Explodingbelly is never a fan of steamboats – not even during reunion dinners and it’s never the place I’d suggest when I’m out for a gathering.
However, when I heard about a mushroom centric steamboat place, I knew I had to visit, at least once. Anyway it just struck me – what’s the difference between hotpot and steamboat ah⁇
Ok I googled, it’s the same thing. This shows how unaware and uninterested I am about steamboats. Haha!
Located along Seah Street, the street littered with steamboat places, this store just looked like any of the Chinese steamboat/mala places – really made me wonder how people actually decide on where to dine at and determine which one is good. Is it they follow blogs like mine?! Is it I influencer?
It’s really crazy cause every store looks like the other, I’m surprised how my friend could lock down on this place out of all.
Looking through the menu, I honestly can’t tell what differentiates xiang cao from the rest, because they serve the same kinda proteins and everything else as other steamboat places. What stood out for me is THAT section of the menu dedicated to mushrooms and mushroom soup base?!?
Even though I have no idea what they are but this one seems quite atas and legit la. The key to sounding atas is to name your food in some scientific sounding word.
The menu looks generally the same – a wide variety of items ranging from $6-8 for smaller items like tofu, meat balls, smaller portions of meat, and up to $32 for their largest plate of premium beef/pork. I tried taking pictures of the menu for you guys, but gave up halfway – it was too much!
This is also the only place I’ve been to THRICE within a 2 month period. It’s alot considering I only eat an average of 2 steamboats per YEAR. I guess it’s the entire novelty and overall experience that enticed me.
If you were to visit them during meal hours, you’ll find yourself waiting for up to 15-20 mins for a table in this 2 storey restaurant; and even though they are opened till late, it’s almost dead quiet by about 9.30pm.
This is how part of the restaurant looks like, actually v normal la. They also have the “mix your own condiments” section like HDL.
I especially like the one with mushrooms inside – I forgot what it’s called but its some mushroom paste which I used to eat it on its own.
The food is pretty good, and their plates of beef are amazing. Also, if you love tofu, they’ve got their signature mochi like tofu which everyone i brought, love; except for myself. The texture was quite unique la, slightly chewy just like mochi.
What really impressed me was that every pot came with a separate well to cook MUSHROOMS.
This is to prevent contamination of the flavors from the other ingredients and this is how much pride they have for their quality of mushrooms.
Oooh so beautiful~~~
And that’s not it, whatever mushrooms you’ve ordered will be dumped into this well and they even have precise cooking timing for the mushrooms.
There you go. You’ll find one of these stopwatches on every table for the cook of the mushrooms. And nope you muggles shall not remove the mushrooms out of your pot on your own, one of their servers would come over to personally prepare the soup for you!
They would usually separate the mushrooms with the first scoop of soup just for us to taste the raw goodness of the pure mushroom soup; and after finishing the soup, they will then start adding the mushrooms into our bowls followed by another round of concentrated mushroom broth.
It’s amazing ~~~~~ I can just live with this! How should i describe the taste of the soup? I don’t know really, it’s mushroomy? My second pick of the soup base would be the tomato one, a good amount of tangy and it goes well with whatever ingredients dipped into it!
Top ingredient to pick? Luncheon meat. If you guys haven’t tried luncheon meat with soup… You’re missing out big time. Ok the beef platter is amazing as well.
As you guys can tell, I’m really bad at writing about steamboats because it’s really a duh thing for me to write about. I guess the entire novelty of the whole experience with this mushroom centric place just piqued my love and interest for its steamboat and I made this trip specially to write this post to share with all of you!
I deserve a medal or 10 bowls of that mushroom soup works as well.
It’s definitely not the most value for money place to go for steamboats but for the experience and the quality of the ingredients, it’s really worth it!
P.S. how are the pictures in this post? This entire post is entirely shot and videoed on my Google pixel 2, it’s not an ad but you see me gushing over it everywhere because… I’m just so darn amazed by the the photo quality. GOOGLE PLS MAKE ME YOUR AMBASSADOR. for free.
How to get there?
26 Liang Seah St, Singapore 189047
(Nearest MRT: Bugis)
Daily 11:30am to 2:00am