Steamboat and barbecues always go hand-in-hand, if you have been to BarBQ Plaza then you know what I mean. But this is the first time I try something different called Mookata. 'Moo' means Pork, and 'Kata' refers to BBQ. It is a famous Thai BBQ, traditionally over the charcoal.
#1 Colorful, Vivacious Zen Garden
Zen Garden is relatively new in Cheras area, specializing in traditional Chinese Cuisine and Thailand's Mookata style barbeque. The atmosphere is rather lively on a Saturday night, as we enjoy fresh drinks from a selection of beers while enjoying the soul-moving music from their in-house DJ and live music.
#2 Steamboat Set @ RM49.90
B- Pork Belly Slices
For the steamboat, we order set meals for sharing, and additional plates of meat to satisfy our carnivorous cravings. The set has a good portion of chicken breast, vegetables, fish noodles, fish balls, fish rolls, fish slices, meat balls, prawns, quail eggs, fish stomach, and more.
#3 Hot Pan with Steamboat Soup
As for the Mookata, what the waitress does is rubbing the lard over the exposed metal surface, then leaving it at the top so that it will drip down all over the plate. The well-marinated chicken, beef and lamb are delicious, but well...It's difficult to go wrong when the lard on hot BBQ makes everything tastes so good.
Fish Bone Soup (鱼骨靓汤) @ RM14.90
Tom Yam Soup (冬炎汤) @ RM14.90
Yellow Wine Soup (黄酒汤) @ RM14.90
The choices of refillable soup base is quite interesting, but I only manage to try one of them. On a healthier option, we have the vegetable and seafood platter to be immersed into the spicy tom yam soup. I love the sour chilli dip which gives a kick to the food. Slightly disappointed, the tom yam here is toned down to cater for the local taste.
#4 Cheese Crab (湿芝士蟹) @ RM48 for 1 / RM88 for 2
Knowing that Zen Garden is famed for its fresh seafood, we order a platter of signature crabs from the extensive a la carte menu. The sauce gives a finger-licking good creaminess that I'd wish to lick the dish along with the crabs.
#5 Fried Fish Belly (火爆鱼肚) @ RM13.90
Despite of having the mild tom yam, the fried fish belly is far too good for our expectations. The robust flavours from the sauce and heavy spiciness are perfectly complemented by the soft, chewy fish belly.
#6 Salted Spicy Fish Skin (椒盐鱼皮) @ RM12.90
I believe it's more enjoyable to munch something crispy while chatting, that's one of my habits, where the deep-fried fish skin becomes addictive and I can't help but to reach for more!
#7 Garlic Fried Rice (蒜米饭) @ RM3.00
A simple fried rice like this has a very aromatic, yet mild taste. It works perfect to pair with the heavy notes of the side dishes and barbecued meats.
#8 Durian Pancakes
Being a steamboat & BBQ restaurant, I didn't expect to have durian pancakes in their menu as well! Drizzled with melted chocolate topping, the egg crepe wraps chunks of durian flesh, giving a melt-in-the-mouth sensation. Delicious!
Finding the restaurant can be a little tricky if you're a stranger in Cheras area. Located up on the sloppy hill, the restaurant has a great ambiance brightly-lit with Chinese lantern decor with no air-conditioning. Luckily the ventilation is quite good, with breezy wind gushing in.
1. Zen Garden serves a good range of fresh food, I'm not surprised if I were to come back for the Mookata and ala carte dishes.
2. Recommended: Fried Fish Belly and Mookata Chicken and Beef
3. The ambiance is very hygienic, with quick service and beautiful open-space so that I can enjoy the steamboat comfortably.
(Inside The Challenger Sports Centre)
16, Jalan Koop Cuepacs 3F,
43200 Batu 9 Cheras,
Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Contact: 603-9074 0336
Fax: 603-9075 2355
Business Hours: 5pm to 2am daily
GPS Coordinates: N 3.077116, E 101.758643