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Friday, September 23, 2011

Xuan Xin Steamboat @ Gurney Plaza, Penang.

Lok Lok is a Penang's ubiquitous famous hawker food in which the seller musters innumerable steamboat ingredients and threads them onto wooden sticks. It is like ordinary steamboat where you cook the raw or half-cooked food yourself by dipping it in a hot boiling liquid. However, Lok Lok does not make any hygienic sense as everyone is dipping their sticks into the same pot or even sauces. This should not be an issue with the introduction of air-conditioned Lok Lok-oriented restaurant, Xuan Xin Steamboat by Xuan Xin group which already owns Xuan Xin Restaurant, Xuan Xin Ramen Kitchen as well as Xuan Xin Buffet Steamboat.

The new sister restaurant is located on the 7th floor of Gurney Plaza,next to SenQ and it features an ample seating to suit both intimate dining and larger groups. To maintain freshness, the ingredients are kept in electric powered cold storage while a few items such as fried rice, noodles and entrées are always fresh from the kitchen. The Lok Lok ingredients are charged accordingly to their respective colour sets (the price for each stick: Yellow RM1, Green RM1.50, Blue RM2, Grey RM2.50, Red RM3, Black RM6, Gold RM10). Soup base wise, they only offer 3 varieties, namely, Chicken (RM3), Tom Yam (RM5) and Szechuan Spicy (RM5) with an option to savour two of them at a time (Chicken + Tom Yam/ Szechuan Spicy RM6, Tom Yam + Szechuan Spicy RM8).

With the vouchers purchased from Ezivoucher, i was entitled to five green, five blue sticks plus two pieces of Hong Kong Shrimp Paste Chicken Wings per voucher. I faced dilemma of choosing my sticks from the wide spectrum of ingredients provided. The green stickered ingredients available are sandwich, Italy chicken ball, fish ball, filament stick, chikuwa, vegetable nugget, lobster flavoured ball, vegetable fish ball, dim sum fish ball, fish cake, chicken cocktail, mixed ball, seafood bean curd, quail egg, century egg, assorted stuffed vegetable, small white fish ball, beef ball,pork dumpling, crab claw, braised pork ear, pork ball, bamboo clam, cuttlefish, Pandan chicken, shrimp, straw mushroom, button mushroom, deep fried pork roll, crab cocktail, San Kan, corn, Japanese tofu, black mushroom, Jellyfish, fish fillet, chicken, Broccoli, Nai Pak, Seaweed, pork luncheon meat, pork ham, curry pork belly, Satay pork belly, hot & spicy pork belly, sweet & sour pork belly, Satay beef, curry beef, sweet & sour beef while century egg (small), pork maw, pork chitterlings, roasted pork belly, soy sauce pork belly, pork blood cube, conch, squid, Satay chicken, black pepper chicken, hot & spicy chicken, curry chicken, sweet & sour chicken, curry venison, sweet & sour venison, Taiwanese sausage, dried cuttlefish, Satay fish fillet, curry fish fillet, curry squid, hot & spicy fish fillet as well as dried pork are blue stickered ones.

It is your choice whether to hot pot cook or to have your food barbequed by the helper. Some of the ingredients available are well-marinated for barbeque purposes, i recommend fish fillet, dried cuttlefish, roasted pork belly, dried pork, beef and gamey venison. The seafoods were pretty fresh indeed subtracting the shrimps which tasted not natural with a texture like they have been 'processed'. Unlike Lok Lok, you actually could savour the soup along with the ingredients. The Tom Yam soup base was very normal and it just tasted like paste was used while the chicken soup base was delicate with an enticing sweetness. There is a metal container where you put your finished sticks into. The personnel will do the maths once you ask for the bill. For your information, the numbered clips on the container are to mark your plate of ingredients awaiting to barbequed.

For me, other than freshness of the ingredients, sauce determines whether a Lok Lok stall is hero or zero. Xuan Xin Steamboat offers a total of five condiments: sweet chili sauce, Thai chili sauce, garlic chili paste, Satay sauce and a mix of sweet chili sauce and dark soy sauce. I have to underline the awesomeness of these condiments, they just simply went well with everything!

The worst part is that i got six Hong Kong Shrimp Paste Chicken Wings (RM6.50 for each two wings) to share with my other half, that was a lot, wasn't it? The chicken was like a not crispy version of deepfried chicken. We eventually got bored and brought them home.

On top of the vouchers used, i still have to fish out a total of RM10.55 for my mixed soups, an extra green stick resulting from miscalculation and two glasses of plain water (RM0.80 each) adding 10% service charge, 6% government tax. Do take note that the rating below is made based on the vouchers.

170-07-09, Plaza Gurney,
Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang

Operation hours:
11am - 10pm daily

Contact no.:
04 - 226 0830

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so is it nice? and is the price ok?? =]

Hmm, i used vouchers but i actually feel that if you dine there and wish to fulfill your stomach, it would cost you a bomb. I see it as an ideal spot for some gathering or snack time. =)

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