Hou Mei Wo Steamboat (好味锅) @ Elit Avenue, Bayan Lepas, Penang.
Who does not like to fish for treasure in a steaming pot of bubbling soup with all sorts of delicious items especially on a chilly rainy evening? Hou Mei Wo Steamboat welcomed a huge crowd of courageous food explorers during the first few days when it first swung opened the doors few months back. The queue has subsided since then. The interior decor is simple with minimalist funky touches, with ample seating space and each table is set with an induction cooker. Do not be overwhelmed by the extensive list, a safe bet would be to go with their Super Value Set, which has more than sufficient to offer. We like the environment but the service was awful. All the servers were foreign workers and could not understand basic English. We had a hard time communicating with them... to the extent that we had to refill our own steamboat broth. The only Chinese was the cashier, when footing the bill, I was shown the total amount while he was busy to charge my credit card. In the meantime, I have found a mistake on the receipt (we were double-charged for an item) and we asked him to re-issue the bill. Instead of solving the problem, he turned to me and questioned why we did not check thoroughly before handing our credit card. Furthermore, he told us there was no way he could refund to us. We threw the white flag (the amount of less than Rm 10) and did not want to talk to him. One of the the worst restaurant services ever.
Pork Bone Soup and Tom Yum Soup (Rm 16.85)
Deep Fried Fish Maw (Rm 7.31)
Super Value Set (Rm 83.53)
We did not want it to be complicated and thus, we had their signature Pork Bone Soup and Tom Yum for Rm 16.85. The former broth was delicious, with a creamy texture finished with a mellow meat-sweetness. Tom Yum, on the other hand, was disappointing. It was way too acidic to our liking and the distinctive Tom Yum flavor was too mild to be discerned. We picked the Super Value Set, it was huge and came with 3 different types of noodles- Instant Noodles, Vermicelli Noodles and Yee Foo Noodles. Other ingredients included Chicken Meat, Fish Paste Noodles, Prawns, Crab Sticks, Seafood Tofu, Fish Balls, Fish Meat, Sweet Corn and heaps of Cabbages. It was more than sufficient for the three of us. Aplenty dipping sauces available and they are refillable, which is a plus. We thought the food quality was alright but there is a critical need to improve their service.
Home-made Chili Sauces to go with the Steamboat ingredients
Taste: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 3/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 6/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Parking: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Address: 1-01-08, Elit Avenue, Jalan Mayang Pasir 3, 11950, Bayan Baru, Penang.
Business Hours: 10 am to 2:30 pm; 5 pm to 10 pm. Closed Daily.
Contact Number: N/A