Having a steamboat buffet among friends is one of the most social experiences you can have these days. It is all about pigging out and eating till you can hardly walk. In the midst of all that, catching up with friends with some beer.
Well, the one thing I really dislike is that most steamboat buffets operate with the main goal of feeding the customers. It is seldom a good dining experience. Just trod along the Bugis area and you will find streams of such steamboat places. I always thought that a steamboat buffet should be clean, hygienic and the food should be prepared and served to customers.
This is where 55 Steamboat stands out from other competing steamboat outlets in the area. Located along South Bridge Road, they are one street away from Boat Quay. They can be a little difficult to locate so do look out for them as you travel along South Bridge Road, just before you hit the Chinatown area.
55 Steamboat is extremely neat, clean, pleasant. The place is renovated in a very stylish and cosy manner with many interesting knick-knacks like umbrella shaped table lights.
The food is prepared on the spot and is extremely fresh. You have to place your order with the waiters and the food is served to you. You have a choice of selecting two different soup bases and I would caution those who are not comfortable with spicy food against ordering a spicy soup base. If you really have to, remember to ask for the spiciness to be toned down many notches. Oh and a personal tip. Harbin Beer goes extremely well with steamboat. It costs $6 a bottle at this place which is extremely reasonable! Oh, and there is an ice cream section with unique flavours like milk tea and matcha.
Of course, a good steamboat buffet would not be complete without a wide array of sauces. 55 Steamboat’s sauce station is very clean with a good variety of sauces. Do try the peanut sauce. It is really thick and creamy!
Prices are affordable if you consider the quality of the food, the ambience and the excellent service. It costs $26.80+ during lunch hours and $29.80 for dinner. You still have to add on a fee for the soup base but hey, Steamboat is a communal activity and you should be visiting 55 Steamboat with at least another 2-3 friends. Thus the additional fee per pax works out to be rather reasonable.
At the moment, 55 Steamboat is perhaps my personal favourite ala carte steamboat buffet!
Address: 55 South Bridge Road Singapore 058686
Opening hours: 11 am to 10 pm (Sunday to Thursday), 11 am to 12 am (Fridays and Saturdays)