Imperial Treasure Steamboat Restaurant, #01-21/23 TripleOne Somerset, 111 Somerset Rd. Singapore, 238164 Singapore
Noisy, Reservation recommended, Parking available: at TripleOne Somerset
One of the newest offerings from the Imperial Treasure Restaurant Group, this steamboat restaurant is at least partially responsible for breathing some life into the quiet TripleOne Somerset complex. Over the last few months, the group has been particularly aggressive in the building; having also opened up a bakery (#01-26) and a casual eatery, Windows of Hong Kong (#01-K1), all steps away from one another. Our visit for a weekend dinner without a reservation saw us waiting a good 45 minutes for a table (that’s us taught). The place was bustling with scores of families and done up in typical Chinese fashion with bamboo and wood paneled tables. Steaming pots of soup made for an intoxicating mixture of smells that proved incredibly inviting. Our set A for two included a mix of seafood, a medley of vegetables, two meats, one helping of noodles and a single or twin flavor pot of soup. While waiting, we were presented with an assortment of 16 (we counted!) different condiments such as sesame paste, fried and raw minced garlic, red and green sliced chilies, spring onions and parsley, that was reminiscent of hot pot joints in Shanghai days past. Half the fun, for us anyway, is concocting our own unique dipping sauce. A double trouble pot of soup soon arrived. The healthy chicken stock was light in flavor, not overly salted, and a wonderful complement to the fresh, firm prawns and succulent scallops. In sharp contrast to it was the Sichuan soup base—an intensely-flavored red liquid with whole and minced chilies, cloves of garlic and kelp. A mention of their homemade Canton fish balls is mandatory. So springy are they, that they threatened to bounce off our plates. The exceptional texture and freshness was well-balanced against the fiery Sichuan soup and its slightly sweet aftertaste. While our serving of USA sliced marble beef could have been more generous, the quality of the meat itself was good; with just the right balance of fat and flesh. No complaints from us about the thinnest slices of Kurobuta pork belly, which were extremely satisfying and lent the soups an added depth of flavor (read: Tasty pig fat). Judging by the crowd, we anticipate this boisterous establishment will continue to be especially popular with families. They’re not wrong to keep coming back.