Steamboat with a difference

Pumpkin porridge steamboat with platters of seafood, meatballs and vegetables, — Photos: LOW BOON TAT/The Star

Pumpkin porridge is fusion perfection with creamy goodness

STEAMBOAT or hotpot is a comfort meal for many, and is usually eaten in a communal setting.

It involves cooking raw ingredients in a simmering broth or soup placed at the centre of the table.

In Malaysia, soup made from meat stock or spicy tom yam are typical hotpot bases.

Starchy porridge or thick, creamy soup used as a base for steamboats is not uncommon these days as they offer more satisfying flavour.

However, this can be too heavy or overwhelming for some, as usually, the freshness of ingredients take centre stage for a rewarding steamboat meal.

The idea is to strike a balance between flavourful and creamy soup without jeopardising the freshness of ingredients, thus keeping customers flocking back for more.

Touted as the first pumpkin porridge steamboat in the country, Pumpkin Garden Steamboat Kitchen’s soup base is a delightful fusion dish combining the comforting warmth of steamboat with sweet and nutty goodness of pumpkin porridge.

Rich and creamy, golden yellow hotpot.Rich and creamy, golden yellow hotpot.

Proprietor Steven Yeow, who started the business in 2006, said the inspiration behind pumpkin steamboat was his desire to offer a unique alternative to the traditional hotpot.

“It is very common to see the tom yam and soup variety for steamboat,” he said.

“I thought – why not try something different? So I came up with pumpkin porridge.

“It was a hit with customers, so I eventually phased out the traditional soup base to focus on this.”

Yeow said the recipe for the pumpkin porridge was kept simple, with rice and locally sourced pumpkins as the main ingredients.

The porridge, priced at RM26.90 per person, comes with a platter of ingredients including meat, seafood, tofu, mushrooms, dumplings and vegetables.

The golden yellow porridge is certainly eye-catching and hints at its rich, comforting flavour.

The porridge is neither thick nor watery, and it makes for a hearty base to cook the ingredients.

He said initially it was thought that the pumpkin might cause the porridge to become too sweet but this was not the case.

Fried Lala Bee HoonFried Lala Bee Hoon

Instead, the fruit offers a good balance of savoury and sweet and the porridge’s taste profile elevates as different ingredients are thrown in.

Yeow recommends diners add a dash of Sarawak white pepper, sesame oil and soy sauce for more depth and taste.

A chilli dipping sauce lends a spicy kick to the porridge.

There are a variety of ingredients that can be ordered to be savoured with the porridge such as fish, meat slices and meatballs.

There are other dishes to check out if pumpkin porridge steamboat is not your cup of tea,

Among the a la carte and noodle dishes here are Teochew Steamed Pomfret with Bee Hoon, Cantonese Fried Noodles and Fried Lala Bee Hoon.

The lala (clams) mee hoon goes well with the pumpkin porridge steamboat, should one want an accompaniment that is not too heavy.

Small and juicy lala that are first steamed and then infused with aromatics over high heat makes for an appetising dish.

Other side dishes here are include Nam Yue Pork, Fried Fish Ball and dumplings.

The fried seafood ball proved to be a favourite as it was bouncy and had great mouthfeel.

PUMPKIN GARDEN STEAMBOAT KITCHEN G17,G18 & G19, Amaya Maluri, 2, Jalan Jejaka 2, Kuala Lumpur (Tel: 03-9226 9292). Business hours: Noon to 3pm, 5pm to 11pm, daily. Non-halal.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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