in one of my earlier visits, I asked the waitress to help me prepare the sauce and it taste so very nice.. ( there is a charge for refilling the sauce, so- use your sauce wisely)
For the standard set : you get filament stick, various types of fishballs, one mussle, slices of yam, Chinese cabbage, bee hoon, tofu, corn, golden mushroom.
For the Pork set – you get the standard set ( as above) + slices of pork .
You also get an egg for each set.
The waitress came over, light up the fire beneath the pot, and when the pot start to sizzle, she add some oil , fried the garlic and added some cabbage, after a few swirl of the ladle, she poured some soup into the pot and it’s our turn to take over the cooking .
Some people are very knowledgeable about the sequence of things you put into the pot you know la, the miss/ mister-know-all where ‘..the filament stick can cook very fast one mah..drop that last la, and the longer you boil the Chinese cabbage the more tender they get..’ – thus known as ’the sequencer’ and there are some people that just dump everything into their pot at the same time -aka ‘the dumper’. Yours truly is a ‘sequence dumper’
The pork slices were thinly sliced and just need a short dip and it’s cooked – it was tender and tasty. The fishballs were average. My fellow diner was very kind and generous in having me finish up all the yam pieces..yumyum. If you manage to create a good sauce, then your enjoyment of the meal would have been tripled, but as I did a miserable sauce..so, no one to blame lah..( if you are not sure, suggest you get the waitress to prepare the sauce for you lah. Let them know your preferences e.g you don’t like it to be too spicy, no spring onions, etc etc )
After we have finished cooking / can’t find anything left to cook , the waitress came by and asked us if we want porridge. We nodded and she came back with a bowl of rice, pour the rice into the pot, add more soup and broke both the eggs into the pot and continuously stir the contents. The rice soaked up the sweetness of the soup and the resulting porridge was pretty yummy.
Steamboat-ing is such a suitable meal to enjoy on a cold rainy day lorr…