Where to eat in Cameron Highlands
Highlands Restaurant and Charcoal Steamboat
Try this house specialty: the charcoal steamboat. Truly this is one of kind of steamboat experience. It is an uncommon way of having your steamboat meal using charcoal to fire up the soup. It is so uncommon that the only other place that has similar style would be at Strawberry Park Resort Hotel (Though whether they are still doing it is anybody's guess...).
I have heard that some parts of Malaysia travel destinations have such charcoal steamboats offered. So far I haven't really come across any. Not even in Kuala Lumpur or anywhere else in Malaysia that I know of.
They use to have their restaurant below the Jasmine Hotel in Brinchang. However, the hotel management has taken over the ground floor premises to open their own restaurant.
While having a meal there, one of the residents of Cameron Highlands informed me that operators were planning to retire. So when it moved, I thought, "That's it. No more chance of anybody trying it out anymore."
But no, they have not closed down. They just shifted to another location. I just happened to chance upon the restaurant while driving around Brinchang looking for a parking space (Brinchang is like that, very difficult to find a parking lot) that I finally spotted them. They are located behind the main street of Brinchang on the way to Rosa Passadena Hotel.
Having a charcoal steamboat meal is different from the usual gas stove types. Once the charcoal was fired up, the fire could not be adjusted, turned down or switched off, thus your soup would continue to boil away! There was only one setting. It just keeps on burning until you finished your meal or the charcoal burnt itself out, which ever come sooner! You might catch a glimpse of fire shooting out of the steamboat funnel too as though sulfur and brimstone has overflowed from below!
The burning charcoal gave an added aroma to your steamboat dishes giving your meal an added smoky taste. Since the fire could not be switched off, you might have to ask the waiter to add in more soup before all was boiled away.
The meal itself was fair, but the long funnel with the occasional volcanic fire shooting out makes it a fun and interesting alternative way of having your steamboat meal experience. So do give it a try! And no, you don't need a fireman's jacket to have this meal
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Posted on 27-Oct-2007