Ken’s Steamboat Places in Penang

Steamboat is no longer an occasional meal for the folks in Penang. Penangites enjoy steamboat any time shared with family and friends, cooking their preferred ingredients in piping hot soup. To enjoy this communal dish, this food blogger shares his favourite steamboat places in Penang.

Steamboat Haven
Open for only a couple months, the place has garnered a following and proven to be a popular family dining place for the nearby residents. Only one type of soup base is available in Steamboat Haven. Do not expect an avalanche of flavours in the soup, but rather, a comfortingly simple and traditional clear soup with a hint of appetising acidic twist from the humble sour plum. Flavours from fish and yam are apparent and hunks of deep fried fish can be found within the soup as well as cabbage. Chopped cilantro are added to the soup as a final touch. Sets are available from RM58.

Address: 34, Jalan Fettes,
11200 Tanjung Tokong, Penang.
Opening hours: 6pm - 11pm, Thurs - Tues

Hong La Jiao
Its name hints at a Sze Chuan-influenced steamboat restaurant. The restaurant is famous for its fiery hot Sze Chuan hot pot. It possesses the quintessential elements of peppercorns, dried chilies and chilli oil. Hong La Jiao is very generous with the condiments. There are unlimited refills of condiments available at the cost of RM1 per person. Other soup base include Macau pork bone broth, Chinese herbal soup and Tom Yum Soup.

251-A, Ground Floor, Jalan Burmah
10350 George Town, Penang.
Opening hours: 6pm - 5am, Mon - Sun

Qian Wei La
A steamboat restaurant that embodies Sze Chuan hot pot and Korean barbecue, Qian Wei La has been drawing a huge attention at the fast-developing Bukit Mertajam. Throw in a scoop or two of their home-made Sze Chuan chilli paste and it changes everything! The chilli paste will blow your mind with a numbingly hot sensation stemming from Sze Chuan peppercorns with a comfortable saltiness. Their creamy but savoury peanut sauce goes well with any meat. Qian Wei La's recipe of peanut sauce is not to be overlooked either. Akin to peanut butter sauce, the owner adds her own personal touch to the peanut sauce by leaving bits of crushed peanuts within the sauce.

113, Jalan Perniagaan Gemilang 1
Pusat Perniagaan Gemilang
14000 Bukit Mertajam, Penang.
Opening hours: 2pm – 11.30pm Wed - Mon
Eam Huat Charcoal Steamboat
Using Charcoal as the source of fuel to heat up the broth, Eam Huat draws huge crowds especially on weekends. They are famous for their inexpensive wide variety of fresh ingredients such as grouper fish, home-made fish paste noodles, deep fried bean curd and more. The pleasantly sweet broth derives its sweetness from the use of fresh fish.

7, Medan Penaga, Batu Lanchang
11600 Penang.
Opening hours: 6pm - 10pm, Wed - Mon
Sawara Steamboat
An early reservation is recommended to have a meal in Sawara as the place tends to be filled up by regular patrons especially on weekends. Sawara is good at serving their fish-based broth that is flavourful with a burst of seafood sweetness. As you cook the ingredients, the broth turns sweeter. The must-try items in Sawara are their home-made fish paste as well as fish dumplings. Unlike any other fish paste, their version comes with a unique twist of having parsley inside while the texture is not as 'bouncy' as compared to the mass-produced ones.

393 Burmah Road
10350 Pulau Tikus, Penang.
Opening hours: 11.30am - 10pm, Mon - Sun

Ken Tho is a food blogger from Penang and has a hunger for all things edible. More on what he's been eating lately can be found at