Wednesday, June 06, 2007
The first meal I ate upon reaching Bangkok was not the expected Tom Yum or Green Curry. It turned out to be the I-did-not-even-dream-of-eating-this-here steamboat.
Granted, MK is an established steamboat restaurant chain in Thailand with outlets in almost every mall. During my visit there, I discovered that the locals actually frequent MK for family dinners and birthday celebrations. It's casual and comfortable.
Choosing to skip the dim sum and roasted duck and pork belly (strange for a Thai steamboat restaurant), we went straight for the steamboat. I had a quick slurp of the stock just as it came to a boil, before any ingredients were added. It was too sweet for my liking. Natural sweetness that comes from carrots, cabbage etc, I can understand. But when sugar comes into the question, I cringe.
But eat we must (after that horrid lunch on board) and so ordered a Mushroom Set (159 Baht) and a Sliced Beef Set (152 Baht). I enjoyed the variety of mushrooms that came with the set. The sliced pieces of beef was nothing bad but neither was it fantastic.
The Fresh Shrimps (56 Baht) were small but sweet. Almost as if they were caught in a near-by river. But it had that lai sui (alkaline water) treatment to give it a crunch. The Shrimp Wantons (53 Baht) were pretty good too. Crisp Squids (31 Baht) turned out to be cured cuttlefish and Fresh Squid (31 Baht) was the ordinary erm... sotong.
For vegetables, we had Chinese Cabbage (15 Baht) and Pak Wan Ban (21 Baht). I have never seen or heard of Pak Wan Ban, much less eaten it. It had small thorns and was like a softer Kang Kong with thinner leaves and stems, leaving a slight bitter after taste.
And for something labelled as Japanese Tofu (27 Baht), I don't know how Japanese it was but it tasted like regular tofu.
At the end, I was more happy that my thirst was quenched. Bangkok is indeed hot, humid and dusty. So it was a great reprieve when I had my first sip of this cold tea that MK served. It had this pandan aroma and was slightly sweet-smelling but it had none of that sugar-laden stuff found in bottles of green tea. Chilled, subtly sweet and fragrant, I chucked down glass after glass. This is one for the road!
MK Steamboat Restaurant
139 Ratchadapisek Road, Dindaeng, Bangkok 10400.
Chew On This: At a certain time, loud booming music blasted from the restaurant's speakers and just when I thought some para-para-crazy terrorist had hijacked the restaurant, the MK waitresses aligned themselves and did a dance with wooden noise-clappers in their hands (instead of getting me another bowl of rice). Totally surprised.
Note: S$1 = approx. 22.3 Baht