Zi Wei Yuan Steamboat Buffet Jalan Raja Uda Butterworth
Zi Wei Yuan Steamboat is a large busy restaurant at Jalan Raja Uda, Butterworth. I’ve been there for a steamboat dinner for half a dozen times.
Run by the Big Boss and Lady Boss, the business is conducted via a wireless PA system. Both bosses watch the employees with an eagle’s eye, directly the employees.
One thing is for sure. Diners will not go unnoticed or hungry as service is fast.
The local “volcano” hotpots or steamboat is an excellent experience cooking with an old style burner within a metal pot, with a chimney holding the charcoal.
Zi Wei Yuan is famous for its milky flavourful broth which is made by boiling fish bones and yam. Waiters are ready with metal kettles to replenish the steamboat pots with boiling soup.
There is a huge vat of boiling soup station in the middle of the restaurant where the waiters refill their kettles.
HOW TO ORDER
Zi Wei Yuan offers set menus and a la carte ingredients.
The signature fresh Grouper Steamboat and signature Fish Head Steamboat is popular. We ordered the RM288 set of fresh grouper fish with an additional serve of fried fish and two plates of yam. A jar of herbal drink. Without rice, the bill came out to RM359 for the eight of us.
The choices are plentiful. Seafood choices range from the ordinary to lavish. There are slices of fish, cuttlefish, squid, fish maw and fish balls. Fresh prawns, sea cucumber, mantis prawns, oysters, razor clams, pacific clams, scallops and even abalone!
Meat items include bacon, pork meatballs, innards, chicken and beef slices. Fried items are bean curd, dumplings, deep-fried pig skin. Our favorites are the fried yam slices and fried bean curd sheets.
There is a good choice of mushrooms which differ in texture and flavor, button mushrooms, straw mushrooms, golden mushrooms and abalone mushrooms!
Other good choices are leafy vegetables and the must-have, “tang oh”.
HOW TO COOK A STEAMBOAT
To enrich the taste of the soup, we started by adding the fried fish, followed by the prawns and clams.
We layer the stock pot with the meats, meatballs, and vegetables. Then we added the squids and cuttlefish which require little cooking time.
At each stage of eating, we make sure we clear all the ingredients. We added fresh boiling soup, more ingredients and let the pot cook again. As different ingredients require different cooking time, adding anything and everything will spoil the steamboat.
Our final choice was adding the “Tang Oh” with vermicelli and fresh oyster. This brings out the taste of the plump tiny oysters beautifully.
LOAD UP ON CARBS
You could order a bowl of yam rice, white rice or add vermicelli, yellow mee and instant noodles for your carbs. The dipping sauce packs quite a satisfying spicy, garlicky and sourish kick. It’s perfect as a compliment to the boiled food.
Do go early or reserve ahead as there is normally a long queue for a table.
Zi Wei Yuan Steam Boat (紫薇園魚頭火炭爐) | 6525, Jalan Raja Uda, Butterworth
Telephone: +604-331 2736, HP: 012-452 4741 | Business Hours: 6 pm to 11 pm
Closed on Wednesdays