Once upon a time, before modern steamboats running on electric were invented, people would use metal constructed steamboats with a base at the bottom for charcoal (similar to olden day irons but that's another story). Call me a purist if you like but there's something alluring about using charcoal to cook - be it simple toast, that smoky wok hei-ness of char koay teow or a pot of steamboat.
If you're looking for a place that still serves old fashioned steamboat powered with charcoal, Goh Huat Seng at Kimberley Street is a must visit. It has a very basic, no frills layout but is clean and brightly lit.
Forget about your fancy soup bases like kimchi, red wine oxtail, Goh Huat Seng only offers ONE choice: clear chicken soup. It might sound boring at first, but hear me out, once you start adding in the other raw, sliced dishes, which ranges from fish to fresh veggies, the broth becomes this amazingly sweet and rich soup that you simply cannot stop sipping from. Goh Huat Seng's only concession to modern times is the little battery powered fan used to fan the burning charcoal so the soup cooks faster.
The staff were friendly and once they found out that Bubs can understand a little Teochew, they kept speaking to him in Teochew and playing with him. He was chuffed with all the attention he got ;) The place gets filled up rapidly so it's best to go early to avoid crowds.
Goh Huat Seng Restaurant
59A Kimberly Street
Tel : 04 2615811
Business Hours : 5.30pm – 9.30pm