There’s no better way to warm yourselves up than having a steamboat session on a cold, rainy day. The practice of steamboat is believed to be originated from Mongolia before it spreaded to China and other parts of Asian countries. In Japan, they call it “shabu shabu” while the rest of the world call it “hot pot”, which is the literal translation of “火鍋 (huo guo)”.
Call it whatever you want, but the most important thing about steamboat is its delicious broth and the wide selection of fresh ingredients. A typical steamboat session usually sees the diners gathering around a dining table and dipping a wide range of raw food including thinly sliced meats, seafood, and vegetables into a pot of boiling broth. Plain, clear stocks made mainly from pork ribs and chicken are usually used as the soup base while the cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce.
We don’t even know who started the steamboat trend in Malaysia, but it is truly a blessing for those of us who enjoy having a hot steamboat meal for dinner or supper. For the past few years, a number of steamboat joints have mushroomed all over Klang Valley and it showed no signs of stopping. Case in point, a new steamboat restaurant that boasts to be “a premium specialty steamboat restaurant”.
The restaurant is called “Ye Zi”, which means coconut in Mandarin. It is easy to understand why they’ve decided to name the restaurant after our favourite tropical fruit because its signature broth is a sweet and aromatic coconut-based soup. Ye Zi’s co-owner Katrina Wong told us that her partner and herself decided to introduce the coconut-based soup in Malaysia because they loved the taste of the soup when they first tried it in China. Since the soup is not available in most of the steamboat joints in Klang Valley yet, Katrina thinks it’s time for Malaysians to get a taste of the delicious yet healthy broth.
There are 5 choices of broth available at Ye Zi and the options range from the Taiwanese beef soup to the rice wine soup to the mushroom soup. The signature here is, of course, the coconut-based soup that’s studded with bamboo fungus and water chestnut. We didn’t have the chance to try the other soups, but we were impressed by its refreshing coconut-based soup because unlike the ordinary chicken soup or pork rib soup, it left us yearning for more as we couldn’t stop drinking the soup.
Before we dipped the raw food into the huge bubbling pot of hot soup, Katrina ordered some side dishes for us to keep hunger pangs at bay. The first dish we tried was a delightful dish of spicy fried century eggs. It came with an appetiser of a bowl of jellyfish cut into thin strips. For someone who doesn’t really like century eggs (read: me), the dish was surprisingly good and considered acceptable for our taste buds.
We were then served with other side dishes including deep fried chicken wrapped with screw pine leaves and bacon-wrapped chicken. They were pleasantly appetising as the taste lingered in the mouth even after a while.
Katrina told us that the cooked food would taste much better with their homemade dipping sauce, which was mixed with chilli, garlic, and a bit of lime sauce. Even though it was slightly spicy, we thought it was perfect for the steamboat meal.
While waiting for the soup to boil, Katrina prepared a variety of homemade fish balls including pepper cheese ball, signature mushroom chicken ball, squid ball, and so on. Among all the raw food, the signature coconut dumpling is one of the must-try dishes at Ye Zi.
Not to mention, patrons should definitely order the premium sliced beef and lamb here because they were so thinly sliced that it required very little effort for us to chew on them. Katrina ensured that the ingredients are prepared fresh daily by the service crew so that patrons don’t have to worry about the freshness of the ingredients.
Also, trust her when she says they only serve homemade ingredients because the steamboat meal includes fish paste contained in a cone-shaped plastic tube. It allowed us to have some fun with our food as we squeezed the fish paste noodles into the hot piping soup.
Although we felt bloated from all the good food we had at Ye Zi, we decided to wrap up our feast with the restaurant’s signature dessert – special coconut ice cream. The restaurant borrowed the concept from the Thai street-food treat aka the infamous coconut ice cream in Thailand, especially in Chatuchak area.
The ice cream is made up of coconut milk instead of cow’s milk, but it lacked the basic toppings such as roasted peanuts, sweet corn, and coconut husk. However, that didn’t stop us from finishing it because the flavour is fairly rich and the texture is very smooth as well.
Overall, it was a very satisfying meal, but we need to go back again to try the other dishes that are served in different broths. We must say, it is best to go in a group so that everyone can get their fair share of Ye Zi’s steamboat goodness.
Special thanks to The Roof for arranging the food tasting session for us.
- Address: The Roof 1 First Avenue, Bandar Utama, No.3 Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya,, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
- Tel: 012-3235841
- Opening Hours: Mon – Sun: 6pm – 2am