Sunday, 27 September 2015
Happy Together Steamboat Johor Bahru Mount Austin JK1249 同乐家火锅
There is something about Chinese steamboat or hotpot for get togethers. Steamboat is often the choice when friends meet up. There are hotpot restaurants of all shapes and sizes - small ones, and giant chains like Hai Di Lao from China which throw in all kinds of add on entertainment such as performances and karaoke. Still, the no frills small steamboat shops in the neighbourhood have their own appeal.
Happy Together Steamboat 同乐家火锅 is such a little restaurant.
Our friend KK brought us to the little steamboat place where his buddies usually hangout happily together. "The food is nice, price is reasonable and the place is very cosy for us" KK said.
While waiting for the kitchen to get ready our main order, we had these har cheong gai (虾酱鸡 prawn paste fried chicken) for appetiser.
The har cheong gai was so good, we added another plate before finishing the first.
The well marinated chicken was fried till the outside was slightly crisp with bits of browning. The inside was still moist and sweet with natural juices.
Little wonder then that Happy Together's har cheong kai is so popular.
We had this set (for 5 of us) which had prawns, bamboo clams, fish, shell fish and others like dumplings, mushrooms and tofu. All the usual suspects - nothing exquisite.
Importantly, the prawns, fish and bamboo clams were fresh.
House made fresh pork balls and fish balls.
Assorted fresh mushrooms.
Crispy fried tofu skins.
For the broth, there was just the choice of "superior pork bone" or "spicy". We opted for "superior pork bone". The steamboat set up was very basic - in an open pot on a canister gas stove - just like Chinese New Year home steamboat parties.
The bone sweet broth did an excellent job of cooking the fresh meat, seafood and vegetables which we tossed into the pot as we chatted, happily together.
The attentive staff kept the pot topped up with bone broth.
Another, Must Try side dish.
Fresh, meaty lala clams cooked in a savoury sweet spicy broth with a dash of Chinese cooking wine is one of my favourite dishes. Happy Together does a good version of this lala 姜丝花雕炒啦啦.
There are 10 different types of dips at the sauce station. I opted for simple chili and ginger dips.
The menu at Happy Together was quite simple when we visited in July 2015 as the owners were quite cautious. They had just opened the restaurant and wanted to build up a customer base before expanding their menu with more types of soup bases and more seafood like crabs.
If you are looking for a no frills, good quality steamboat in a simple comfortable environment at a reasonable price, you can try out Happy Together.
Simple, nice, happy together.
Restaurant name: Happy Together 同乐家火锅
Address: 72, Jalan Austin Heights 8/2, Taman Mount Austin, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
GPS: 1.562853, 103.777095
Hours: Mon to Sun 5:30pm - 1:30am (closed on Tuesday)
Tel: +6013 - 787 2272
Date visited: 10 Jul 2015
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