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Getting hot and steamy

23 Jan 2020 / 10:45 H.

By TAN BEE HONG

AT AROUND 1pm on Dec 9, 2019, two lions roared their way into the brand new Coco Steamboat Restaurant in Scott Garden, along Old Klang Road.

Accompanied by the sound of cymbals and drums, the gold and black lions pranced around the restaurant to shower blessings on the premises.

There are two other Coco Steamboat restaurants, located in Taman Bukit Hijau, Cheras, and Sungai Long, Kajang.

The first Coco was opened 15 years ago by a restaurateur known only as Mr. Wong. He says he hopes the new outlet will offer customers a better dining experience.

Indeed, at 2,100 sq metres, the new Coco is spacious and can cater to up to 600 people. There are 10 VIP rooms too.

Asked about the name of the restaurant, Mr. Wong said it was picked by his daughter Amanda , who is now the business development manager.

Steamboat pots are almost always round in shape, so I was amused to find that the pots here are square. Amanda says this shape more suitable, especially for customers who want two soup choices at the table.

It is also to accommodate the new powerful suction system that draws smells downwards. This way, customers won’t go home with the odour of food clinging to their clothes, says Amanda.

Stock secrets

Coco offers a choice of five soup stocks. The signature stock is Yeye’s Pork Bone Broth (RM34.90) which has milk added for creaminess. It is made from a recipe handed down the generations in the Wong family.

The others are Cordycep Flower Chicken Soup With Fish Maw, Tomato Soup, Mala Soup and the latest offering, a premium Black Truffle Broth, made with shaved black truffles.

As for the ingredients, there are a la carte choices listed under meat, seafood, dumplings, fish balls, tofu and vegetables, as well as set platters (from RM49.90) of pork, beef or seafood.

At the sneak preview, we were served Pork Bone Broth with the pork set, a platter of Chinese cabbage, bok choy, sweet corn on the cob, thinly sliced pork, pork kidney, deep fried beancurd, and brown shimeji mushroom, as well as preboiled pork stomach and belly pork.

What really brought the ingredients together was the stock, and the Pork Bone Broth lives up to its reputation. We also had a la carte items such as sliced fish, Popo’s squid ball, Popo’s prawn ball, shimeji mushroom, Ling Ling tofu, cold tofu and deepfried beancurd.

Appetizers and dips

On a side table, there were freshly cut fruit and ingredients such as peanut paste, sesame paste, chilli and scallions. For RM5 per person, customers can combine their favourite items to make their own dip.

But it’s not all about steamboat at Coco. While waiting for the soup to boil, we nibbled on crispy vinegar black fungus, fried dumplings, fried shrimp paste sliced pork, fried prawn curd rolls and fried chicken wings.

As for drinks, we sipped on Coco’s Signature Sugar Cane (RM11.90). This is not regular fresh sugar cane but rather, a boiled Chinese combination of ingredients to help the body ‘cool’ down.

Tan Bee Hong is a food critic-cum-blogger at fatphoenix.my. She can be contacted at phoenixbee@gmail.com.

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