Saturday, November 23, 2013

Charcoal Steamboat Dinner: Must Eat and Experience in the Cameron Highlands

I cannot stress this enough. If you are in the Cameron Highlands you have to try this delicious and very entertaining dinner experience. My parents and I totally loved this! Many restaurants in Tanah Rata and Brinchang offer this in their menus so it is very easy to find a place.

That said a Steamboat is a boiling Hot Pot, and there are 2 types of Steamboats: (1) Steamboat powered by electricity (2) Steamboat powered by charcoal and fire. The latter is very popular in the Cameron Highlands which makes this cuisine very special here.

Restoran Kwan Kee
No website. Located along the main street in the centre of Brinchang.


This was taken after we left the restaurant.


My mom was a little bit wary about the steamboat but I kept telling them it is going to be good. So when we arrived at the centre of Brinchang I pointed to them all the roadside restaurants overflowing with tables on the street with charcoal steamboat pot on it. They are now curious, haha.

All the roadside restaurants were full, however, we eyed a table that is about to be vacated at the Chinese restaurant ‘Kwan Kee’, so we quickly positioned ourselves nearby. It is a weekend, Friday evening, so it is very busy here.

Charcoal Steamboat Dinner

The woman from the restaurant asked me if I prefer charcoal or electricity for the steamboat dinner. Of course, for a much richer steamboat experience, you have to choose charcoal. Then she asked us which soup base we want. I chose Tom Yam which is Thai. This is a jackpot because the parents loved it, moi as well.


Charcoal Steamboat Menu. You choose your base soup and you get everything mentioned on the right side. The steamboat is the boiling pot and this is powered with charcoal and the wind pipe helps adjust the heat.


This is the whole steamboat dinner spread.

A Steamboat Dinner is a DIYC dinner - a Do It Yourself Cooking dinner, so you get cooking accompaniments such as little portions of sambal sauce, soy sauce, sliced chilis and diced garlic for this.

Now, let us first have a closer look at the main steamboat ingredients.


Egg noodles, angel hair noodles (bee hoon) and fresh chicken eggs.


Fried beancurd and fish balls.


Silken tofu, mushrooms, fresh prawns, chicken fillet, fish fillet, pork and fresh leafy green vegetables (cabbage, spinach, lettuce, watercrest)

And then we attack the steamboat and started cooking... and of course, eating!


I also managed to take pictures of our neighbours who were more than willing to pose with the camera. City girls from Kuala Lumpur on a weekend getaway in the Cameron Highlands.


And a couple who is enjoying much their steamboat dinner they even asked for a second round of soup (free soup refill!). We did not ask for a refill though.


And here we are, still seriously cooking and seriously eating. Mom and dad loving the food and enjoying the experience.


The steamboat is perfect for dinner in temperate climate Cameron Highlands because hot soup meals are best eaten in colder conditions. The meats are thin, there are lots of vegetables, some fish and the only carbohydrates are the noodles which are not alot really. This makes the steamboat meal a FILLING yet quite a LIGHT meal. Perfect for dinner.

The aftermath of the charcoal steamboat dinner. Very satisfied =)


We finished everything =)

I cannot remember exactly how much all this has cost us but I know it was not more than 15 euros. This is really good value for money. Rating and review: 4.7 stars out of 5! Highly recommended!

For an overview of Cameron Highlands, go here: An Overview and Map of the Cameron Highlands

Travel Period: August 2013
Destination: Brinchang, Cameron Highlands (Pahang), Malaysia

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