Talk about steamboat, I'm not sure how many of you remember Aroi in Bercham. (Aroi means "delicious" in Thai) Yes, this is one of the leaders in steamboat before MovenPeak, Good Times, 2+1 was even born. I remember patronizing Aroi when I was still in primary school. And if I'm not mistaken, it will be their 20th year in business next year. Looking back at the individual hot pot and the complimentary egg on the egg stand really brings back fond memories.
Things hasn't changed much, except for the prices obviously which has seen to have taken significant increase. Well over a span of a decade, I think its okay since I last came here. But service wise, there was also a significant increase.... AN INCREASE OF SNOBBISHNESS! The lady boss is always having his butt stick to the chair when I need help with adjusting the level of the flame and showed me an ignorant "black face". The young boy also showed a face when we were placing our orders, which invites a big tight slap on his face. It somehow spoil the mood of dining for the night. Sorry, I do not need condiments like garlic, birds eye chilli, chilli sauce and the nutty sesame oil paste anymore. Their attitude towards serving customer already left a SOUR DINING EXPERIENCE!
I will give an unbiased review on the food quality and taste and my judgement wont be affected by their horrific service (hopefully). This is their Special Choice (RM26.80 per serving) - which normally can feed 1 big eater. Seems pricey but you really get back your worth of food - 4 fresh tiger prawns, clams, cockles, 3 fish slices (I believe its snapper, as long as its NOT Dory, then I'm cool with it), some squid, some brown cuttlefish, a piece of mussel, fish maw and an identified premium abalone lookalike-clam. Yes, you get REAL meat instead of just frozen meatballs. But they do throw in a piece or two of fishballs, meatballs, enoki, and fishcake roll to ensure you are full.
Here is a video showing how fresh the tiger prawns are! They are still alive and kicking from your plate to the hotpot! You can choose between their signature Tom Yam paste soup base or a clear broth with garlic oil.
This is the Special Fried Mix Stuff (RM15.50) which comes with 2 tiger prawns, 2 pieces of pandan chicken, a piece each of fried dumpling, friend wantan, beanskin cracker, assorted yong tau fu like stuffed eggplant, stuffed long beans, acar and stuffed tau fu pok. Basically the whole plate is ready to eat without cooking it in the pot. There is another version which pairs this palate with a serving of pineapple fried rice. That combo is priced at RM20.50. Unless you are starving, I suggest you do without the rice as 1 serving of noodles is complimentary for every person dining (rather than every set ordered)
This is the Fried Mix Stuff Set (RM8). Similar to the photo above minus the 2 fried tiger prawns, pandan chicken and acar, making this palate totally similar to what you will pick in a Yong Tau Fu stall. The assorted stuffs in general are not bad and I love their fried oval dumplings and fried wantan a lot!
They have side orders/ala carte items too in the menu. Yes, if the personal sets doesn't seem to attract you, you might wanna make and match and pick those favourite items of yours. Else, you can top up a serving of lamb (RM7.50 for small serving if I remembered correctly)
3 of us seems not full. Or we were just like hungry ghosts on the prowl on a raining Friday evening. After all, its over a working week, we tend to over order.... We had another set to be shared - the Chicken Set (11.50) which has boneless chicken thigh, some fish balls, meat balls, stuffed taufu, enoki mushroom and greens.
This 2 photos are grabbed from my FB friend Angeline's account. (Blogger etiquette to give credit to the owner of the photos if they are not yours) You can have a rough idea of the price of the side items and the personal sets.
So, will buffet steamboat your cup of tea or ala carte ones? I really do miss the non-eat-all-you-can style which I had in my childhood days - I remember one in Fair Park, one in old town area (same row with Kong Heng) and Kao Lee steamboat. So for Aroi being the unique concept ones in the business, I would say their food quality is fresh and worthy ingredients - though some might argue that with this price, one can opt for buffet eat all you can type (The bill came to RM86 for 3 person). Except for the price issue and the unfriendly or rather COCKY service, you can give Aroi a try.