Battle of the Steamboat: Pulau Ketam Steamboat, Bandar Manjalara vs Restoran Choong Huat, Yulek

October 5, 2009

Before I start on this post, let me stop for a while to do some shout-outs. It was one of my friend’s birthday last October 1st, so if you are reading this, Chin Chin, Happy Birthday! Hopefully once my blog is famous, you will too lar huh…

Ok, enough commercial break. Today I am going to talk about 2 steamboat places that I always frequent but somehow never ever blog about it before. To make it more interesting, it’s a head to head between these 2 places. One is the famous Pulau Ketam Steamboat in Bandar Manjalara, Kepong, and the other is the equally famous Restoran Choong Huat in Taman Yulek, Cheras.

Round 1 – Side Dishes

Both places have a variety of side orders that you can choose from. Things like barbequed chicken wings, grilled fish, fried oyster and water chestnut cake are some of the food that you can find in either one of this restaurant. I am not sure how it started but a steamboat meal is never complete if you don’t order barbequed chicken wings, so Round 1 will pit both of the chicken wings served here.


The chicken wings available @ Pulau Ketam Steamboat is juicy and marinated to perfection. The chilli dip is something that goes very well with the chicken wings as it’s sourish and sweet and spicy.


The chicken wings @ Choong Huat on the other hand looked quite ordinary in this picture. I can say that taste-wise, it’s quite ordinary too. It used to be on par with the one in Manjalara but somehow it’s not that good anymore. The only thing that they win are the variety department as they also have grilled fish and fried oh-chien (oyster omelette) but all that too is not as nice as I remembered it to be.


So the score, Pulau Ketam Steamboat (PKS) 1 – Choong Huat Restoran (CHR) 0

Round 2 – Main dish

With the side dishes out of the way, time to review some of their main dishes.


CHR is quite generous in terms of preparing the stuff for the hotpot. The usual suspects include fish ball, pork ball, fish mee, prawn, yee mee etc. The portion is just nice and it didn’t change much everytime we went there.


The stuffs being given in PKS is adequate and are almost similar to CHR but somehow someday the owner decided that he need to cut cost so he’s not going to provide his customer jellyfish anymore. Yeah, it’s true. They use to serve jellyfish as part of the normal set but somehow it was taken out these 1 year back, my guess is the owner must have been hit pretty bad with the economy.

So for that I am going to give CHR the win here because they still serve the same old portion and same old thing.

Score, CHR 1 – PKS 1.

Round 3 – Soup Base

Soup base are one of the key ingredients of steamboat. No matter how good is the set that you ordered, being it Sri Lankan crab or Australian fresh abalone, it will taste like crap if the soup is not good enough.

CHR offers quite a number of variety in soup base namely Tom Yam, Normal Chicken Broth, Herbal and Black Pepper. I always like the idea that we can switch soup while we are there, like moving from the Normal Chicken Broth to Herbal to Black Pepper. Albeit the variety, I would say the soup base this time is not what that good anymore. It just doesn’t click. It might be the soup is not boiled long enough, hence the disappointment.


PKS on the other hand don’t have a lot of variety in their soup base. Just the usual normal soup and Tom Yam. While the choice are limited, there are consistent on their soup. The moral of the story is, keep it simple and that won’t go wrong.


So in this department, PKS wins hands down!

PKS 2 – CHR 1

The last nail in the coffin from PKS on CHR is their kick-ass chilli sauce.


Their specialty chilli sauce is so good that you can even eat it on it’s own, but of course, with that piece of fish ball is better lar. Those who can’t take spicy should start with the red colour first. If you are like me (who can eat very very spicy stuffs!), go for the green, you won’t regret it.

So with that one, the score? PKS 3 – CHR 1


With these score line, definitely anyone of you reading this could give PKS a try because the chicken wing is good and the chilli is great. While for CHR, I will be less likely to visit them again unless it’s like a friend’s gathering where we just want a place where we can catch up. So try it out and see which one steamboat place you prefer. At least for me, I know which one I prefer. Hehe.

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  • Reply min dfin October 6, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    I like the chicken wing rather than the steam boat.

  • Reply JD October 6, 2009 at 10:23 pm


    Yeah, the chicken wings are definitely better than the steamboat.

  • Reply patrickkhong October 9, 2009 at 9:50 am

    next time, it is PKR gathering when i come back.

    So, there’s go AhLai’s steamboat venue.

  • Reply JD October 9, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    @patrickkhong the best i think now is plus 1 shabu2. when you come back we go there lar…..more comfortable……

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