Cameron Highlands
Travel Destinations
Charcoal Steamboat in Strawberry Park Hotel

Travel Destinations: Charcoal Steamboat

Looking for Charcoal Steamboat in Cameron Highlands? Ever since the Highland Restaurant was closed (well actually not closed but shifted somewhere and I couldn't find them) there didn't seem to be any alternative replacement until now. "And where would that be?", you might ask. Well, the Strawberry Park Resort Hotel is now providing the charcoal steamboat experience.

Strawberry Park Resort Hotel advertisement showing the availability of Charcoal Steamboat

For those of you who have tried the Charcoal Steamboat in Highland Restaurant at Brinchang, you probably would say the Strawberry Park Resort version is not as good. I will probably agree with you because I have tried it too. Maybe I'm too bias when it comes to food catered by hotels. But it doesn't have to be so, there are hotels that do actually serve up a very good fare. I guess it depends on the management whether they actually hire a world class chef to manage the kitchen.

Of course one just can't expect to have everything and there are differences in their presentation and delivery. But for those of you who missed the chance to try the Charcoal Steamboat at the Highland Restaurant can consider giving this a try.

The last time I tried it, they serve the Charcoal Steamboat at the outdoor garden terrace. Out in the open with the cold nights air makes it a conducive location to have your charcoal steamboat experience. But do be warned! Even with hot charcoal blaring away in the steamboat, you will still find it chilly to be having it out in the open especially if there is cold breeze blowing by! Trying to warm oneself by eating too fast from the pot only gets your tongue and palate scalded!

The pot itself is not as unusual as it does not have a tall funnel as that of the Highland Restaurant. I guess the Highland Restaurant tall steaming funnel sure does give it novelty especially when you can see the flame shooting out from it like a volcano going ballistic!

Well, not here. The funnel is shorter, so that kind of lost the novelty of it. One thing about charcoal, it tends to impart a nice aroma to the food cook on it. I think you can say it is the Malaysian equivalent to smoke meat, wouldn't you agree so?

Anyway, I gave this Charcoal Steamboat a try and sat down on the table as the waiter prepared my charcoal steamboat experience in Strawberry Park Resort He brought out the necessary equipment and set off the charcoal alight, and place the pot with the tasty soup inside on top of the fire. The short funnel was put in place and the dishes were served up.

Strawberry Park Resort Hotel the Charcoal Steamboat

As usual the ingredients for the steamboat is the fish ball, meat balls, slices of chicken poultry, crab stick, a couple of prawns, tofu, quail eggs, various highland vegetables, etc. One thing about steamboat, it is pretty much a self service kind of cooking. Just take whatever ingredient you fancy and place in the pot, place the cover over the pot and let it boil for awhile. When it is ready serve it up to your bowl and plate. And since the ingredients does get quite slippery, some of it tend to spill out on the side of the pot and table. It can really make a mess out of the table if one is not too careful sloshing the pot looking for that piece of chicken that you plonk in earlier but now seem to have gone missing into the Davy Jones of steamboat soup!

And the last ingredients to go into the pot are the eggs, which really slosh the soup like a chemistry experiment gone wrong and as a filler to keep your stomach full, are the bee hoon and noodle. I don't know about you, even though my stomach feels full and bloated from all that eating, with the cold night's air and all, I'll be very hungry by the time it is midnight. I guess I'm just taking in mostly water since the fish balls and meat balls tend to bloat when boiled in the steamboat souppot.

As the cold night carry on, slurping on the last of the tasty soup at the end of the meal, one can still tarry a little while if you have company, while the waiter clears up the leftovers and equipment. I can understand why not many restaurant wants to use charcoal as their source of heat to cook up the steamboat because of the work involved in cleaning up. The many steamboat establishment would prefer to opt for the gas stove rather than the charcoal style because it is easier to set up a pot and clean up afterwards.

Oh, well, at least Strawberry Park Resort pick off and continued the Charcoal Steamboat tradition when it was given up by others. So if you want to give this novelty a go, then do check with Strawberry Park Resort Hotel at the outdoor garden terrace for a Charcoal Steamboat meal.

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Posted on 02-October-2006

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