If you love steamboat and live in the east of Singapore, you’re probably familiar with Mini Steamboat Delight.
Formerly situated within the Parkway Parade basement food court, it has since relocated to the HDB Hub food court at Toa Payoh. There’s also another branch at Novena Gardens.
I visited the HDB Hub branch twice in two months and fairly enjoyed the experience.
The first time I went, my hubby and I ordered the Special Set (S$28) which comprises an assortment of meat, seafood, various balls and vegetables, as well as beehoon (rice vermicelli). We also ordered an extra plate of beef (S$8). The second time, we ordered the Special Beef Set (S$28; see the first photo in this post) which consisted of a mound of marinated New York beef and three types of vegetables. The beef is well-seasoned but needs to cook for a longer period than fresh beef or it’ll taste mushy. I like it but it could do with fewer shallots as they tend to overwhelm the flavour of the meat.
We opted for tom yum soup and mushroom (or was it chicken?) soup both times. For an establishment that proclaims to be the pioneer of tom yum steamboat, the soup base isn’t phenomenal…nor memorable – neither of the two times I was there reminded me of the stock I’d had when they were still at Parkway, so this pretty much indicates the inconsistency of the broth. That said, the spicy soup is generally tasty. I can’t say the same for its non-spicy counterpart but its blandness does help to balance the saltiness of the chilli laden one.
The food is undeniably fresh and an indisputable draw – they’re always packed, at Toa Payoh and when they were at Parkway. What I particularly appreciate (though my tongue shirks!) is the fact that the soup and food keep hot throughout – every bite is hearty and scaldingly warming. ;)
The specially-concocted chilli sauce (which includes red chilli, sesame oil, cilantro and sweet soybean paste, I think) is distinctive and memorable. However, I’m not so fond of the creamy orange sauce that comes with the beef set – it has some ginger in it which is fine but it’s blah compared to the zesty red one.
Haven’t grown up in the east, I have fond memories of this place as it had been in Parkway Parade for ages…it’s gladdening to see that it still exists. And while I’m feeling nostalgic, I actually miss The Vines Seafood And Steak Restaurant, a western-style eatery that I frequented during my pregnancy with my 3rd child because it was near the hospital where my gynae’s clinic is. Unfortunately, the space they were in – Novena Ville – has since been demolished and replaced with a mixed development, and they have no intention of opening elsewhere. :(