When Bottle Tree Park @ Khatib became ORTO, i didn't think i would patronise it that often; at least not to the extent that my family even had our lunar new year reunion dinner at one of its resident restaurants.
Deviating from the normal buffet / Korean BBQ craving during this festive season, we opted for something that has its origins in Southeast Asia; Thai traditional BBQ steamboat, otherwise known fondly as Mookata!
Our family has a tradition of having early reunion dinner even though we still insist on a reservation, specifically for indoor seating as our genetics have resulted in tempers flying whenever the surrounding gets too warm.
The weather was exceptionally windy that day and those seated outside might be better off compared to those stuck in the air-conditioned premise. The only issue was the unpredictable weather since the outdoor area was only partially sheltered.
Those familiar with mookata might wonder if i have arrived at the correct place for the BBQ steamboat as there wasn't any sight of the signature "hardware".
Just wait a while after you order -the kata (otherwise known as the skillet) would appear only upon your order. The one above was a tom yam soup base which cost an additional S$5.
Waiting is necessary since the mookata here wasn't your typical convenient, electrical-powered version. This is done the traditional way using good, old charcoal!
Don't fret about the resultant smoke as the UFO exhaust tube (available only indoors) does a pretty neat job!
Normal soup base - we had six adults, two kids and having two mookatas would result in less infighting between the family members!
Now on the menu, which is always a headache for a person who loves variety - to make it easier across 8 persons with differing wants / needs, i figured a set for 4 and a meat lovers' platter would do the job.
These didn't include the bowls of white rice and drinks which were separately charged. You may also select ala-carte items in the event you have a great / premium appetite that day. I shall share the order list towards the end of this post.
Maybe because of their delicate display, we got the feeling that there were quite a lot of meat and we would likely be stuffed at the end of the meal!
Set for Four - A combination of "marinated chicken thigh, pork collar, prawns, squids, suriyaki (it should be sukiyaki meat), bacon, pork belly, fishballs, meatballs, crabsticks, otah fishcakes, Chinese cabbage, kangkong, xiao bai cai (bak choy), corn, golden mushrooms, eggs, tang hoon and tofu.
Meat Lovers' Platter - pork collar, chicken thigh, sliced beef (replaced with pork belly as mom doesn't take beef), sukiyaki, bacon, shabu shabu, pork belly (again) and 2 premium sausages. From the look of it, i thought the slices of sausages would at most make up to only 1 normal-length sausage.
Big piece pork belly with a sesame-infused marination that was so delicious! If not for the fact that it is so unhealthy, i would love to dig into mookata every week!
In mookata, chilli plays an important role and the one at Mookata Traditional Thai BBQ featured three levels of spiciness with the right being less spicy and left being the most potent. They were not the spicy sweet type found at Mookata New Udon Thai Food restaurant even though the spiciness was personally quite acceptable.
Anyway, let's get started with the oiling process; placing the chunks of pork lard onto the inverted pot and let them sizzle away!
The soup base assigned to my side was the tom yum; after a while of cooking, i noticed the meat were cooked very slowly and this wasn't good news as i was famished!
On the other end, my elder sister and her hubby were having an easier moment; their silver pot had already turned a pretty yet unhealthy charcoal black!
We checked with a staff and he kindly checked, agreed that the charcoal wasn't fiery hot, took it out and returned shortly with a smoking hot pot!
Shabu shabu style - not sure if you have noticed but the steamboat area was noticeably wider than some other mookata restaurants and this means you can put in more stuff into the soup (p.s. for steamboat lovers).
Yummy pork belly!
Tom yum soup that had a balanced level of spiciness and sourness but surprisingly, it was on the sweet side. The same sweetness goes for the normal soup base which i didn't have a picture of; just use the same photo and imagine the colour of the soup to be light yellow.
Soup was supposed to be heavily flavoured by the meat juices flowing down from the pot and this didn't disappoint; the main problem was the thick layer of oil!
81, Lorong Chencharu, #01-04,
ORTO Leisure Park (the old Yishun Bottle Tree)
Mondays to Thursdays - 5pm to 12am
Fridays - 5pm to 1am
Saturdays & PHs - 12pm to 1am
Sundays - 12pm to 12am
(Last order is an hour before closing)
Menu / Ordering List
Set for 4 - S$68.90
Meat Lovers' Platter - S$74.90
(Subject to GST and Service Charge)
Since it is the lunar new year period, you can also lou hei within the same restaurant and for those who are worried about the GBS infection, you can also opt for abalone!
Our smoked salmon yusheng! According to the supervisor / manageress, the ingredients except for the sauces / condiments / powder etc were prepared in house.
The kids had a great time putting in the "stuff" and spewing words of auspicious meaning without much understanding of what they really mean.
Lou-ing time with the table in a big mess right after! I wouldn't be surprised that in a moment of excitement, there could be some "liao" stuck on the ceiling or even within the exhaust suctions!
Whatever the case, our family had an enjoyable reunion dinner! :)