Sunday, October 04, 2009

Fun but forgettable

What does the J in JPot stand for? Jumbo? (because of the restaurant's affiliation with Jumbo) Or perhaps Japan? (given the recent wave of interest in Japanese themed restaurants)

Being die hard steamboat fans always on the prowl for good deals, my kaki and I decided to give JPot's set lunch a shot. Set lunches (starting from 9.80+++) are a wallet friendly alternative to dinner as ala carte prices tend to be toppish.

The restaurant is tucked in a quiet corner of Vivocity. We literally skidded to our seats as the wooden floor was quite slippery. Other than that, the restaurant's interior is aesthethically pleasing with good ventilation and a picturesque view of Sentosa.

My kaki ordered Set A (9.80+++ comprising of marinated pork slices, 2 pork balls, a small basket of vegetables and mushroom and a bowl of rice). She chose a bak kut teh soup stock.

I opted for Set B (12.80+++ comprising of beef slices, 2 beef balls, a small basket of vegetables and mushrooms and a bowl of rice). My soup base comprised of a superior broth concocted by the restaurant.

Enticed by mouthwatering descriptions of the "popping" fish skin (3.80 a portion) and "DIY" fish noodles (3.50 a tube), we ordered a serving each to share.

I preferred the beef set to the pork set as the thinly sliced beef was a breeze to cook and boasted sufficient bite and flavor (as opposed to the marinated pork slices which was over-tenderized to the extent that it didn't really taste like real meat anymore). The soup stocks initially came across as peppery and bland but gradually took on a lovely umami flavor after fully absorbing the meat and vegetable juices.

The sauces/condiments range is extensive and fun to experiment with. I sprinkled multiple portions of fried garlic bits on my rice while my kaki devised her own special peanut sesame sauce. We thoroughly enjoyed immersing the fish skin into the bubbling stock (the crackling sounds emitted from the popping skin are strangely therapeutic). The same cannot be said of the fish noodles, which sadly didn't taste as good as it looked. The stringy lumps of paste did not form a nice swirl and broke up into small unappetising piecesThis was definitely a fun lunch date. However, there are many other steamboat restaurants offering better set lunches at an equivalent or even cheaper price (e.g. The Chinese Feasts @ Suntec and Bei Shan Chuan Spicy Steamboat on the 3rd floor of Vivocity)

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