This is actually a week late since my family and I went last Sunday to celebrate an early birthday for my mom. Its not the first time that we’ve been to the place (but I suppose that goes to show that the food is quite good… or at least special) but I figure its worth a mention. I would include some pictures but I left my camera in the car (I actually thought I left it at home… forgetful me).
For those of you who do not actually know what steamboat actually means here’s my best effort. From what I know, steamboat is Chinese in origin and typically called ’seng woh’ in mandarine; roughly translates to ‘raw pot’. It’s a dish that is dish(?) that is typically served during winter when its cold. The whole family would gather around a pot of steaming broth set over a fire and toss in a variety of raw foodstuff to cook for their meal. Since everyone is gathered, its a great communial thing but not for those who fear the taste of another’s saliva since everyone shares out of the same pot. Still don’t have a good picture? Well… though!
Anyway, the restaurant is located (some thousands of miles away from China and winter) along Jalan Pudu. If you travel along Jalan Pudu from Pudu Jail, it is the row of shops on your left right before a Caltex station. The front of the shop faces Jalan Pudu itself so it will be a little difficult to find parking there. Whether you’re coming from Pudu or the other direction, my advice is to turn in at the Caltex t-junction, take the firs left turn and hang two more lefts to get to the alley way behind the shop where there are numerous parking lots. Parking’s free at night. Since it wasn’t my first time, I called ahead to make reservations for a party of six. It was a good thing too cause when my parents and I arrived, there was already a crowd of people gathered at the main entrance waiting to be seated. It took us five minutes to get a table inside the airconditioned premises but a lot longer before someone came to take our orders.
Farmland Steamboat as the name suggests serves steamboat, with a twist. A typical steamboat usually uses clear soup or stock as its base. There are alternatives such as Tomyam and herbal stock, but its most always soup. In addition to the usual clear soup and tomyam, Farmland serves up a third alternative, porridge (congee, gruel, etc. Take your pick of alternative nouns). My friend described it best the first time we went when he said we were going to have porridge with lots of stuff in it.
Since my sister, her fiance and WL had not arrived yet, we decided to place a small order to start with and let them order again when they came. We called for the congee base, which they served in a nice clay pot, sets for two persons, slices of raw dorry fish, chicken, golden string mushrooms, abalone mushrooms and two varieties of vegetables. The three of us dug in with gusto, tossing in half of everything. We were putting in the other half and well into our third round before the remainder of our party arrived. New orders were placed for luncheon meat, seafood wantan, seafood suay kow (water dogs?), luncheon meat, fish noodles, pork balls, vegetables and another standard set for one person.
My parents were satisfied with the meal and that is an achievement on its own cause its usually very difficult to bring them out for meals that they enjoyed. However, there were some complaints that first round of porridge was a little watered down but that improved after several refills. It was also somewhat difficult to get noticed in the crowd when we wanted to place additional orders. Overall, it was a very good meal with great company and excellent conversation.
The bill came up to RM150.00++ inclusive of tax, or roughly RM25.00 per person. This was expected since we ordered a fair amount of food. A set for one person is RM13.50, porridge base is RM1.50 per person while Tomyam is an additional RM3.00. Side orders range in price from RM3.50 up to RM20.00 depending on the dish and the size. There is a minimum order charge of RM30.00. The average cost from all my visits is around RM18 per head which IMHO is fairly reasonable.
Farmland Steamboat has several outlets within the Klang valley. There is one further up the road from where we went to, one in Serdang Jaya, dirrectly across the road from South City Shopping Complex, and one more in Kelana Jaya (I think). Having also been to the branch at Serdang, I feel that the first is the best, albeit a little crowded and busy. Just call in advance to make reservations and you won’t have anything to worry about.
Recommended? YES. Will I go again? Definitely.
Farmland Porridge Steamboat
Off Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2141 9297
Farmland Porridge Steamboat (Serdang Jaya)
Opposite South City Shopping Complex.
Tel: 03-8941 9719