Bird-eye View of the Steamboat. Pouring in the deep-fried garlic.
In good times with good friends over a meal, we enjoyed talking about food. It is so leisurely. The close friendship and trust allowed the talk to switched from food to personal and back. We have talked over many a times about what kind of restaurant to start and where. My Thai friend which I have worked with for more than 10 years wanted to start Bak Kut Teh and Yong To Fu restaurants in Chiangmai. I, for one will definitely add this beef component into the menu in my steamboat restaurant (if I owned one in the future). The owner which my friend knew personally, actually wanted to teach us how to do this. But then procrastination sets in.... If not now then when, I used to ask.
This is my favourite stall for a hearty and warming dish which I could not get back home. In fact my desire was kindled when I first ate my beef steamboat 12 years ago in Dalat a highland station akin to our own Cameron Highlands. And it is called Ta Pin Lu in Vietnamese which is very similar in sound with the Chinese.
The broth was packed with smells, though murky, it gave the impression of richness. Nothing sinister at all. It was so thick with goodness that there was no need to add any sauces bar the deep-fried garlic. Another plus point was the pot was packed to the overflow with beefy goodness. We ordered beef slices, balls, braised beef chunks and the bull's whip.
A tip from my friend. Mixed the deep-fried garlic with chili, fish and all manner of sauces. WOW factor!
Beef balls - solid and unadulterated. As good or even better than the best we have back home.
Beef Slices - generous portions as we ate and ate!
Bull's Whip - found only in the bull - cartilaginous and gelatinous, these two words said it all. Those who love beef parts will sing their praises.
Broth, broth and broth.
Somewhere in Chiangmai.