Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Melbourne Binge: Day 2

This is basicaly our 4th posting on steamboat, which happens to be one of Nee's favourite Chinese cuisine. If you've noticed, almost everywhere that we've been to, we've had steamboat ~ Hong Kong, KL and of course Kuching. And it should be everyone's favourite in this freezing Melbourne weather. It has been really chilly, in fact brinking on freezing, in Melbourne with occassionally evening showers. (I'm sounding like a weather report)

Last night, Roger took us to a place called Little Lamb which was supposedly to be one of China's great steamboat franchises. It is located on Russell St in between Londsdale and Little Lonsdale St.

And as usual, there were a lot of organisational, administrative & planning work to be done when ordering food in a steamboat restaurant. The choices are many & they really spoil you to the point of confusion. At least I thought I was. But usually I would leave this part to her Royal Highness, Queen Neelizabeth of the Chain des Rotisseurs.

NEE: Each guest is allowed to pick one sauce each ~ we picked the sesame, chives and spicy sauce (Sa Cha Jiang). Sauces are complimentary but the portions are big.

Then there were the little snacks that diners can pick off a list of about ten or so. We had these:

For those that goes into the steamboat, we ordered these:

Thin beancurd sheets, really smooth and tasty unlike our Malaysian version.

Big Prawns (can only order one portion per table) and green mussels.

Super thin and fresh beef and lamb slices. They came in a whole moutainful plate. There was also a good variety of vegies, balls, squids, noodles (ranging from sweet potato noodles to vermicelli), seaweeds, mushrooms & beancurd sticks. The list was long and all items were refillable. It is an all you can eat for AUD 23 (RM55) inclusive of taxes and charges per person.

It comes with a list of desserts too like shanghainese style red bean pancakes, taro pancakes, tang yuan with peanuts and sesame fillings. These too, were refillable.

We thought that the steamboat was very good for Melbourne's standards. We had the ying yong (half chicken herbal stock and half spicy stock) stocks, with a bit of msg no doubt.

But of course, the one in KL was much better in terms of the body of the soup which was stronger and with many more layers to it and lack of presence of msg. But again, in a place like Melbourne, this was probably as good as it gets. Environment wise, this is your no fuss place, 2 and 1/2 storey packed with people. We had to wait 1/2 hour for a table. But in terms value for money, this is top notch. AUD 23/person for a good selection that are refillable. Imagine non-stop refillable lamb & beef slices. Bring on your bottomless pits. Steaming soup in freezing cold weather is definitely bumping up the points for this place.

GREG: I think all steamboat places serve almost the same stuff (except the ones in Kuching which tend to be on the lower grade). The only thing that makes the difference is the soup & the sauces. Well, Tien Siang is opening in Kuching (or opened already?) & it'll be interestng to see whether it will be as expensive as in KL.

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