A few years ago, if you asked me where’s my favorite steamboat with tom yam, I’d bring you to a place tucked away in Pending (I never bothered to find out the name of the establishment and simply referred to it as “my favorite steamboat” because my friends knew and that was enough) but ever since it closed down, I’ve been on the hunt for somewhere to fill the vacant spot in my tummy.
It was by chance that Adam decided to try out a new restaurant in Aeon Mall over Raya and I was so happy we did!
The broth tastes like it has been simmered for hours. It started off a little diluted, but soon became steeped with flavors.
My only regret is that they don’t have seaweed because the two go together like a match made in heaven. The restaurant is halal, which means: no pork. But that’s fine, because between the chicken cocktails and oyster mushrooms, its absence was not felt.
We got their Hot & Spicy fried rice and it was amazing. I wanted to gobble it all up, rather than share. When it was all gone, I ordered a bowl of white rice to go with the soup because I wasn’t about to let all that goodness go to waste! And this belacan deserves a mention all on it’s own. I tried some with the Hot & Spicy fried rice, stood up and told the waitress it’s delicious. She answered me yes, of course it is and gave me a generous serving.
There were seaweed balls which I didn’t really like because it was weird because seaweed shouldn’t be fishball textured. Adam got something wrapped in chili which I found extremely weird – I don’t understand the obsession with chili or peppers. They taste odd!
We also threw in the mandatory greens, tofu and mushrooms (because what is steamboat without them?) but oh wow, those oyster mushrooms were divine. They really soaked up the soup and made every bite burst with sour-y goodness.
Surprising, the frozen sliced beef tastes better than the fresh beef due in part to the texture. If you like thin slices, it’s best to go with the frozen but if you like thick and tough, fresh is your best bet.
It is honestly something not to be missed and the belacan alone is a reason in itself to visit Johnny’s Restaurant.
Total damage: RM80 for 2pax