Thai Style Mookata Steamboat at Tom Yum Kungfu
Steamboat or Hot Pot is featured significantly in many Asian culinary traditions. Japanese ‘Shabu Shabu,’ for example, is a worldwide famed hot pot dish which requires no introduction. ‘Huo Guo’ on the other hand is well loved in China and different regions have developed their own variations. While not as famous as the first two, the Thais have their very own ‘Mookata’ (the name means ‘Pork Pan’ in English) which allows diners to cook raw meats and vegetables by dipping them into hot soup, as well as cook them by barbeque-ing. According to certain creative minds, when seen from certain angles the shape of the Mookata pan resembles a UFO, hence it is also sometimes affectionately called the UFO steamboat.
Today we will review one of the more popular Mookata restaurants in Singapore, and try the dish that is increasingly gaining prominence on the Singapore food scene. We chose Tom Yum Kungfu at Circular Road based on the recommendation of a friend who is married to a Thai, and the fact that the couple love the place made us quite sure that this store would be of a certain standard. The place is packed to the limits every night during dinner time; if you don’t have a table reservation and want to avoid the queue it is best to be there by 6.30pm, before the hungry horde arrive. We took an outside seat as the interior of the restaurant was quite cramped. Besides, with all the smoke generated, outside seating would also likely be much cooler.
Interior of Tom Yum Kungfu
Tom Yum Kungfu’s menu is simple, having both sets and a-la carte dishes on offer. The sets include an assortment of meat, seafood, and vegetables suitable for 2-3 persons, and if desired one can order additional a-la carte items. Do try the amazing Mama brand instant noodles, you will not be disappointed. Their chicken wings also seemed to be highly popular among patrons. Once we were seated and made our orders, the restaurant’s staff came over to set up the coal fire base and the Mookata set. Our order followed not long after, raw meats and seafood neatly displayed on a metal tray while the vegetables were served in a large bowl.
From the set we ordered, we particularly liked the pork, which was well marinated in sesame oil and seeds. The scallops were also a treat, especially eaten with a dollop of Tom Yum Kungfu’s special chilli sauce. The fresh vegetables were great complements to the meat and seafood. Last but not least, the unique shape of the Mookata pan allows juice and oil from the cooking meats to trickle down into the soup base. After some time, our soup turned from clear stock into a rich tasting broth bursting with flavour, almost good enough to serve on its own.
We paid approximately SGD 30 per person, including drinks. We can say that this is a fair price, considering that for the price we paid we left the restaurant utterly full and satisfied. In conclusion, the Mookata at Tom Yum Kungfu is highly recommended!
Tom Yum Kungfu
16 Circular Road, Singapore 049372